Running as root ( was Re: Change Permissions (snip)..Problem Solved )

Peter Garrett peter.garrett at
Wed Jan 10 02:38:29 UTC 2007

On Tue, 09 Jan 2007 21:56:32 -0400
Derek Broughton <news at> wrote:

> Peter Garrett wrote:
> > More simply, it is incredibly easy to make a 
> > mistake dragging and dropping stuff around, for example - say you
> > accidentally moved your /etc/ directory to your /home directory....
> > don't laugh, stranger things have happened ;)
> I wouldn't laugh, but ime it's easier to make fatal errors in the CLI than
> in the GUI.  So you drag /etc to /home/$USER.  Big deal, you drag it back.

I was thinking of the following scenario:- 

You drag /etc to /home , but you don't notice... You reboot.. oops!

> You delete it: you pull it out of the trash can.  You _really_ delete it: 
> oops :-)  What you can't do is the sort of thing I mentioned, where
> accidentally getting a space in the command line creates a totally
> different command.

True. Either way, I guess the main thing is to be conscious of the fact
that you are doing something  _as_root_ . It only takes one major disaster
to make one aware of this. I once typed as root.....  never mind, too
embarrassing ;-)

> Which, yet again, doesn't mean I support the use of a KDE/Gnome desktop as
> root - though I _do_ still have a "Konqueror as Root" menu option (I'm
> pretty sure Ubuntu had this until Breezy, Debian certainly had it, and I
> missed it).

A few years ago when I was starting with Linux I ran Mandrake  for a while
- if you logged in to KDE as root, you got a brilliant fire-engine red
desktop background, and a warning that you were doing something
dangerous :-) 

I think perhaps that is a bit too much hand-holding though .


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