Home » Why do I have to use sudo for almost everything?

Why do I have to use sudo for almost everything?

Solutons:


You mentioned these system adminstration functions

managing packages, editing config files, installing a program from source

as things that

anything a regular user does

In a typical multiuser system these are not ordinary user actions; a systems administrator would worry about this. Ordinary users (not “under privileged”) can then use the system without worrying about its upkeep.

On a home system, yes, you end up having to administer the system as well as using it.

Is it really such a hardship to use sudo? Remember that if it’s just your system there’s no reason why you can’t either pop into a root shell (sudo -s – see this post for an overview of various means of getting a root shell) and/or configure sudo not to prompt for a password.

Sudo/Root is used whenever you are doing something that a standard user should not have the capability of doing for risk of damaging/changing the system configuration in a way that the Administrator of the system would not normally allow.

whether I’m managing packages, editing config files, installing a
program from source, or what have you.

All of those are technically admin functions, and can drastically damage your system if something incorrect is done. In a corporate environment, as a Sysadmin, they are things I would NOT let my user do without my express knowledge, hence sudo.

For example, if a package/config file could be modified without elevated privileges, then it would be extremely simple for an outside source to simply execute remote code that could break/compromise your system. By forcing those actions to require root access, it forces you as the user to make the decision on whether or not those actions take place.

It is very similar to UAC with windows, it is actually where windows got the idea for UAC.

The quote you receive the first time you use sudo is very fitting, and very important:

We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System
Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:

#1) Respect the privacy of others.
#2) Think before you type.
#3) With great power comes great responsibility.

Especially #2, Think before you type. That is an important reason sudo exists, when you type a command and it kicks back “must be root to perform this action” it forces you to stop and THINK about what you are actually doing.

Also, I’ve seen some people display commands that require sudo privileges without sudo. Do they have their system configured in such a way that sudo is not required?

You have to execute those commands as superuser, but you don’t have to execute them using sudo. You could for example instead use su or doas (OpenBSDs replacement for sudo), or you could simply login as root.

So if they display their commands here without sudo than they assume that the reader will just use his favorite way of executing those commands as superuser.
It most certainly doesn’t mean that they can execute those commands as a normal user.

Related Solutions

Joining bash arguments into single string with spaces

[*] I believe that this does what you want. It will put all the arguments in one string, separated by spaces, with single quotes around all: str="'$*'" $* produces all the scripts arguments separated by the first character of $IFS which, by default, is a space....

AddTransient, AddScoped and AddSingleton Services Differences

TL;DR Transient objects are always different; a new instance is provided to every controller and every service. Scoped objects are the same within a request, but different across different requests. Singleton objects are the same for every object and every...

How to download package not install it with apt-get command?

Use --download-only: sudo apt-get install --download-only pppoe This will download pppoe and any dependencies you need, and place them in /var/cache/apt/archives. That way a subsequent apt-get install pppoe will be able to complete without any extra downloads....

What defines the maximum size for a command single argument?

Answers Definitely not a bug. The parameter which defines the maximum size for one argument is MAX_ARG_STRLEN. There is no documentation for this parameter other than the comments in binfmts.h: /* * These are the maximum length and maximum number of strings...

Bulk rename, change prefix

I'd say the simplest it to just use the rename command which is common on many Linux distributions. There are two common versions of this command so check its man page to find which one you have: ## rename from Perl (common in Debian systems -- Ubuntu, Mint,...

Output from ls has newlines but displays on a single line. Why?

When you pipe the output, ls acts differently. This fact is hidden away in the info documentation: If standard output is a terminal, the output is in columns (sorted vertically) and control characters are output as question marks; otherwise, the output is...

mv: Move file only if destination does not exist

mv -vn file1 file2. This command will do what you want. You can skip -v if you want. -v makes it verbose - mv will tell you that it moved file if it moves it(useful, since there is possibility that file will not be moved) -n moves only if file2 does not exist....

Is it possible to store and query JSON in SQLite?

SQLite 3.9 introduced a new extension (JSON1) that allows you to easily work with JSON data . Also, it introduced support for indexes on expressions, which (in my understanding) should allow you to define indexes on your JSON data as well. PostgreSQL has some...

Combining tail && journalctl

You could use: journalctl -u service-name -f -f, --follow Show only the most recent journal entries, and continuously print new entries as they are appended to the journal. Here I've added "service-name" to distinguish this answer from others; you substitute...

how can shellshock be exploited over SSH?

One example where this can be exploited is on servers with an authorized_keys forced command. When adding an entry to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys, you can prefix the line with command="foo" to force foo to be run any time that ssh public key is used. With this...

Why doesn’t the tilde (~) expand inside double quotes?

The reason, because inside double quotes, tilde ~ has no special meaning, it's treated as literal. POSIX defines Double-Quotes as: Enclosing characters in double-quotes ( "" ) shall preserve the literal value of all characters within the double-quotes, with the...

What is GNU Info for?

GNU Info was designed to offer documentation that was comprehensive, hyperlinked, and possible to output to multiple formats. Man pages were available, and they were great at providing printed output. However, they were designed such that each man page had a...

Set systemd service to execute after fstab mount

a CIFS network location is mounted via /etc/fstab to /mnt/ on boot-up. No, it is not. Get this right, and the rest falls into place naturally. The mount is handled by a (generated) systemd mount unit that will be named something like mnt-wibble.mount. You can...

Merge two video clips into one, placing them next to each other

To be honest, using the accepted answer resulted in a lot of dropped frames for me. However, using the hstack filter_complex produced perfectly fluid output: ffmpeg -i left.mp4 -i right.mp4 -filter_complex hstack output.mp4 ffmpeg -i input1.mp4 -i input2.mp4...

How portable are /dev/stdin, /dev/stdout and /dev/stderr?

It's been available on Linux back into its prehistory. It is not POSIX, although many actual shells (including AT&T ksh and bash) will simulate it if it's not present in the OS; note that this simulation only works at the shell level (i.e. redirection or...

How can I increase the number of inodes in an ext4 filesystem?

It seems that you have a lot more files than normal expectation. I don't know whether there is a solution to change the inode table size dynamically. I'm afraid that you need to back-up your data, and create new filesystem, and restore your data. To create new...

Why doesn’t cp have a progress bar like wget?

The tradition in unix tools is to display messages only if something goes wrong. I think this is both for design and practical reasons. The design is intended to make it obvious when something goes wrong: you get an error message, and it's not drowned in...