Running as Root is not a Sin

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mperkel
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Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby mperkel » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:40 pm

mintinstall
The software manager should not be run as root. Please run it in user mode.

I'm really frustrated with nanny mode in Linux. After all, Linux is about freedom and being root is about freedom and my computer my choice.

Besides mintinstall runs as root or it wouldn't work so confused? Really don't need nanny mode with 21 years of Linux experience running as root. I'm OK without training wheels.

The history of not running as root or worshiping root as god comes from very early unix systems where you spent millions of dollars for computers with less than a meg of ram. You didn't want just anyone being able to screw things up. Now we have personal computer with gigs of ram and terabytes of storage. And anyone who makes good backups is safe from mistakes.

So - would really like to get rid of PC nanny mode.

Cosmo.
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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby Cosmo. » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:05 pm

Obviously there is no question, but a statement. If you think so, build your own "adult" system.

Other user have found in less than 21 years, that this attempt is wrong.

Besides that: The relationship between RAM and not being root is a secret, that lacks any kind of logic. I did not even need 21 seconds to find that out.

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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby MintBean » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:12 pm

You would be better of running Arch. That will let you have it your way, without training wheels.

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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby jimallyn » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:18 pm

With your 21 years experience you should easily be able to disable "nanny mode" and run as root if that's what you want to do. There is somewhere on the forums a post that tells you how to never have to use your password again. I don't have it bookmarked, since I don't think that's a very good idea, but I imagine a search would turn it up.
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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby Joe2Shoe » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:01 pm

I concur, stay away from "sudo -i" unless absolutely necessary, then think again a time or two. I got a programming degree back in '81 & I have toasted many machines with bad CLI commands at root: "let's try this....". "Uh oh......".
Now, I only use "sudo -i" if there is no doubt that I will NOT fubar something again.
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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby Hoser Rob » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:10 am

mperkel wrote:... I'm really frustrated with nanny mode in Linux. After all, Linux is about freedom and being root is about freedom and my computer my choice. ....


It's about freedom FOR YOU. Not necessarily others. You're free to ruin your system, I'm free to ignore your complaints.

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chrisuk
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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby chrisuk » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:42 am

Using Linux for 21 years must have given you enough knowledge to run as root without passwords etc. If you've forgotten how, the inner workings of the livecd might jog your memory (you don't need a password for root actions on the livecd, else how would you install it to disk). A look in the /etc/sudoers.d/ folder should give you the final piece of the puzzle ;)

(I'm not trying to be smart/clever/funny, I just don't think it's a good idea to provide clear instructions on how to do this, as many new users with enough curiousity could trash their system at some point down the line)
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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby Flemur » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:55 am

mperkel wrote:mintinstall
The software manager should not be run as root. Please run it in user mode.

That's weird. I can run it as root (sudo -i) , no problem.

I looked at the .py files and apparently your error msg was commented out (not by me!) though it did have
"The software manager should be run as root." (NO "not").
/usr/lib/linuxmint/mintinstall/mintinstall.py (line 45)
and so I could install and then remove backintime as root.

Code: Select all

# mintinstall
add_categories took 17.092 ms
build_matched_packages took 0.282 ms
...
Setting up backintime-common (1.1.12-1) ...
...
Removing backintime-gnome (1.1.12-1) ...
show_package took 198.822 ms
_on_package_load_finished took 2.759 ms
# whoami
root

???
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Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?

mperkel
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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby mperkel » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:28 pm

The solution to safety running as root is good backups. I've had a daily snapshotting utility for years but Mint now comes with Timeshift so if you screw up you can walk it back to where it was. Any time I do something that I know is a little dangerous I always do a quick backup to make sure. And with rsync it only take a minute to run. And I have a bootable thumb drive on my keychain in case I really screw up to get in and copy everything back.

I run 12 servers right now (not counting my desktops) with 50 some virtual servers. (Mostly running Centos) and not only do I have snapshots but some functions are mirrored live with lsyncd and I have backups in 2 remote locations updated weekly. Yes - I'm a backup freak, but when stuff happens, and it does, I have always been able to recover.

I know I might have changed subjects from being root to backup freak but, quite frankly, being a backup freak is the right solution where root phobia isn't. Typing and extra password or typing sudo in front of a command doesn't make it any safer. Having backups does.

So for those of you who want to be politically correct, switch from root obsessed to backup obsessed and you'll be better off. Have a utility that creates and updates a bootable thumb drive recovery system that finds your tumeshift backups and offers to recover your system.

Doesn't that make more sense?

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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby Pjotr » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:36 pm

mperkel wrote:Doesn't that make more sense?

No.

Having a good backup policy is a separate issue altogether. Of course one needs that, irrespective of everything else.

Running your Linux desktop as root is not a sin, no. It's just plain dumb. Which qualification can count as the understatement of the year, but let's stick to it for the sake of civility.
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mperkel
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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby mperkel » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:54 pm

Running your Linux desktop as root is not a sin, no. It's just plain dumb. Which qualification can count as the understatement of the year, but let's stick to it for the sake of civility.


