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Re: F10 and no root login - impossible to maintain systems!

On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 03:49:09PM +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> Benjamin LaHaise wrote:
> >On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 08:29:33AM +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> >>You can at run level 3. You can even start X after that.
> >
> >You're assuming all users of a system are technical.  That is not the case.
> Non technical users shouldn't be logging in as root and more so X. They 
> should be either launching graphical programs that ask for a password or 
> use su - or sudo. It an potentially be made easier by giving them a 
> "administrator shell" or something like that in the menu which launches 
> the terminal and asks for a root/sudo password but it would be better to 
> understand why it is ever needed and solve that issue in a perhaps more 
> elegant way.

And how do you propose that a user login to fix a problem when they call 
tech support saying "I get a blank screen when I login"?   I'm curious, 
because these are real world cases where the GUI login fails.  By disallowing 
root logins, there is no way to fix that short of rebooting the system to 
even narrow down what the problem is.  Even then, with F10 using a 0 second 
wait at the grub prompt, it's almost impossible to catch grub in time to 
specify the runlevel or init=/bin/sh.

> What are the specific use cases, where non technical users are being 
> compelled to login as root (and other alternatives won't work)?

Systems break, and administrators need to fix them.  There are plenty of 
non-technical business users who have local technical users who maintain 
the systems.  Making life harder for these people when systems break is 
just plain stupid.


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