moko running everything as root

Kevin Dean kevin at
Sun Jun 15 18:55:32 CEST 2008

On Sat, Jun 14, 2008 at 4:25 AM, arne anka <openmoko at> wrote:
>> will tell you that having those kind of permissions systems when the
>> INTRUDER has physical access to the device is next to pointless.
> the om is connected via wlan or bluetooth -- thus allowing hacking into it
> (if it is not posiible right now it will some day).
> thus the user does not necessarily notice if there's an intruder.
> second: what ways to boot the om _without_ destroying all data? if you
> need to hack the password for the root account to be able to manipulate
> existing data, there's another fence to jump.
>> What benefit does havign things like OPKG SUID give us that having
>> opkg run as root doesn't?
> only opkg is run, not everything possible.
> logging in as root opens a world of ways to harm your data, either by
> accident or deliberately.
> expoliting suid requires a bug in the program suid'd.
>> User "John" running sudo rm -rf /* is better than root running "rm -rf
>> /*" because...?
> see above.
> you can configure which commands/programs may be run with sudo.
> and user john is not every user -- a user able to run sudo needs to belong
> to a specific group, configurable as well.
>> If you want security, unprivaledges users must NOT
>> EVER be able to run privaledged commands.
> see above.
>> have various roles. This assumption doesn't exactly hold when the
>> entire filesystem is small enough to be put in one's pocket.
> the om represents a device more powerfull than the computer linux was
> developed on.
> i am not sure i understand you correctly, but for me it sounds like you
> saying user/group separation is meaningfull for servers only (and only
> because physical access can be prevented), for end user computers, laptops
> specifically, it is a waste.
> if so, you are pretty much alone with this understanding.
> what bothers me: as far as i understand the vast majority of applications
> is ported from existing linux distributions or just recompiled -- so, why
> would one disable the user/group principle the apps obey on their native
> platform?
> ubuntu for one works rather well with that wheel/sudo way and even on
> non-ubuntu systems users are able "to run a lot of root applications such
> as rdate, power off, opkg, etc." w/o beeing root all the time.
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