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Ubuntu 5.10 - Comments

Thursday 27th October 2005

Categories: Reviews, GNU/Linux, FLOSS

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6. Submitted by Psytra, Friday 28th October 2005

Actually ubuntu uses sudo, to do root commands you have to enter in your own account password. This method is actually a bit more secure in some aspects since you don't input the admin account, very helpful on computers that have multiple users. To get a root password though all you need to do is "sudo passwd root" then enter your account password then the password you want as root.

7. Submitted by Anonymous, Friday 28th October 2005

I doubt you have actually used this distro. Your comments about the first user having root access is completely untrue. The first user IS put in the admin group as you correctly stated (or ripped from some other review) but that doesn't give them any special abilities apart from being in the sudoers list.

8. Submitted by David Tansey, Friday 28th October 2005

You had a couple of misunderstandings presented in your review. I would appreciate it if you would update your article as it is inaccurate.

First, there is a root user, it just doesn't have a password. Does that mean anyone can use it? No. It means no one can use it. If you want to set a root password (so you can login as root) type `sudo passwd` and set it.

Second, the normal user does NOT have root privileges. The first user is simply set up to be allowed to use the command `sudo.` It is perfectly safe to use your first user when surfing the web, etc.

In fact, safety was the reason the Ubuntu developers decided to disable the root account -- some distributions (linspire and xandros, i think) DO run things as root. By disabling the root account Ubuntu disallows that kind of irresponsible and unsafe behavior in its default setup. Setting the first user up to use sudo (or gksudo) allows them to have access to administrative tools.

Finally, they do not mention the universe repository because that repository isn't supported. If you look at the documentation they provide that mentions the universe/multiverse repository most makes it clear that the packages in those repositories are not supported. This is important for a distribution that comes with extensive support.

Thank you for your review.

9. Submitted by Rob K., Friday 28th October 2005

Mac OS X uses a similar approach with the root account. The root account is NOT enabled by default. However, users that are "Administrators" (i.e. part of the Administrators Group) can install or remove software.

But even when logged in with an adminsitrator's account, Mac OS X will ask for your password each time before it will install software or do anything else that might be a security risk. Not a bad approach.

I don't know whether Ubuntu does the same thing. Does it ask you for your password every time just beore you want to install software (even if you are already logged in under the first Administrator Account)?

Any comments?


10. Submitted by Mike, free-bees.co.uk, Friday 28th October 2005

In response to #9:

Ubuntu asks you for your password the first time you try to use sudo, and then seems to remember the password for some time - according to the Ubuntu Wiki, this time period is fifteen minutes. Had this not being the case, then I would definately have pointed it out!