6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 17, 2009 1:07 AM by foxofinfinety
J_EXILE Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm learning C on my Mac and I need to create folders for my C program files.
It says that I should not be logged in as the root account since it is a security risk, so does this mean that I need to create another user account on my Mac and use that instead of the main admin account? If I just ignore this warning, will it cause problems on my Mac?
Thank you in advance,
J

From "C for Dummies" -
------------------------------------------------------------
Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, or Unix: To create a folder for your C program
ming projects, obey these steps:

1. If you’re using a graphical shell, open a terminal window. You need to
get at the command prompt.

The terminal window should open into your account’s home directory. If
you aren’t in your home directory, type the cd command to return there.

Ensure that you’re not logged in as the root account; creating programs
as the root user is a security risk.
--------------------------------------------------------

Mac Mini 2009 (2GHz/4GB), Mac OS X (10.5.8), 20" Apple Cinema Display, iPhone 3G
  • macwiz1220 Level 4 Level 4 (1,940 points)
    Are you using the root account everyday? If so, make a new account.

    It says that I should not be logged in as the root account since it is a security risk, so does this mean that I need to create another user account on my Mac and use that instead of the main admin account? If I just ignore this warning, will it cause problems on my Mac?

    Root is the system account that OS X uses and should never be used by anyone but the system. The account has absolutely no restrictions and can thus be very dangerous (there are huge security risks that come with using the account).

    Ensure that you’re not logged in as the root account; creating programs

    as the root user is a security risk.
    If you are not actually logged in as root, you can simply ignore that warning. It's just a precaution the instructions give you.
  • J_EXILE Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    thanks for your reply,
    i don't think i'm using root account because this is the first time i've ever heard of it and i'm just a casual user. Since i am an admin on my computer does this mean I'm automatically logged in as a root user? if that's the case, should i just create a new user account and use that instead just to be on the safe side? all this is new to me and somewhat intimidating....
    thanks
  • macwiz1220 Level 4 Level 4 (1,940 points)
    J_EXILE wrote:
    thanks for your reply,
    i don't think i'm using root account because this is the first time i've ever heard of it and i'm just a casual user. Since i am an admin on my computer does this mean I'm automatically logged in as a root user?


    No, unless you specifically enabled the root account, and you enter "root" into the login screen as the username, you are not running root.

    if that's the case, should i just create a new user account and use that instead just to be on the safe side? all this is new to me and somewhat intimidating....


    A normal admin account is perfectly fine to use for what you are doing. Just stick with your current account.

    thanks
  • Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,790 points)
    The major difference between a standard user and an admin user is that an admin can be "promoted" to have the same privileges as root for a specific task (ie: changing a system setting). Standard users cannot do this, and the root user does not need authentication to do this.
  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (62,195 points)
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1528 and the Help files searching for root user will go a long way to describing it.
  • foxofinfinety Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    though it may not be needed anymore,
    I'd like to shed some light on what ROOT precisely is:

    ROOT or root, is a Unix system administrative account,
    meaning, it can do anything, but then really anything,
    when logged in as ROOT you can even damage the system if you like,
    by, for example, deleting or modifying a system file,
    though you may not want to, you will have the privileges to do so.

    any Unix system has a ROOT account
    (that's to say, besides Mac OS X; Linux, BSD and Darwin (and several others) also have a ROOT account)

    the reason you should not login as ROOT is simple:
    any virus has the same privileges as the currently logged in account,
    so, if you login as ROOT, a virus can do anything with your computer,
    if you are logged in with a other admin account, a virus can't do anything
    since you need a password for administrative features