Very Basic User Admin Question - Help

This is a discussion on Very Basic User Admin Question - Help ; Hi, can someone either answer or point me in the right direction? Very basic, don't laugh! How do I modify my standard login user, 'paul' so that I can write to most any directory/file I want, as in installing software ...

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  1. Very Basic User Admin Question

    Hi, can someone either answer or point me in the right direction? Very
    basic, don't laugh!

    How do I modify my standard login user, 'paul' so that I can write to
    most any directory/file I want, as in installing software to different
    locations, etc.. I'm getting tired of logging in as root to do everything.

    A nice Linux primer on administration would be great. Thanks.

    Paul Singleton

  2. Re: Very Basic User Admin Question

    Paul Singleton wrote:

    > How do I modify my standard login user, 'paul' so that I can write to
    > most any directory/file I want, as in installing software to different
    > locations, etc..**


    .... "su"
    ..
    --
    << http://michaeljtobler.homelinux.com/ >>
    For those who like this sort of thing, this is
    the sort of thing they like. - Abraham Lincoln


  3. Re: Very Basic User Admin Question

    Thanks,

    I'm familiar with using 'su -- root' when I'm in a shell. However, how
    do I do this when just in X, using file manager, etc?

    Also, what I need is a short tutorial on how to give a specific user
    certain access levels. Is it groups? Does the USERID have anything to
    do with it?

    Thanks again.

    Paul

    mjt wrote:
    > Paul Singleton wrote:
    >
    >
    >>How do I modify my standard login user, 'paul' so that I can write to
    >>most any directory/file I want, as in installing software to different
    >>locations, etc..

    >
    >
    > ... "su"
    > .


  4. Re: Very Basic User Admin Question

    Paul Singleton sat down at the computer and pounded the following into the
    keyboard:

    > I'm familiar with using 'su -- root' when I'm in a shell. However, how do
    > I do this when just in X, using file manager, etc?


    su -c konqueror

    Seriously, it sounds like you want to be able to log in as root. Some
    distros allow this by default, some disable it. But it's a Bad Idea{tm}.
    Doing so allows yourself, and any programs you run, to completely trash
    the system (see Windows for examples).

    While you may consider yourself smart enough not to accidently knock the
    system off it's legs, the fact that you're asking how to do it implies
    otherwise. Furthermore, can you be sure that every program you run is
    bug-free and completely safe? Unless you're 100% positive that you'll
    never run a virus, trojan, malware, or just plain buggy software that
    unintentionally corrupts memory or files, you don't want your programs
    running with complete control over your system.

    What percentage of your time is spent installing programs or adjusting the
    /etc directory? Do you really want to give up security just to save
    yourself typing a command for that short a time?

    --
    \\\\\ ----> hedgehog@hedgie.com <----
    \\\\\\\__o Bringing hedgehogs to the common folk since 1994.
    __\\\\\\\'/__________________________________________________ ______

    Visit http://www.hedgie.com for information on my latest book,
    "Waiting for War," published by Aventine Press!


  5. Re: Very Basic User Admin Question

    Great! That's all I needed. I didn't realize that folks log out of X,
    and log back in as root (all the tim) to do stuff like that. You know,
    in Windows, we're constantly tweaking stuff, and if I had to log out and
    log back in every time so that I had the access I wanted, I'd get kinda
    pissed. Hmmm, similar to what I'm experiencing here..

    The deal is that I'm semi-new to Linux, installing different distros and
    immersing myself (trying) in Linux every 8 months or so, then I hit a
    wall, and decide I don't have time for it, and then quit.

    This time around I've gotten farther than I ever have, and I'm trying
    real hard to convert myself to Linux. I think I'm sticking with it this
    time.

    Anyway, my latest thing was to try and get my WLAN stuff working, and I
    had to modify a file here and there, and read logs, and I kept having to
    log in as root. SO ANYWAY, thanks for letting me ramble. I'll be
    happy with what has been suggested to me.

    You'll hear back from me on other stuff I'm sure..

    Thanks,

    Paul
    Jimmy Brokaw wrote:
    > Paul Singleton sat down at the computer and pounded the following into the
    > keyboard:
    >
    >
    >>I'm familiar with using 'su -- root' when I'm in a shell. However, how do
    >>I do this when just in X, using file manager, etc?

    >
    >
    > su -c konqueror
    >
    > Seriously, it sounds like you want to be able to log in as root. Some
    > distros allow this by default, some disable it. But it's a Bad Idea{tm}.
    > Doing so allows yourself, and any programs you run, to completely trash
    > the system (see Windows for examples).
    >
    > While you may consider yourself smart enough not to accidently knock the
    > system off it's legs, the fact that you're asking how to do it implies
    > otherwise. Furthermore, can you be sure that every program you run is
    > bug-free and completely safe? Unless you're 100% positive that you'll
    > never run a virus, trojan, malware, or just plain buggy software that
    > unintentionally corrupts memory or files, you don't want your programs
    > running with complete control over your system.
    >
    > What percentage of your time is spent installing programs or adjusting the
    > /etc directory? Do you really want to give up security just to save
    > yourself typing a command for that short a time?
    >


  6. Re: Very Basic User Admin Question

    Paul Singleton wrote:
    > Great! That's all I needed. I didn't realize that folks log out of X,
    > and log back in as root (all the tim) to do stuff like that.


    is this a typo, or did you _not_ understand?
    folks *don't* log out of X, and log back in as root.
    most folks *don't* log in as root _ever_.

    do what you can in a shell as 'su'. you can even launch your file
    manager of choice as 'su' to have root permissions and delete
    anything/everything your heart desires. most other system-level admin
    GUI tools should ask you for root password anyway.

