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Re: [linux] To be root or not root: Which do you prefer and why: 'sudo' or 'su'

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  • ed
    ... The security is provided, by restricting what users can do with sudo. With su you re enabling the user to have a shell. With sudo you can permit certain
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 18, 2013
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      On Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 10:30:22PM +0200, Pascal Bernhard wrote:
      > Hi guys/girls,
      >
      > I'd be interested in your opinion of whether one should rather use the
      > 'sudo' command for doing administrative work on one's system or switch
      > to ROOT via 'su -'? I know this may be controversial stuff, and may
      > engender some 'flame wars', although I experienced this group as very
      > 'well-behaved'. :-p
      >
      > What I think about it: Personally I do not see any 'security' advantage
      > in using 'sudo', 'security' in this context meaning that you are less
      > likely to break your system by accident, because you actually do not
      > really know what you are doing (Happens to newbies quite regularly).

      The security is provided, by restricting what users can do with sudo.
      With su you're enabling the user to have a shell. With sudo you can
      permit certain commands to run as a given user rather than all commands
      as that user, if you see what I mean. The administrator can create
      wrappers that are executed as, lets say, a user who has write
      permissions to HTTP content, but not the HTTP server itself. You could
      then allow the user to have permissions to the HTTP server script too.
      Without giving them full root permissions.

      > That does not convince me, you can break your system being ROOT or via
      > 'sudo'. Granted, you get 'degraded' after a while not using 'sudo'
      > anymore, so after some time you may not execute admin commands anymore.
      > But, I would argue, you as a user are mentally still the regular user,
      > not the superuser you have become temporarily. So you just forget that
      > you have enhanced privileges and by accident do something you wanted to
      > do as the regular user, but actually executed with ROOT permissions.
      >
      > I use 'su -' and always use a different terminal profile (on the
      > graphical desktop) with a different background for admin stuff. A normal
      > terminal has a beige background, the ROOT terminal a blue one. Thus I'm
      > always reminded visually that all I'm doing, I'm doing as ROOT. I
      > believe this to be the better way to rescue the user from
      > herself/himself.

      That analogy would be towards having sudo permissions to the shells.

      > What are your thoughts on that? Different distributions recommend
      > different approaches: Ubuntu tells its users to use 'sudo', Sabayon and
      > Tails on the other hand say you should become ROOT in the first place.
      > So there seems to be no uniform take on this.

      I think there is great merit in taking the time to correctly configure
      sudoers. It shouldn't take that long, in theory.

      --
      Best regards,
      Ed http://www.s5h.net/
    • thad_floryan
      ... My observation over the past several decades is that that is never done. Consider the following which is doable on almost any distro: $ sudo bash {enter
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 18, 2013
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        --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, ed <ed@...> wrote:
        > [...]
        > The security is provided, by restricting what users can do with sudo.
        > With su you're enabling the user to have a shell. With sudo you can
        > permit certain commands to run as a given user rather than all commands
        > as that user, if you see what I mean. The administrator can create
        > wrappers that are executed as, lets say, a user who has write
        > permissions to HTTP content, but not the HTTP server itself. You could
        > then allow the user to have permissions to the HTTP server script too.
        > Without giving them full root permissions.
        > [...]

        My observation over the past several decades is that that is never done.

        Consider the following which is doable on almost any distro:

        $ sudo bash
        {enter user's login password)
        # id
        uid=0(root) gid=0(root)

        I'll post a longer reply including showing (again) my root program
        which corrects the major defects with "sudo", "su -", etc. after I
        fix and eat my lunch (it's almost 3PM here).

