[mythtv-users] Running as root

chris at cpr.homelinux.net chris at cpr.homelinux.net
Fri Sep 29 06:54:52 UTC 2006

On Thu, Sep 28, 2006 at 03:12:20PM -0400, Michael Lynch wrote:
> I've got auto-login as root working on Slackware 10.2 with fluxbox.  I
> forget where I found the info, but here it is:
> =====Relevant sections of /etc/initab:=====
> # Default runlevel. (Do not set to 0 or 6)
> id:4:initdefault:
> x1:4:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc.xinit

Technically speaking, you're not actually doing an "auto-login as 
root".  What you're doing is bypassing the entire concept of logins 
and simply taking advantage of the fact that the init process 
already runs as root and therefore all child processes inherit root 
capabilities.  Normally the child process you interact with would 
be a login manager (like getty or xdm), and it would change the UID 
of the child shell after you authenticate.  Auto-login in that 
scenario means that the login manager skips the authentication 
stage and forks a child with a UID other than root.  Telling the 
getty/xdm program to "autologin as root" is disabled not just 
because of religion but also because it's a completely pointless 
exercise when someone with root access can simply change inittab as 
you have done.  The people who wrote those login programs know that 
a competent administrator can already bypass the authentication 
stage and start a root shell, and removing the "--autologin root" 
option simply prevents less competent people from taking careless 
security risks. 

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