for everyone whose sick of sudo read this

Magnus Therning magnus at
Sun Jul 3 20:01:47 UTC 2005

On Sun, Jul 03, 2005 at 12:45:28PM -0400, irusun wrote:
>As a long time user of Linux, I was quite confused after installing
>Ubuntu - it took me a few hours to figure out what was going on with
>the whole sudo/root thing.  If Ubuntu is going to do something
>radically different like change the nature of the root user (from every
>other distro I've ever used), it should be much more clear up front
>during the installation.
>It appears that Ubuntu tried to tackle the issue that many new users to
>Linux would simply use the root account as their personal account
>because it was often inconvenient to do routine system maintenance

Yes, that's what they are used to from other, often proprietary,
operating systems.

>*nix has its origin in a multi-user environment, often involving dozens
>if not hundreds of users.  With so many remote and sometimes unknown
>logins, security is obviously an issue.  But the reality is that most
>of the people using Ubuntu are just single (or family) users who just
>want an alternative to Microsoft.
>The idea that there's rarely a use for root is a complete Utopian Linux
>fantasy.  It's nice to see Ubuntu has made it less necessary to be a
>root user than a lot of other distros, but the root user is a very
>useful thing to have around for involved system administration.

What you are suggesting is that we wait until Longhorn comes out, and
catches on in the M$ part of the world?

You may not be aware of it by M$ is pushing the concept of
least-privileged-user hard for Longhorn. All users will run into it, and
they'll be upset initially, but soon everyone will live with it.

History seems to repeat itself in that M$ introduces 20-year-old
Unix-concepts in Windows and touts it as the best thing since sliced
bread. Then and only then will the general user accept it. Too bad that
users aren't smarter than M$ is in this case...


Magnus Therning                    (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
magnus at

Software is not manufactured, it is something you write and publish.
Keep Europe free from software patents, we do not want censorship
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Increasingly, people seem to misinterpret complexity as sophistication,
which is baffling--the incomprehensible should cause suspicion rather than
     -- Niklaus Wirth
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