        Thad
      • Doug
        ... If you use PCLinuxOS, you will be advised in no uncertain terms that sudo is verboten! Tex says it comes from MOTB, which, if you look it up, means mouth
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 18, 2013
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          On 06/18/2013 04:30 PM, Pascal Bernhard wrote:
          > Hi guys/girls,
          >
          > I'd be interested in your opinion of whether one should rather use the
          > 'sudo' command for doing administrative work on one's system or switch
          > to ROOT via 'su -'? I know this may be controversial stuff, and may
          > engender some 'flame wars', although I experienced this group as very
          > 'well-behaved'. :-p
          >
          > What I think about it: Personally I do not see any 'security' advantage
          > in using 'sudo', 'security' in this context meaning that you are less
          > likely to break your system by accident, because you actually do not
          > really know what you are doing (Happens to newbies quite regularly).
          >
          > That does not convince me, you can break your system being ROOT or via
          > 'sudo'. Granted, you get 'degraded' after a while not using 'sudo'
          > anymore, so after some time you may not execute admin commands anymore.
          > But, I would argue, you as a user are mentally still the regular user,
          > not the superuser you have become temporarily. So you just forget that
          > you have enhanced privileges and by accident do something you wanted to
          > do as the regular user, but actually executed with ROOT permissions.
          >
          > I use 'su -' and always use a different terminal profile (on the
          > graphical desktop) with a different background for admin stuff. A normal
          > terminal has a beige background, the ROOT terminal a blue one. Thus I'm
          > always reminded visually that all I'm doing, I'm doing as ROOT. I
          > believe this to be the better way to rescue the user from
          > herself/himself.
          >
          > What are your thoughts on that? Different distributions recommend
          > different approaches: Ubuntu tells its users to use 'sudo', Sabayon and
          > Tails on the other hand say you should become ROOT in the first place.
          > So there seems to be no uniform take on this.
          >
          > Pascal
          >
          > --
          > --------------------------------
          > Pascal Bernhard
          > Berlin Linux User Group e.V.
          > Lehrter Str. 53
          > 10557 Berlin
          > http://www.belug.de/....


          If you use PCLinuxOS, you will be advised in no uncertain terms that
          sudo is verboten! Tex says it comes from MOTB, which, if you look it up,
          means "mouth of the beast"--the Devil, I suppose. Nevertheless you can
          get it and use it if you are stubborn. (I'm stubborn.) Since I am the
          only user of the machine, I am the root admin and the user, but
          I always run as a user unless I need to do something needing admin
          privileges. I think, myself, that sudo is a safer way to go--if you
          forget where you are, sudo will time out, and you will not be
          inadvertently in the root, ready to do unexpected damage. I frankly do
          not understand Tex's aversion to sudo. but that's just me. OTOH, I think
          the 'buntus use sudo for just about everything, and give just about
          everyone permissions. If there is more than one person using the
          machine, I think that's nuts!

          You asked--here's my 2ยข. --doug
        • thad_floryan
          ... Hi Pascal, In short, ALL of su , su - , su root , and sudo bash are defective which is why I had to write the root program over 20 years ago to do
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 18, 2013
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            --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, Pascal Bernhard <pascal.bernhard@...> wrote:
            > [...]
            > I'd be interested in your opinion of whether one should rather use
            > the 'sudo' command for doing administrative work on one's system or
            > switch to ROOT via 'su -'? I know this may be controversial stuff,
            > and may engender some 'flame wars', although I experienced this
            > group as very 'well-behaved'. :-p
            > [...]

            Hi Pascal,

            In short, ALL of "su", "su -", "su root", and "sudo bash" are defective
            which is why I had to write the root program over 20 years ago to do
            software development on SunOS systems. As I've written before, I
            design programs for portability and the root program works on every
            system: *BSD, Linux, MacOS X, UNIX {AIX, CTIX, HP-UX, OpenIndiana,
            OSF/1, Solaris, SunOS, et al} and possibly more I haven't tried due to
            lack of access to exotic new POSIX-compliant OSs.

            Keep this in mind: I've been a hardware and software developer since
            the early 1960s, thus my requirements differ from most peoples' needs.

            I need to perform my work accurately, quickly and reliably which is why
            I've often had to write special programs to facilitate that goal. My
            root program is one such program, and there are 100s more that you can
            find in Usenet and other archives (some of which have since disappeared
            with the biggest loss being the humongous archives at ftp.uu.net).

            Another thing to keep in mind before I address your specific query is
            that if a system isn't physically secure (e.g., some clown can walk up
            and insert a Live CD and, as root, copy everything on the HD), you have
            no security regardless of SELinux or any other software. Reflect back
            to how I fixed a friend's Ubuntu system whose /dev entries for the HD
            disappeared; my article using a Lubuntu Live CD as root shows how here:

            http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/linux/message/59964
            Tue Jan 3, 2012 2:26 am
            Unusual Ubuntu 9.10 failure and my fixes

            And there are tons of flaws with Linux distros where circumstances may
            permit someone or something to become root. Why do you think there's
            almost as many Linux security fixes about as frequently as Microsoft's
            (assuming one's distro is still being updated)?

