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Retraction: Five *nix Myths Busted

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Linux

To you, my loyal readers, I must offer up a sincere apology for my recent post, Five *nix Myths Busted, and am posting this full retraction for that post. To fully drive home my retraction and refute any myths about my competence with Linux or Unix, I am going to go through each point that I made in that errant post and recant it.

5. Logging in as Root - You should never login as root to a *nix system. Never. In fact, you should never login as yourself and then su to root. By becoming root, you're putting yourself and your system at undue risk and you don't want to make any mistakes as root, since a mistake as root might prove unfixable. Use sudo exclusively. Always use sudo to issue any commands as the root user.

4. su is SuperUser - su means Super User. I thought everyone knew that. My CentOS 5.x system (RHEL 5.x) falsely reports that su is substitute user--but what the heck does Red Hat know about *nix? There are two types of users on a *nix system: common users and the super user. The super user is 'super' because it has the ability to do anything on the system including removing any file or directory. The super user, sometimes known as the root user, gets its power from its user and group ID, which is 0. On some systems, the super user has a group ID of 1 (other) but will always have the user ID of 0. If you give any user a user ID of 0, it becomes super user too, so don't do that.

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