root password?

Derek Broughton news at
Wed Feb 6 14:37:44 UTC 2008

Joachim Schrod wrote:

> 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.

Yes, I do the same with websites I administer - I want to be damn sure I
realize when I'm making changes to the live site and not one of the test
> 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 :-).

I'm not sure how you can unconsciously add sudo to a command and be
surprised when it runs with root privilege...

Far more serious an issue with sudo would be the fact that I could create an
alias (or script) that invokes sudo and never think about it again - and
not necessarily get prompted for a password.

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