Newbie question on permissions

hollywoodb ulist at
Sat Apr 1 19:10:32 UTC 2006

if you run an app as root, anything you do with that app will be done
with root privileges.  You'll basically have the power to do anything
with that app that it can do. For example, if I run a file manager as
root and delete /usr , I'll be in big trouble. It isn't the same as
being logged in as root in the sense that once you close that app root
privileges are lost.

If you are logged on as root at a terminal, and you type 'rm -rf /usr'
you'll be in trouble. Your system won't give you any warnings and
you'll have the permission to do it because you are root.  Sudo is nice
because it requires you to type 'sudo' before a command you want to run
with root privileges. It reminds you that you're doing something a user
can't do, and that it might be dangerous. As a new user it can be easy
to forget that you're in a terminal as root and you could do something
harmful, having to type 'sudo' first is just a little reminder.


More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list