    --
    Woolsey-Swanson Rule:
    People would rather live with a problem they cannot solve
    than accept a solution they cannot understand.

    remove '.eh' to email

  7. Re: Very Basic User Admin Question

    Yes, I understood. I do now anyway. After using su -c konquerer, I see
    it clearly.

    But back to my confusion: I'm using XMMS, I downloaded a Winamp skin, I
    find the Skins directory under /usr/share/xmms/skins but I can't copy
    the downloaded skin into that folder until I use 'su'

    Then once I'm not in Super User mode anymore, the skin won't work,
    BECAUSE IT WAS COPIED IN THERE UNDER SU!! Stuff like that is what gets
    me. I just need a primer. Thanks for your help.

    Paul

    johnny bobby bee wrote:
    > Paul Singleton wrote:
    >
    >> Great! That's all I needed. I didn't realize that folks log out of
    >> X, and log back in as root (all the tim) to do stuff like that.

    >
    >
    > is this a typo, or did you _not_ understand?
    > folks *don't* log out of X, and log back in as root.
    > most folks *don't* log in as root _ever_.
    >
    > do what you can in a shell as 'su'. you can even launch your file
    > manager of choice as 'su' to have root permissions and delete
    > anything/everything your heart desires. most other system-level admin
    > GUI tools should ask you for root password anyway.
    >


  8. Re: Very Basic User Admin Question

    Paul Singleton wrote:
    > But back to my confusion: I'm using XMMS, I downloaded a Winamp skin, I
    > find the Skins directory under /usr/share/xmms/skins but I can't copy
    > the downloaded skin into that folder until I use 'su'
    >
    > Then once I'm not in Super User mode anymore, the skin won't work,
    > BECAUSE IT WAS COPIED IN THERE UNDER SU!! Stuff like that is what gets
    > me. I just need a primer. Thanks for your help.


    From a terminal window (or outside X, from the commandline)
    type 'ls -l'.

    On my system, it looks like this:

    [kevin@dell5000e xmms]$ ls -l
    total 8
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 7972 Mar 4 2002
    wmxmms.xpm
    [kevin@dell5000e xmms]$

    (Word wrap there, sorry...)

    This means the owner has read/write permission, members of
    the group have read permission and world has read
    permission. The file is owned by 'root', with group
    permissions assigned to the group 'root'.

    You should make sure the files in this directory have
    similar permissions. As root (you can do this with su - )

    # cd /usr/share/xmms
    # chmod 644 *
    # chown root *
    # chgrp root *


    Now that you know the commands, please Read The Fine Manual,
    experiment and learn. But please do your experiments on
    truly temp files!! Like in your home directory, 'mkdir
    tmp;cd tmp' and cp some files or use cat > filename.txt to
    make them. (CTRL-C to end cat)


  9. Re: Very Basic User Admin Question

    Paul Singleton wrote in message news:...
    > Yes, I understood. I do now anyway. After using su -c konquerer, I see
    > it clearly.
    >
    > But back to my confusion: I'm using XMMS, I downloaded a Winamp skin, I
    > find the Skins directory under /usr/share/xmms/skins but I can't copy
    > the downloaded skin into that folder until I use 'su'
    >
    > Then once I'm not in Super User mode anymore, the skin won't work,
    > BECAUSE IT WAS COPIED IN THERE UNDER SU!! Stuff like that is what gets
    > me. I just need a primer. Thanks for your help.
    >
    > Paul


    Multi-user systems. Fun, aren't they? ) I'd advise taking a look
    through chapter 11 here...

    http://rute.sourceforge.net

    and also

    man chown
    man chmod
    man group

  10. Re: Very Basic User Admin Question

    Paul Singleton wrote:

    > Then once I'm not in Super User mode anymore, the skin won't work,
    > BECAUSE IT WAS COPIED IN THERE UNDER SU!! Stuff like that is what gets
    > me. I just need a primer. Thanks for your help.


    in addition to what others suggested.

    check under your home directory:
    /home/yourusername/.xmms/Skins

    you should be able to install skins to that directory as a normal user.

    other than that -- get yourself a good linux book.

    the o'reilly books are great:
    http://linux.oreilly.com/

    these 2 are great:
    Linux in a Nutshell
    Running LInux

    --
    Woolsey-Swanson Rule:
    People would rather live with a problem they cannot solve
    than accept a solution they cannot understand.

    remove '.eh' to email

  11. Re: Very Basic User Admin Question

    >
    > How do I modify my standard login user, 'paul' so that I can write to
    > most any directory/file I want, as in installing software to different
    > locations, etc.. I'm getting tired of logging in as root to do everything.
    >


    why would you want to do that ? The reason the root account is there
    is to allow a person to administer their system. If you really want
    your account paul to have all root privelages, open /etc/passwd in a
    text editor and change the user and group IDs for your paul account to
    0 (both). This is not the recommended way, but would work.

    HTH
    Sharninder

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