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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 12, 2006
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    135
    best practice for admin accounts?
    I know about the root account in most flavors of unix/linux and I follow the preaching to use a normal user account for every-day things and to use root only when needed.

    I know OS X is built on unix and that root is disabled.

    Is it best (or common practice at least) to follow the same example and have an admin account for use only when needed or do most primary users use an admin account 100% of the time?

    I read an article that said to do the old-fashioned thing (admin account for only when needed). Whad do you guys and gals do?

  2. #2

    deus_ex_machina's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 06, 2004
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    Specs:
    2GHz Mac Mini 2GB RAM 160GB 10.6.2 | MDD DP 1.25GHz G4 1.5GB RAM 10.4.11 | 233MHz iMac G3 10.3.9
    the user is set to just admin as a safeguard for the user. Root can seriously mess up the machine if you're not careful. I guess Apple is trying to avoid bonehead mistakes on the user's part. I enabled root user probably twice with this computer to do some networking things but I use regular admin 99% of the time. I don't see a need to delve into that access most of the time. Primarily because I let other people use my computer and I'd be devastated if someone accidentally screwed something up because I left it on root. It depends on how often you really dig into your computer's inner workings. Just my $.02 :p

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jul 12, 2006
    Posts
    135
    Oh, I know....I have no intention of enabling root. I was just pointing out that on normal unix systems, one uses root to do admin stuff and uses a normal account for everything else. I was transferring that concept to the Mac...using an admin account (ignoring root all together) for admin stuff and a normal account for day-to-day stuff. Is that the norm or do most people just use an admin account for everything out of convenience?

  4. #4

    deus_ex_machina's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 06, 2004
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    Tejas
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    Specs:
    2GHz Mac Mini 2GB RAM 160GB 10.6.2 | MDD DP 1.25GHz G4 1.5GB RAM 10.4.11 | 233MHz iMac G3 10.3.9
    I use admin day to day - thing is "admin" is not the end all user - you still have to enter passwords and there are still a few restrictions. I have a few guest accounts but no one every logs in on one, they just use my admin. Root is NEVER enabled when I'm not in control. I see what you're saying now. I think most use admin because that's what you get right off the bat

    Edit: Unless the owner has kids, they might make restrictive accounts for them.

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    I don't suggest running as Admin day-to-day. In day-to-day use, a Normal user shouldn't have any problems. Even system administration and software installation can be performed from a Normal account by "authenticating" temporarily with an Admin account.

    Running as Normal doesn't dramatically increase security, but it enforces the proper "way of thinking" as far as the delegation of powers between users. Especially when a computer is shared between several people.

    The NSA has a guide for securing Mac OS X (http://www.nsa.gov/snac/downloads_macX.cfm) which is the definitive word on "best practices" for security. It's probably overkill for most people.

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