Should the root account be disabled in Fedora 18?

In Linux and other UNIX-like computer operating systems, the root account is the administrator account. A user with root privileges can perform many tasks that a standard user account cannot. In current editions of Fedora 17, the idea of a disabled root account is a foreign one.

But come Fedora 18, the next stable release, the root account will be disabled by default. It is one of the many new features of Anaconda, the Fedora system installation program. That at least is what you see in the just released Fedora 18 Alpha.

In this screen shot, which from the main interface of Anaconda, you can see below the ROOT PASSWORD button, though not readily legible, a 4-word phrase that says, root account is disabled.
Fedora 18 Root Account

Clicking on the root account button in the previous image automatically enables it, provided you specify the password.
Fedora 18 Root Passwd

With the root account disabled, the user created during the installation process is assigned to the Administrators group by default. This, of course, gives this user all admin privileges.
Fedora 18 User Account

For visitors looking to get a site online this web hosting review site provides reviews of cheap, reliable hosting companies all of which operate in a Linux environment.

The thing that I do not understand is, why is it even necessary to disable the root account? Is there any disadvantage to having a system with the traditional root account enabled? I cannot think of any reasonable one, can you?

Related Posts

Disk encryption on Fedora 13 Disk encryption is one very important tool that you can use to enhance the physical security posture of our computer, and Fedora is the only distribut...
Early Easter present in Fedora 17 beta So Fedora 17 beta was supposed to have been released on April 3. Today is April 5 and we are still waiting. But that is the way it is with the Fedora ...
Fedora 15 LXDE review Fedora 15 LXDE is a Fedora 15 Spin, an alternate edition of Fedora, “tailored for various types of users via hand-picked application sets and other cu...
How to straighten out firewall configuration on Fedora 18 This is the latest article on Fedora. You may access all Fedora-related articles on its category page at http://linuxbsdos.com/category/fedora. Giv...
Fedora 23 Security Lab screenshots Fedora 23 Security Lab is Spin of Fedora, a Linux distribution sponsored by Red Hat. Fedora spins are editions of the popular Linux distribution t...
Dual-boot Fedora 18 and Windows 7, with full disk encryption configured on both OSs How to dual-boot Fedora 18 and Windows 7 with full disk encryption (FDE) configured on both operating systems stems from a request from K. Miller. The...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

ContainerizeThis 2016 is a free, 2-day conference for all things containers and big data. Featured, will be presentations and free, hands-on workshops. Learn more at ContainerizeThis.com

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


101 Comments

  1. Disabling root is just more security through obscurity. It doesn’t really make the system more secure — in fact by encouraging the proliferation of superuser accounts (via sudo) I would argue it makes the system marginally less secure. It’s an idea that sounds good at first but actually turns out to be one more complication in an already overly complex system. The real answer is better audit logging and, most importantly, changing the root password periodically (maybe even without advance warning). It is much more practical (and efficient) to keep track of password expiration and usage of one superuser account (root) across 100’s of machines machines than 20 or 30 on the same number, which is actually on the low side for the number of sysadmins who might need root privileges in many enterprise shops.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*