Neo security: running everything as root, and lacking a root password (was: Re: root)

Michael Shiloh michael at
Fri Jan 11 00:53:45 CET 2008

Hi Brandon,

(I encourage everyone to use meaningful subject lines)

I suspect the real reason was that it was the easiest and quickest thing 
to do at the time, and allowed the developers to focus on more pressing 
issues, like getting the rest of the system working.

I'm sure this will change in the future to a more secure system, and I 
welcome all the ideas that have been suggested of what that might look 
like. I'm pretty sure there is a wiki page where that's been started 
already. If not, anyone is welcome to create one and to post these ideas 


Brandon Kruse wrote:
> I cannot speak for them, but look at your market place.
> Not secure servers but mobile telephony.
> The phone is as secure as you make it, and they have faith in the 
> programs that are on there.
> Heck you could even make a security package to lock it down a little for 
> those who want something extra.
> Anyone else?
> --------------------------------
> Brandon
> On Jan 10, 2008, at 4:30 PM, Denis <shulyaka at> wrote:
>> So why did OpenMoko developers decided to run everything as root?
>> 2008/1/11, Brandon Kruse <admteamkruz at>:
>>> Good luck easily hacking over a GPRS connection. Make your password
>>> longer than 6 characters, a ban after retry attempts, take it off port
>>> 22 and that will save 95% of attacks from script kiddies. (everything
>>> I listed is controllable on sshd_config, I believe)
>>> Just imho it helps, opinion and experience :)
>>> But overall, I agree, but your privileges are only as safe as your
>>> software.
>>> (eg when you run a socket based process as root, you trust it.)
>>> However, you make a good point :)
>>> Kde and gnome take that precaution with gtk based Sudo when you login
>>> as a normal user (at least in debian/ubuntu) and I like that method.
>>> --------------------------------
>>> Brandon
>>> On Jan 10, 2008, at 3:43 PM, Denis <shulyaka at> wrote:
>>>> But as far as I understand it's not secure, esp. for a device with
>>>> wi-fi, bluetooth, gprs and running ssh daemon! Linux gives us a great
>>>> power of user privilegies management but we waste it. Woldn't it be
>>>> better to run everything as an unprivileged user, or at least ask for
>>>> password at first run time?
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