/root: Ya… that happened.

Posted on April 30, 2008

A frequent point of contention among sysadmins, the presence of a /root home directory for the root user is now settled by PSARC/2003/039 Alternate home directory for root user integrated into snv_87. Here is the new default passwd file, get used to it:

     1 root:x:0:0:Super-User:/root:/sbin/sh
      2 daemon:x:1:1::/:
      3 bin:x:2:2::/usr/bin:
      4 sys:x:3:3::/:
      5 adm:x:4:4:Admin:/var/adm:
      6 lp:x:71:8:Line Printer Admin:/usr/spool/lp:
      7 uucp:x:5:5:uucp Admin:/usr/lib/uucp:
      8 nuucp:x:9:9:uucp Admin:/var/spool/uucppublic:/usr/lib/uucp/uucico
      9 dladm:x:15:3:Datalink Admin:/:
     10 smmsp:x:25:25:SendMail Message Submission Program:/:
     11 listen:x:37:4:Network Admin:/usr/net/nls:
     12 gdm:x:50:50:GDM Reserved UID:/:
     13 mysql:x:70:70:MySQL Reserved UID:/:
     14 webservd:x:80:80:WebServer Reserved UID:/:
     15 postgres:x:90:90:PostgreSQL Reserved UID:/:/usr/bin/pfksh
     16 svctag:x:95:12:Service Tag UID:/:
     17 nobody:x:60001:60001:NFS Anonymous Access User:/:
     18 noaccess:x:60002:60002:No Access User:/:
     19 nobody4:x:65534:65534:SunOS 4.x NFS Anonymous Access User:/:

The default shell is still Borne, for now.

For anyone unfamiliar with the classic objection to the presence of /root, here’s the recap. The pro-/root argument is that the root user needs a place to dump files other than /export or /tmp, and the presence of dot directories (eg: /.ssh) don’t belong in the root (/) directory. The anti-/root argument is that the root user should not be doing these types of activities, rather a real user with RBAC (or sudo if you prefer) privs should be utilized for this purpose relegating the root user to basic system function and recovery only.

The reason for implementing this now is the flood of changes, many long debated, being integrated for the release of OpenSolaris (read: Indiana) on Monday (May 5th). If you don’t normally browse the per-build changelogs I recommend you take some time to catch up: Index of Nevada Build Updates. Bookmark it, remember, new builds every 2 weeks, keep an eye on those changelogs to stay up on the changing landscape of Solaris.