            I'm not singling out Linux, it happens with UNIX, too, and here's an
            example on AT&T SVR5 UNIX from the 1980s on a 3B1:

            Click on this link: http://faqs.cs.uu.nl/na-dir/3b1-faq/part2.html

            and scroll down to line 910 (numbers along left margin):

            Subject: 8.6. How can the UNIX PC be made more secure?

            and see two simple ways to become root using the windowing system and
            another using mail. I still have three 3B1 systems and I leave those
            'holes' in place just in case I'll need them in the future. :-)

            Also note that I have a root login on EVERY FreeBSD, Linux and UNIX
            system I have and that includes CentOS, Ubuntu and others because there
            are some tasks that can only be done as root.

            One of those tasks is installing software into system directories [I
            use /usr/local/* and /opt/* for other than packages (*.rpm, *.deb)],
            and if you just built something from a tarball or wrote something new
            from scratch, NONE of su, 'su -' or sudo will unequivocally permit a
            correct install because $PATH will be wrong, ALIASes will be wrong or
            missing, environmental variables will be wrong or misssing, and the
            $PWD (e.g., '$ pwd' aka present working directory) will be wrong.

            And that's why I wrote the root program.

            I previously wrote some short articles citing or exemplifying my root
            program as you can see here:

            http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/linux/message/60203
            Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:24 am
            Re: Slackware - Giving, or Not

            http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/linux/message/60398
            Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:39 pm
            SELinux, CentOS 6.2, my root program, and CentOS header file bug

            http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/linux/message/60405
            Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:16 pm
            bash prompts and process IDs and rootie-toot-toot

            http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/linux/message/62775
            Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:45 pm
            Shell prompt (was: Re: DragonFly BSD 3.4.1 released today ...)

            Here's a look at the source directory for my root program; this is on
            my CentOS 6 system simply because it's up and running at the moment
            since I need to create some astrometric viewing charts for tonight:

            The 21-MARCH-2012 date for root.c is due to bugs in system header
            files on CentOS 6 requiring work-around when I installed CentOS 6
            during March 2012:

            -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 898 Mar 20 2012 Makefile.CentOS6
            -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 736 Jul 5 2000 Makefile.freebsd
            -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 656 Sep 25 1992 Makefile.hpux
            -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 736 Jul 25 2000 Makefile.linux
            -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 730 Sep 19 1998 Makefile.solaris
            -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 656 Jan 14 1993 Makefile.sunos
            -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 2156 Mar 21 2012 root.c
            -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 2137 Aug 12 1993 root.c-ORIG
            -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 4112 Mar 21 2012 root.o

            Due to Yahoo's mangling formatted text and folding lines, all examples
            showing why "su", "su -", "su root", and "sudo bash" are defective are
            in a text file so you and everyone else can see what's wrong with those
            commands. That file can be examined or downloaded here and it's 13.6kB
            and 354 lines:

            http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/linux/files/Thad_root_examples.txt

            That file contains the output of the four commands id, pwd, alias, and
            export when invoked as myself, 'su', 'su -', 'su root', 'sudo bash' and
            my root program.

            By examining that file it'll become obvious why the only correct way
            to usefully be root -- except in single-user mode -- is via my root
            program. No one here in the linux group expressed interest in the root
            program before but I'd be happy to upload the source code to the group
            'Files' section for those who want to make life easier for themselves.

            Thad
          • thad_floryan
            ... That really brings back memories from 30 years ago; that same FAQ part 2 has one of my hardware hacks described. Scroll down to (or just search for
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 18, 2013
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              --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, "thad_floryan" <thad@...> wrote:
              > [...]
              > I'm not singling out Linux, it happens with UNIX, too, and here's an
              > example on AT&T SVR5 UNIX from the 1980s on a 3B1:
              >
              > Click on this link: http://faqs.cs.uu.nl/na-dir/3b1-faq/part2.html
              > [...]

              That really brings back memories from 30 years ago; that same FAQ part 2
              has one of my hardware hacks described. Scroll down to (or just search
              for "Thad"):

              Subject: 5.6. Can I put a larger hard disk drive in the UNIX PC?

              and note my WD2010 chip hacks to permit larger HDs in the system. I
              have NO idea why this paragraph is there with the sheep-herding joke
              since the 1980s:

              FINAL NOTE ON THE WD2010: Some folks have reported troubles with
              their systems after installing the WD2010, far too many to
              discount as due to bad chips. Thad Floryan was irritated enough
              by this to take time away from sheep-herding and solve the
              problem. This problem occurs only on certain versions of the
              3b1 motherboard. Short and sweet, quoting from Thad here:
              [...]

