gnome terminal

Yuki Cuss celtic at
Thu Jan 19 12:36:55 GMT 2006

Quim Gil wrote:

>My point is, real new users don't even notice when they are sudo-ing.
>They don't open the console. They just perfom actions through the GNOME
>interface and sometimes they are prompted for a password. That's it.
>One of the things that Ubuntu docs, FAQs and help could improve is to
>offer primarly solutions that can be performed in the desktop, and
>alternatively the command line way of doing things.
>GNOME is great for new users, you can perform almost everything without
>needing the console. GNOME doesn't mention "sudo" nor "root" in its
>interface. So why confuse them sending them to the command line to edit
>apt sources, mount/unmont and other actions requested by new users that
>require sudo an root permissions. Just send them to
>System > Administration > Whatever or if really needed to
>Aplications > System tools > Run as different user
>and that's it.

No, of course, they don't notice when they are sudoing. *But*, they do 
notice that when they follow a HowTo on the Wiki, for example, that they 
have to type `sudo apt-get install ..'. If any of them make the 
unfortunate mistake of forgetting the `sudo', they suddenly notice that 
apt-get no longer works!

So, a newbie might come up himself with the idea: `sudo bash'. Let's say 
he works within this environment. Suddenly, since he's created all these 
files as root in his home directory, he seems to have broken his system! 
Then he realises: just do `sudo bash' again. Now, we have a newbie who's 
very used and accustomed to just typing `sudo bash' on every terminal he 
opens. (not even sudo -s or -i! Can you imagine? :))

The point is, the solution isn't just to try to obfuscate the use of 
sudo whenever possible, the solution isn't to try to avoid educating the 
user. The solution is to tell the user what `sudo' does as early as we 
can. Then the user will know that, if he ever ends up using a console, 
sudo is only for administrative commands, and nothing else.

Don't leave them in the dark.
 - Yuki.

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