Install software as admin or as a desktop user

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Install software as admin or as a desktop user

Postby webtarget on Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:10 am

When installing applications, does it matter if I install software while logged in as a desktop user (by adding myself to the sudoers file), or is it better to login as administrator?

I've always logged in as admin to install apps.

Thanks.
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Re: Install software as admin or as a desktop user

Postby BoscoBearbank on Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:18 am

Definitely better to install while logged in as a desktop user. Too easy to really mess things up when logged in as root (been there, done that)
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Re: Install software as admin or as a desktop user

Postby cwsnyder on Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:39 am

If you want any configuration files set up in the user's directory, you should install and configure as the regular user. Actual installation will be done as sudo, of course, or by assigning the user the ability to run apt-get, synaptic or whatever download/install shell you wish.
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Re: Install software as admin or as a desktop user

Postby altair4 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:29 pm

Perhaps I'm missing some nuance in the question but a regular user cannot install software in Linux. Only members of the sudo group can install software. If you add a regular user to the sudo group then as far as adding software ( among other things ) is concerned he has become an administrator.
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Re: Install software as admin or as a desktop user

Postby webtarget on Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:22 am

Sorry, I made a mistake, I thought I had to add my name to the sudoers file to run Software Manager. I actually do not have to. I just have to enter my administrator password when I get prompted. Seems to install fine.

And that's where my question lies:

Are there any installation issues with installing software via #2 below? I'm wondering if I'm wasting my time logging out of my desktop user login and logging in as admin just to run Software Manager every time (#1).

#1. Login as admin, run software manager and install the app.

#2. Login as my regular desktop user, run software manager, enter the administrator password when prompted, and install the app.
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Re: Install software as admin or as a desktop user

Postby cwsnyder on Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:05 pm

Your option #1 may possibly give you problems if you get a package which wants to install only for one user instead of all users (the default for Linux).

Otherwise, they are essentially the same. #1 logs you into /root/ for installation, #2 logs you into /home/username/ and stays there when you sudo for installation.
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Re: Install software as admin or as a desktop user

Postby altair4 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:35 pm

OK, I've got to ask the question:

If the Desktop user knows the Administrator user's password then what's the point of having a Desktop user? Make him/her another administrator.

I have a feeling that you are equating "Running as Administrator" in Linux with "Running as Administrator" in Windows or "Running as root" in Linux. It's two different things. For one thing there is no root account ( at least not one you can log into unless you went out of your way to enable it ) in a sudo based system like Mint.

In the context of this topic there is only one thing that separates Administrator from Desktop and that is membership in the sudo group. If you log into your system as an Administrator you are not running as root so if you want to install something from synaptic for example you will be prompted for your sudo password.
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Re: Install software as admin or as a desktop user

Postby remoulder on Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:48 pm

@webtarget, you might want to read https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RootSudo for a fully explanation.
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Re: Install software as admin or as a desktop user

Postby webtarget on Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:49 am

Thanks altair4 and remoulder. I was equating administrator in linux as administrator in Windows.
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