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Is root Turned On?

Posted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:25 am
by jordan
I believe the root powers have been enabled and I don't know how to turn them off. Here are the conditions that make me think they are on:

- I booted and signed in as a non-root user.
- I started firestarter and had to type my password.
- I started terminal and got the firestarter process number.
- I shutdown firestarter by closing it's window and went immediately to top and tried to kill the firestarter process, but top said that process didn't exist, so I assume it really didn't exist.
- I tried to start firestarter again, but it didn't prompt for a password. I shutdown firestarter several times after this, but it never asks for a password.

It doesn't make sense that I would need to type a password to sign into a user account, then type it again to run an appliation. I mean, how would I get in in the first place? :roll: Does this mean I am logged in as root then when I turn on firestarter? If so, since it is not requesting a password when restart it in the same session, does it mean I am logged in as root in some way?

Re: Is root Turned On?

Posted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:19 pm
by Google Spider
No you are not logged in as root :)

Once you enter the password, your sudo privileges are retained for 15 ( 5?) minutes. So you can do all your administrative tasks in those 15 minutes, without the password prompt nag. :wink:


http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=su ... tnG=Search

Re: Is root Turned On?

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:38 am
by jordan
Google Spider wrote:No you are not logged in as root :)

Once you enter the password, your sudo privileges are retained for 15 ( 5?) minutes. So you can do all your administrative tasks in those 15 minutes, without the password prompt nag. :wink:


http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=su ... tnG=Search


I read some of those links. I'm still not clear on the difference between 'having root privileges' and 'being signed in as root'. At first view of this, to me, they seem to be the same (at least before the timeout), since having all the privileges to me is the same thing.

The reason why I am concerned about this in the first place is that I have read here and there that it's not wise to be signed on as root or run applications in root that run on the internet due to security reasons. So, knowing that root privileges are enable during an internet session as I put up my firewall, threw up the red flag. Is it better to wait for the timeout to end to connect after starting the firewall, or does it matter?

Re: Is root Turned On?

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:14 am
by Edward78
This might be strange, but this is what annoys me about some distros. I think that root shouldn't be crippled.

Re: Is root Turned On?

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:15 pm
by AK Dave
Edward78: you can have a normal root account if you desire. MintAssistant helps you set this up.

jordan: The difference is that if you login as root, everything you do is as root. If you sudo an app, you're using that one single app with root privs but everything else is done with normal user privs applicable to the account you're logged in as. I'll often have a root command line open, so only commands entered in that window are done with root privs but file management using Nautilus or web browsing with Firefox aren't.