moko running everything as root

Joerg Reisenweber joerg at
Sat Jun 14 04:10:06 CEST 2008

Am Sa  14. Juni 2008 schrieb Flemming Richter Mikkelsen:
> On 6/13/08, Robert Taylor <subscribers at> wrote:
> > Peter Nijs wrote:
> > >> no problems. what i don't want is people to get their hopes up. this 
was in
> > >> the context of people asking if they can play vga video and me 
going "good
> > >> luck!". there is reality - and you can sit and hack away spend lots of 
> > >> and get 1 case to work, and work well. as i said - it will depend on 
> > >> bitrate, quality etc. mpeg4 decode in hw is great - but remember it is 
> > >> limiting to just mp4 - all your mpeg1, ogg, etc. videos will not work. 
> > >> as long as mplayer is accessing glamo hardware it must run as root.
> > >> admittedly we run everything as root - but come the day when we 
> > >> this is trouble.
> > >>
> > >>
> > Hi.
> >
> > Can someone clear up for me why everything runs as root?  When I heard
> > the iPhone ran everything as root I kinda sneered at it but now I can't
> > be so smug.
> >
> > What are the engineering reasons for this?
> The reason is that the user normally wants to run a lot of root applications
> such as rdate, power off, opkg, etc. Of course this should be solved, but it
> should not be a top priority.

My opinion is averse. There's no valid reason to abandon the very simple 
concept of users, groups, and permissions, just to have an "easy start" on 
development (fixing apps later on is a PITA). If you don't care from 
beginning, you'll end up where Vista is right now. 
Where is the problem to chmod any file in /dev, /sys, etc. to do rdate, power 
off, opkg etc (ok, for opkg I myself would prefer to be asked for root pw). 
Or make apps SUID! Do we really have to repeat this annoyance yet *another* 
If the user *really* wants to run these apps in the way you assumed (being 
pissed off to relogin as root), why not use ageold mechanisms like sudoers, 
wheel etc? 

To me it seems this is an *extreme* inattentiveness of developers, even worse 
a ridiculous one.

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