From: Axel Kohlmeyer (
Date: Fri Jan 08 2010 - 10:35:48 CST

On Fri, 2010-01-08 at 13:14 -0300, Ocar Campos wrote:

> well but, making mistakes is the best way to learn things :P,

yes, but you can make the _same_ mistakes as a user
and in that case you only mess up your own account.

granted, for people being the only user on a machine,
there is not much of a change, but bad habits are hard
to break, so it is best to make it a habit to be safe.

> everytime

> I mess up my machine I end up learning A LOT of things when fixing
> it... at least for me works that way, if people continue being afraid
> of using root they will never progress in linux, from my point of

i disagree with this. you _should_ be afraid when using root.
if you get too used to it, you become careless. thus it is a
good thing to try to stay careful. if you have to reinstall a
machine because of a simple typo you will lose a lot of time,
if the machine is also used by others, you will take away
productive time from them, too.

the proliferation of using root for everything can easily be
seen by people that use ubuntu or macos. some (new) users now
believe that when a compilation of a software that uses a
makefile fails, the cure is to put "sudo" in front of the make.
in fact they tend to use sudo with everything when it does work
the first time or out of principle. the result is a lot of
confusion since the real problem is not solved.

> view, but it is my point of view... maybe you are right and people
> with no experience shouldn't play with the superuser...

one has to see these restrictions in a constructive way.
you can use them to reduce the damage from mistakes. there
will always be mistakes, so if you use the superuser account
as little as possible, your mistakes will make less damage.

or you can look at it differently: do you want the problems
of DOS and windows 3.x/95/98 come back again? ;)


> anyway
> cheers!
> O'car Campos C.
> Bioinformatics Engineering Student.
> University of Talca.
> Chile.

Dr. Axel Kohlmeyer 
Institute for Computational Molecular Science
College of Science and Technology
Temple University, Philadelphia PA, USA.