root password?

Joachim Schrod jschrod at
Wed Feb 6 13:59:28 UTC 2008

Derek Broughton wrote:
> Pete Clapham wrote:
>> Uh --  one can get used to the fact that the prompt is different  :-)
> But that's exactly the problem.  People _do_ get used to it, and stop
> noticing.  Less of a problem if you explicitly make root and user prompts
> very different, but still people fail to remember they're root.  

I also prefer a root shell for extended admin work. For that,
I have my own xterms which have a different background color. That 
is a prominent reminder that something is different here, much more 
so than any prompt change.

I do this since I got a color monitor, ca. 1992, when I compiled 
and started to use the then-fresh X11 R6 for our SunOS 4 boxes. 
Since I use a window manager with virtual desktops (i.e., since the 
age of tvwm, the precursor of fvwm), I also have an own desktop 
room for just admin work (of course, also with a special 
background); so it is a conscious decision to go there and start 
this kind of work.

And still, after all these years, I find this arrangement of 
delibarate decisions to move to an own visual space and 
accompanying visual clues better than blindly adding sudo in front 
of all root commands.

But maybe that's because I'm an old Unix greybeard (literally :-).


Joachim Schrod				Email: jschrod at
Roedermark, Germany

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