The consequences of root

Babies, and babies and more babies.

I’m actually referring to Linux and my continual abuse of root for tasks that don’t belong to root.

Recently, at work I’ve been working on a few minor tasks, however, because the system is locked down, I’ve ran into issues – for example, recently, I hit an issue with trying to copy files from one directory to another. They are owned by seperate users, and so I couldn’t read from one to the other.

On my own setup, I’d have already been root, because that’s how I’ve done things for the last several years. This abuse of the root login has the consequence that sure, I can piece software together, and get things to work, but take away the root login, and all of a sudden the security that was always bypassed gets in the way.

I’m progressively avoiding the root login altogether, and using one of my own, it’s easier to avoid since root is no longer allowed to login, but it’s still the permissions issues that will get in the way doing their job.

I’ve previously abused cron for much of my tasks, but a few weeks back when I wrote mysql_monitor, I wrote that and it is started using an init script, instead of cron.

I’ll keep at it, and hopefully it’s not so much of a huge issue to pick up on the issues that were always avoided using root.

I’m also lazy though, so will likely resort to using root when something gets difficult for the normal user. One thing I did learn is that the execute permission, is needed for other users to list a directory, nuts to that (execute a directory.. wtf?)

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