Explain why it's dumb in the context of having good backups. And explain why it's so dumb that you have to go out of your way to try to prevent me from doing it even after all the warnings and me choosing to do so anyway? After all, my computer, my choice. What gives you the right to override my choice in a Linux world? Why doesn't my personal liberty give me the right to choose to be dumb? And have you considered that there might be cases where it is not dumb?

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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby Schultz » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:05 pm

Isn't one good reason because of getting malware while running as root?

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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby Pjotr » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:06 pm

mperkel wrote:
Running your Linux desktop as root is not a sin, no. It's just plain dumb. Which qualification can count as the understatement of the year, but let's stick to it for the sake of civility.


Explain why it's dumb in the context of having good backups. And explain why it's so dumb that you have to go out of your way to try to prevent me from doing it even after all the warnings and me choosing to do so anyway? After all, my computer, my choice. What gives you the right to override my choice in a Linux world? Why doesn't my personal liberty give me the right to choose to be dumb? And have you considered that there might be cases where it is not dumb?

I'm not denying you anything. In fact, I don't care one bloody bit what you do. :lol:

I just hope to protect others who read this, from making the same grave mistake. This is a public forum: fatal errors need to be exposed for what they are. No proclaimer of grave foolishness should be allowed to get away with it unchallenged and thus to induce unsuspecting others to apply his folly as well.

Now to the matter at hand. Running a Linux desktop as root, makes one vulnerable in so many ways, that even a good backup policy becomes insufficient as rescue method. Because your system can also be pwned without you noticing it.

Backups are not, repeat not, a replacement for common sense.
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mperkel
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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby mperkel » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:33 pm

I'm not denying you anything. In fact, I don't care one bloody bit what you do. :lol:


That's the part that isn't actually true, at least when it comes to Mint code. There are people who are actively trying to thwart my attempts to run as root by adding code to deliberately make things not work as root.

To be clear, I don't care how many initial warnings you give (as long as there's an option to turn the warning off) to alert people to the dangers of being root. What I have a problem with is adding code that tells me I can't run as root. That's where you are imposing your will on me, and I have a problem with that.

Let's say, for example, I modified the browsers to check if you did a daily backup and when you went to YouTube I put up a screen that said, "No YouTube for you young man until you do your backups!" Wouldn't that piss you off?

The real question is - who get's to decide? Isn't getting to make my own choices what Linux is about? If I wanted a nanny I could choose Windows or Apple or Android. The issue here is about freedom of choice, not whether or not people think it's dumb. I have the right to be dumb.

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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby Moem » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:38 pm

mperkel wrote:And explain why it's so dumb that you have to go out of your way to try to prevent me from doing it even after all the warnings and me choosing to do so anyway?

No one here is trying to prevent you from doing anything. Let's not get stuck in hyperbole here. Pjotr (who is not a Mint dev) is stating his opinions; you are stating yours. Those opinions differ; that's all. So far, so normal.
Why would anyone try to make that more dramatic than it needs to be?

Mint is set up to be used in a certain way. It reflects the opinions and priorities of the devs. If you disagree with them, you have choices: you can either modify settings to match your wishes, or choose another distro. After all, your computer => your choice.
They get to decide how Mint works. You get to decide whether you want to use it.

Do as you wish, as is your right. If you insist on sharing that here, others will have opinions on that, as is their right.
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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby JeremyB » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:39 pm

It isn't Mint's code that does that, it is from Ubuntu or possibly Debian https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RootSudo

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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby mperkel » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:45 pm

It isn't Mint's code that does that, it is from Ubuntu or possibly Debian


Good point. Perhaps I should argue with them. But the last program I had to fix was called mintinstall, which seems to be mint.

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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby Moem » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:47 pm

Schultz wrote:Isn't one good reason because of getting malware while running as root?

Yes, that is correct. And if that malware manages to get your credit card creds, having a backup won't help... unless it's a backup bank account with backup money.
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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby JeremyB » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:49 pm

Or switch to Kali as that may serve you better

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Re: Running as Root is not a Sin

Postby MintBean » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:19 pm

mperkel wrote:
The real question is - who get's to decide? Isn't getting to make my own choices what Linux is about? If I wanted a nanny I could choose Windows or Apple or Android. The issue here is about freedom of choice, not whether or not people think it's dumb. I have the right to be dumb.
It's the same old misconception people have about freedom of speech. You have the right to speak your mind, but I'm not obligated to listen to it and I don't have to put up with you saying whatever you like in my house. I can ask you to leave. In a similar vein, Linux DOES give you the choice, but it doesn't mean Mint has to give you the exact choice to do it your way- that depends on the vision of the distro. With Linux, you have the freedom to choose another distro or even roll your own if you feel Mint is not right for you.


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