new to ubuntu; have a few questions

Mark mark.erling at
Thu Nov 9 18:07:19 UTC 2006

On 11/9/06, Dwain Alford <dwain.alford at> wrote:
> On 11/9/06, Eamonn Sullivan <eamonn.sullivan at> wrote:
> >
> > You can make yourself root in any terminal window by typing:
> >
> > sudo -i
> >
> > And then entering your own password. Be careful with this, however.
> > It's easy to make a (irreversible) mistake.
> >
> >
> as a "former" windows user i enjoyed admin privileges to do what i needed
> to do with the computer.  this is what i want to do.  this command will do
> it for me?  before i do this, would you please explain what the irreversible
> mistake is?

In my opinion, this is more of a perceived difference between systems than
an actual one. "Root" and "admin" don't really give you more power, I don't
think, than you had in any other OS.  In Windows, DOS, and Mac, you could do
"irreversible" things like delete all your files or reformat your hard
drive, but the user interfaces were designed with safeguards to prevent you
from doing that or to get you to understand or confirm what it was you
really wanted to do.  The Unix command line isn't as forgiving, and my
understanding is that the system assumes that if you are logged in as Root,
you must really be very tech savvy and know exactly what it is you're doing.

(Caveat:  I'm a newbie; I just installed Xubuntu on an old Pentium II PC the
other day -- so far so good.)
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