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 How to

Please do not change root's shell. You will only end up having
more problems. If you want to use ksh, simply type: ksh
after login in. Do not change roots default shell.

you have been warned.


 Sat, 11 Oct 2003 21:14:51 GMT   
 How to

For normal users, you can change the default shell by editing the /etc/passwd
file with the "vipw" command.

As a novice UNIX user, you do not want to change root's shell until you find
out the pros and cons behind doing it.

Some cons:
1. If you mess up when you change the shell, you render the root account
useless. You need to be root to fix it, but you can't become root because you
gave root an invalid shell. Kind of a catch-22 situation. This is BAD on a
production system, because you have to take the system down and boot from
CDROM to recover from your mistake. On a personal/test system, it's a learning
2. /sbin/sh is a statically linked shell, meaning it does not require
supporting files from /usr/lib to run properly. If you were to accidentally
delete files in /usr/lib, or if they somehow became corrupted, you could still
log in as root to recover from the problem.
3. You don't see police officers on patrol with guns drawn and hammers{*filter*}ed,
pointing them at every person they see. Even the most careful officer is going
to accidentally shoot someone eventually, and an untrained, clueless, rookie
officer will probably ventilate the first person he sees. Running as root is
the UNIX equivalent of doing that. You should only run as root when absolutely
necessary. I highly suggest the use of sudo, which gives you logging
capability, and leaves you at a normal user prompt where you're less likely to
destroy the system.
4. The root account is completely dependency-free from the factory. There are
often times where a dependency, such as access to an NFS mount on a dead
server, will cause a session to lock up. You always want to be able to log in
as root on the console to recover from unexpected problems. Keeping root's
account as simple and OEM as possible maximizes your chances to log in
successfully in an emergency situation.

 Sat, 11 Oct 2003 22:35:37 GMT   
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