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Muiltiple UID 0 - pros/cons and other unix superuser questions

Posted on 2008-10-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I have seen suggestions that there be two UID 0 users, in case someone tries to log into root too many times and the account gets disabled, or to be able to change the shell and other environment variables while keeping root pristine.

I've also seen suggestions that there should NEVER be another UID 0 user, and that sudo should be used.

At this point I want to be able to log in as a superuser, use ksh, and have a home directory other than /.

I've noted that if I have another superuser created, whenever I change the password root's password will also be changed. Is that correct?

What should I do?
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Question by:crcevans
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omarfarid earned 125 total points
ID: 22661518
Well creating another user with user id 0 (as root user id) is a lazy way of giving some one root priv. It would be better to use sudo for that purpose. It is not as on or off to have sh as the login shell for root (but you should be aware of security risks in changing it). Regarding home dir, I am not sure if changing the home dir for root in /etc/passwd will cause any problem, but it is simple to create an alias that will change dir when you login and set HOME env. variable for you.
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by:sjm_ee
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Q I've noted that if I have another superuser created, whenever I change the password root's password will also be changed. Is that correct?

A No. Separate entries in the shadow password file.
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by:crcevans
ID: 22669044
Omar, do you camp on EE during lunch, or what? You've touched just about all of my Unix questions...lol. Thanks for responding.

"home dir, I am not sure if changing the home dir for root in /etc/passwd will cause any problem, but it is simple to create an alias that will change dir when you login and set HOME env. variable for you."

The reason I want to change the home folder is that sendmail won't use my .forward until the folder it resides in doesn't have group wx permissions, so the alias won't help me. Any other input?
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by:omarfarid
ID: 22669444
In EE you can set zones to send you mail alerts for new questions, so I keep an eye on my mail box and when ever I get time I open new questions and try to answer :)

But the root home dir does not have wx perm by default for group.

what is the output of

ls -ld /
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by:crcevans
ID: 22669484
drwxrwxr-x  21 root       sys           8192 Oct  1 15:22 /
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by:omarfarid
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Why do you need rwx for the group on / dir? If not needed then change it to r-x
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by:Tintin
ID: 22682467
You can set the root user's home directory to any directory, but it is recommended that the directory is in the root filesystem.
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