root vs user. installing firefox

Ralph Porter rportermail at
Sat Dec 20 13:09:35 PST 2008

On 12/20/08, Simon Geard <delgarde at> wrote:
> On Fri, 2008-12-19 at 23:26 -0600, Ralph Porter wrote:
>> Why the "golden rule" of not working as root?
>> In the mainframe world we control access with a security package.
>> This keeps most users from hurting themselves.  I've always have had
>> unlimited access (aka root) and never burned myself.  Maybe linux is
>> not as forgiving?
> It's just a matter of minimizing accidents, since the worst thing you
> can do as an unprivileged user is delete the files owned by that user.
> Whereas a mistake as root could delete the files owned by *all* users,
> and leave you with a non-booting system. So, why risk running with
> permissions to do the latter except when you actually need to?
> That said, I don't always follow that advice - my scripted builds run
> entirely as root, since having a script acquire root permissions partway
> through is a pain. But yeah, it comes down to that the less time spent
> running with maximum permissions, the more chance of a serious accident
> with them.
> Simon.
Thank you sir, good reasoning

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