[PlanetCCRMA] Running as ROOT

Bill Polhemus bill@polhemus.cc
Sat Jan 6 10:38:01 2007

This will no doubt seem silly to most, but I have always been inclined 
to run as "root" when using Linux. It just seems like I always end up 
wasting so much time with "workarounds" when I run as a non-root user 
that I can't seem to justify doing it any other way.

I have been roundly impugned many times over when having this discussion 
on Linux forums, but no one can ever really give me a good reason to run 
as non-"root" other than "you're going to hit the wrong button and screw 
up your system!" (Sort of analogous to "you'll shoot your eye out, kid.")

In the ten years since I began playing around with Linux - gradually 
becoming a fairly knowledgeable Linux Sysadmin as I have been running a 
Linux server now for more than six years - I have NEVER had any problems 
logging on and using the system as the "root" user, either CLI (as I'm 
prone to do, being an old-fashioned nerd) or with GNOME/KDE (I swing 
both ways).

Of course, the PlanetCCRMA system is something of a different animal, a 
true workstation rather than a server that's humming along quietly in 
the background, so there may be more occasion to really screw things up. 
I know that the PlanetCCRMA kernel has been built specifically to allow 
low-latency and improved pre-emptiveness when running as a non-root 
user, and this is consistent with the Conventional Wisdom as constitutes 
good Linux user practice, but I'm wondering (again, STILL) what the 
downside is to running as "root."

Comments very welcome, but PLEASE no flames. I respond far better to 
real information than to imperiousness.