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What's wrong with always being root?

The very first rule I've been taught about Linux is never to use root as your main user and I was wondering why

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marked as duplicate by womble, Tom O'Connor, HopelessN00b, dunxd, Iain Aug 7 '12 at 11:08

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Why voting the question down? Isn't it the place to ask what you don't know? –  Itai Ganot Aug 7 '12 at 13:17

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Because root is the superuser. As root you can do anything, as such it is easy for you or someone to kill your system.

A quick search could have saved this

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Because if you make a small mistake as a non-root user, there won't be any extremely fatal outcomes like:

  • deleted /
  • move of binaries
  • deletion of special folders

Whilst you can make the mistakes with sudo, often you will think twice before issuing a command as you need to enter your password.

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Because if you type the wrong thing in as root, it can have disasterous consequences:

rm -rf .. /    # ONOES!  A SPACE!
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The downfall of Windows security has always been users logging in with Administrator privileges. UNIX equivalents have always had better security because it does not allow root to log in as a normal user. If you need to do something, you run that with escalated privileges (sudo or su) and then you go back to a normal user.

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