[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Root's shell

Kit Halsted <kit_(_at_)_kithalsted_(_dot_)_com> writes:

> I have a couple of questions about changing root's shell:

> First of all, is this a Bad Idea?

On old commercial Unices this could put you in a world of hurt.
Occasionally some critical system start-up script depended on
idiosyncrasies of that particular shell.

Even if it seemed to work at the time, you never knew when a third
party package would come along and ops people lose a day or two
tracking down a bad install to your root shell "improvement".

IMO many of today's free OSes have much better quality of startup
scripts than older commercial ones, so changing root's shell carries
less risk of serious trouble. Also they are more likely on personal
systems where you only hurt yourself and part of the reason for doing
any of it is to learn what happens when you turn some knob in the
system and see what happens.

On FreeBSD there is the "toor" alias for root in the default install
which has root's uid/gid but potentially a different login shell. Sudo
gives much of the same function, though, and feels more like the
right tool to get the benefits of one's preferred shell with root

> I've installed tcsh & edited /etc/passwd so that the entries for
> both root and my regular user account point to tcsh as the default
> shell. My regular account defaults to tcsh, but root does not. I
> also changed the identifier part of root's entry to not be Charlie
> ROOT any more, but that doesn't seem to have worked either. If
> anyone feels like cluing me in, I'd appreciate it.

No holy war intended but I never developed a liking for anything in
the csh family.