sudo and /etc/sudoers

Smoot Carl-Mitchell smoot at
Wed Dec 31 05:24:59 UTC 2008

On Tue, 2008-12-30 at 20:27 -0800, Ray Parrish wrote:

> You just jogged me out of my complacency with the uid 0 information 
> there. Tell me if there is a problem with the following information 
> gleaned from System Monitor.
> /usr/bin/ssh-agent /usr/bin/seahorse-agent --execute 
> x-session-manager    (this is the command line for ssh-agent)
> /usr/bin/X :0 -br -audit 0 -auth /var/lib/gdm:0,Xauth -nolisten tcp 
> vt7    (this is the command line for Xorg)
> watchdog/0   (I searched for this package in synaptic, and it claims 
> this isn't installed)
> /usr/bin/seahorse-agent --execute x-session-manager  (same as first 
> line, but without ssh running it)
> nautilus --no-default-window --sm-client-id default2   (I do not have 
> Nautilus running...why is this there?)
> migration/0  (what is this?)
> ksoftirqd/0  (don't know what this is either??)
> kondemand/0  (this one is another mystery to me...)
> kblockd/0  ( also don't know what this is)
> hald-addon-storage: polling /dev/sdc0 (every 16 secs)
> hald-addon-storage: polling /dev/sde (every 16 secs)
> hald-addon-storage: polling /dev/sdc (every 16 secs)
> hald-addon-storage: polling /dev/sdb (every 16 secs)
> hald-addon-storage: polling /dev/sdd (every 16 secs)  [why are my drives 
> being polled every 16 seconds?]
> gnome-panel ---sm-client-id default1 [I note that this client id differs 
> from the one shown for Nautilus above]
> I also have a getty process running on tty1 through tty6, should all of 
> those be running?
> dcopserver [kdeinit] --nosid --suicide   (what the heck is this?)

The above is all pretty normal.  The processes like migration/0 are
kernel processes which are created when the kernel is loaded.  The hald
polling looks like polling for insertable disk devices.

The getty processes are running on the virtual console ttys which are
accessible via Ctrl-Alt-F1-6. The getty processs is what produces the
login prompt on the virtual console ttys.  Not sure what dcopserver is.
Looks like a KDE process.
> Terminal command sudo fdisk -l report s the following for my drive which 
> is /dev/sda
>    Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
> /dev/sda1   *           1        5197    41744871    7  HPFS/NTFS
> /dev/sda2            5198       19457   114543450    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
> /dev/sda5            5198        7224    16281846    7  HPFS/NTFS
> /dev/sda6            7225       12992    46331428+  83  Linux
> /dev/sda7           12993       15529    20378421    7  HPFS/NTFS
> /dev/sda8           15530       16804    10241406    7  HPFS/NTFS
> /dev/sda9           16805       19457    21310191    7  HPFS/NTFS
> I don't know where it's getting the idea that sda2 is a win95 file 
> system as I've never had 95 on this machine, it came with Win XP home on it.

sda2 is the start of the extended DOS partition.  Note it overlaps
sda5-sda9.  Think of it as a container for sad5-sda9.
> There is no Linux swap shown, as I'm using a swap file, due to my 
> neglecting to have set up a swap partition during a re-install of Ubuntu.

Not a big issue, if you have enough memory.
> I'm aware that ssh is used for secure connections over a network, but 
> I'm on a standalone machine here, with only a DSL connection to the 
> Internet, so who's using ssh?

Nobody.  The ssh-agent process is used to cache any encrypted private
key credentials, so you do not have to type your SSH passphrase when
accessing any remote systems which ask you to authenticate with your
private key.
> I'm concerned because when I first started using Ubuntu it was very 
> snappy, with no delays when switching programs, and now it has developed 
> the habit of graying out whichever program I am changing to quite 
> frequently, which is beginning to annoy me mightily.

I see this behavior occasionally when my network connectivity gets a
little slow.

Smoot Carl-Mitchell
System/Network Architect
smoot at
+1 480 922 7313
cell: +1 602 421 9005

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