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Re: [vox] SSH Login
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Re: [vox] SSH Login

> Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 10:48:14 -0800 (PST)
> From: Jeff Newmiller <jdnewmil@dcn.davis.ca.us>
> To: vox@lists.lugod.org
> Subject: Re: [vox] SSH Login
> Reply-To: vox@lists.lugod.org
> In general, giving users root power is risky business. I find it hard to
> believe you need users to install and remove kernel modules for any
> reason other than kernel development, and they should be on their
> own box.  But if you must, there is a convention:
>   Never log in as root... log in as a normal user and then use the
>   "su" command.
> This allows you to examine the logs to track who used root approximately
> when.

I don't even use `su` to get a root shell. I use `sudo tcsh`. This has 
several advantages:

* It doesn't change my $HOME, (it changes $PATH, $USER, $LOGNAME and
adds a few SUDO_ variables) so my user configuration files are used for
any programs I run, for example the shells themselves. This way, I don't
make stupid errors as root that would result from being unfamiliar with
the configuration. (For example, not having my rm="rm -i" shell alias
could be a serious problem.)

* I know for sure what shell I'm using as root, because I asked for it
when I switched to root.

* I don't have to know my root password (although I do know it). If
another user had the same kind of root access, he wouldn't have to know
the root password either.

Sudo gives no less logging when used this way than su does. Just note
that giving sudo access to someone to use a shell is essentially the
same as giving them sudo access to do absolutely anything (even if
you've only given them permission in /etc/sudoers to use just a few 
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