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Why is it bad to run commands as root user?
in Computer Science by Diamond (51,000 points) | 30 views

1 Answer

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Running (everything) as root is bad because:

  • Stupidity: nothing prevents you from making a careless mistake. If you try to change the system in any potentially harmful way, you need to use sudo, which ensures a pause (while you're entering the password) to ensure that you aren't about to make a mistake.

  • Security: harder to hack if you don't know the admin user's login account. root means you already have one half of the working set of admin credentials.

  • You don't really need it: if you need to run several commands as root, and you're annoyed by having to enter your password several times when sudo has expired, all you need to do is sudo -i and you are now root. Want to run some commands using pipes? Then use sudo sh -c "command1 | command2".

  • You can always use it in the recovery console: the recovery console allows you to recover from a major mistake, or fix a problem caused by an app (which you still had to run as sudo). Ubuntu doesn't have a password for the root account in this case, but you can search online for changing that - this will make it harder for anyone that has physical access to your box to be able to do harm.

by Diamond (51,000 points)

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