why do i need to reauthenticate as root if i'm logged in as root already?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by D. Fox, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. D. Fox

    D. Fox Guest

    Question for OS X gurus...just curious, and I'm sure there probably is
    a good reason for this, but I can't think of one...recently I was
    installing some software on some of our lab macs, and I was logged in
    as root at the time. Upon launching the installer, I was prompted to
    authenticate myself as someone with the appropriate privileges....even
    though I was already logged in as root? Why? I simply re-entered my
    root password and was able to complete the install, but this seems to
    be a redundant step. Is there a reason why root would need to
    reauthenticate, simply to install software on the local machine?

    D. Fox, Sep 4, 2003
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  2. D. Fox

    James Meiss Guest

    Okay, so this brings up another question: Can an installer put things in
    protected folders when you are logged in as an admin say (or perhaps
    root) without being authenticated? E.g. is the authentication just up to
    the installer, or is it required by the OS?
    James Meiss, Sep 4, 2003
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  3. Yes.

    When someone creates an installer, they can choose whether to require
    authentication. In general, if someone's logged in as root, then the
    installer can put any file anywhere without additional authentication.
    However from the point of view of the person creating the installer,
    it's a really bad idea to make any assumptions about what privileges are
    available. So if the installer is going to affect privileged locations,
    it's going to ask you to authenticate.
    Tom Harrington, Sep 4, 2003
  4. D. Fox

    tristero Guest

    To prevent someone who's not you from installing software when you go
    to the restroom and forget to lock the screen (and the door). Pretty
    basic security stuff really.
    tristero, Sep 4, 2003
  5. D. Fox

    Peter KERR Guest

    Hmmm, I remember thinking how cute, must've back about 10.1.x
    I had logged in as root (wasn't up to speed with su, sudo ;-)
    and an Installer just flicked thru, it knew I was root.

    Mebbe they've tightened up on that one...
    Peter KERR, Sep 4, 2003
  6. D. Fox

    Simon Slavin Guest

    Because Mac OS X doesn't think you're logged-in as root.
    Because you can't log in to the GUI as root unless you do
    some very weird things. And if you're clever enough to
    know these weird things, you're assumed to be clever
    enough to think through the implications of what you're

    Mac OS X is not intended to have a root user logged-in.
    Stop doing that and your problems will go away. The root
    user is too powerful to use casually.
    Simon Slavin, Sep 7, 2003
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