Destroying "only" your home directory (was Re: Newbie question on permissions)

Kenneth P. Turvey kt-usenet at
Mon Apr 3 05:36:33 UTC 2006

Hash: SHA1

On Mon, 03 Apr 2006 13:00:12 +0800, Michael T. Richter wrote:

> On Sun, 2006-02-04 at 23:36 -0500, Kenneth P. Turvey wrote:
>> You really don't want the operating system protecting you from yourself.

> Just like you really don't want guards on chainsaws?

Haha.. Yes, something like that.  Unix assumes you aren't going to put
your hand in the blade and then gives you the tools you need to protect
yourself if you do.  I gave you an example of how to protect some of your
files from alteration by yourself, or a user logged in as you, that takes
advantage of the systems multi-user capabilities.  You are ignoring it. 
There are other ways to protect yourself as well.  The problem is that you
think you want something you probably don't.  You want all the files in
your home directory to be protected.  The only way to accomplish this
(under any OS) is to either make it a real pain to do anything, or version
every file in your home directory, using up a lot of disk space quick.  

You can do either one or two under Unix.  It isn't that difficult.  It
just isn't what you want to do.  You should divide your data up in such a
way that the most important data is difficult to destroy.  For a single
user the way to handle this is to keep current backups.  It's the easiest
way to solve the problem and works 99% of the time. 

>> If you do there are solutions to this problem.  Good backups are part
>> of that solution.

> Good backup apps are a precursor to that particular part of the
> solution.

I don't see the gaps in backup software that you do.  I admit that I am
quite happy using tar and growisofs to do my
backups.  You write the script once and then it then it is just a matter
of putting it in crontab, or running it from the command line.  Even if
this isn't your kind of thing, Nautilus can do the backups without any
problem and without you touching a command line. 

- -- 
Kenneth P. Turvey <kt-usenet at>

XMPP  IM: kpturvey at
Yahoo IM: kpturvey2
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