              :-)

              Thad
            • looksalota
              ... I have decided to use a root login whenever I need root authority. The one thing I do to keep track of who am I? is change the background to RED for root
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 19, 2013
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                On 06/18/2013 04:30 PM, Pascal Bernhard wrote:
                > Hi guys/girls,
                >
                > I'd be interested in your opinion of whether one should rather use the
                > 'sudo' command for doing administrative work on one's system or switch
                > to ROOT via 'su -'? I know this may be controversial stuff, and may
                > engender some 'flame wars', although I experienced this group as very
                > 'well-behaved'. :-p

                I have decided to use a root login whenever I need root authority.
                The one thing I do to keep track of "who am I?" is change the background to RED
                for root logins.

                Jerry in Washington state


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Pascal
                ... Hi Thad, With secure I meant to protect the system from the user s stupidity, but you are right, that is also an issue. [snip] ... [snip] Operating
                Message 7 of 10 , Jun 19, 2013
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                  --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, "thad_floryan" <thad@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, Pascal Bernhard <pascal.bernhard@> wrote:
                  > > [...]
                  > > I'd be interested in your opinion of whether one should rather use
                  > > the 'sudo' command for doing administrative work on one's system or
                  > > switch to ROOT via 'su -'? I know this may be controversial stuff,
                  > > and may engender some 'flame wars', although I experienced this
                  > > group as very 'well-behaved'. :-p
                  > > [...]
                  >
                  > Hi Pascal,
                  >
                  > In short, ALL of "su", "su -", "su root", and "sudo bash" are defective
                  > which is why I had to write the root program over 20 years ago to do
                  > software development on SunOS systems. As I've written before, I
                  > design programs for portability and the root program works on every
                  > system: *BSD, Linux, MacOS X, UNIX {AIX, CTIX, HP-UX, OpenIndiana,
                  > OSF/1, Solaris, SunOS, et al} and possibly more I haven't tried due to
                  > lack of access to exotic new POSIX-compliant OSs.
                  >
                  > Keep this in mind: I've been a hardware and software developer since
                  > the early 1960s, thus my requirements differ from most peoples' needs.
                  >
                  > I need to perform my work accurately, quickly and reliably which is why
                  > I've often had to write special programs to facilitate that goal. My
                  > root program is one such program, and there are 100s more that you can
                  > find in Usenet and other archives (some of which have since disappeared
                  > with the biggest loss being the humongous archives at ftp.uu.net).
                  >
                  > Another thing to keep in mind before I address your specific query is
                  > that if a system isn't physically secure (e.g., some clown can walk up
                  > and insert a Live CD and, as root, copy everything on the HD), you have
                  > no security regardless of SELinux or any other software. Reflect back
                  > to how I fixed a friend's Ubuntu system whose /dev entries for the HD
                  > disappeared; my article using a Lubuntu Live CD as root shows how here:

                  Hi Thad,


                  With secure I meant to "protect" the system from the user's stupidity, but you are right, that is also an issue.


                  [snip]

                  > And there are tons of flaws with Linux distros where circumstances may
                  > permit someone or something to become root. Why do you think there's
                  > almost as many Linux security fixes about as frequently as Microsoft's
                  > (assuming one's distro is still being updated)?
                  >

                  [snip]



                  Operating systems are written by human beings after all, so we should not expect them to be "secure" in any meaningful sense of the word. :-p


                  > Also note that I have a root login on EVERY FreeBSD, Linux and UNIX
                  > system I have and that includes CentOS, Ubuntu and others because there
                  > are some tasks that can only be done as root.
                  >
                  > One of those tasks is installing software into system directories [I
                  > use /usr/local/* and /opt/* for other than packages (*.rpm, *.deb)],
                  > and if you just built something from a tarball or wrote something new
                  > from scratch, NONE of su, 'su -' or sudo will unequivocally permit a
                  > correct install because $PATH will be wrong, ALIASes will be wrong or
                  > missing, environmental variables will be wrong or misssing, and the
                  > $PWD (e.g., '$ pwd' aka present working directory) will be wrong.
                  >

                  > "ALIASes will be wrong or missing"

                  No necessarily, correct me if I'm wrong or doing something stupid. I have the same ALIASES for me as a normal user and for root. Basically what I do is copy .bashrc, .bash_aliases, etc. from my HOME-directory to /root (and adjust /etc/profile and other file if need be).



                  > And that's why I wrote the root program.

                  [snip]


                  > Here's a look at the source directory for my root program; this is on
                  > my CentOS 6 system simply because it's up and running at the moment
                  > since I need to create some astrometric viewing charts for tonight:
                  >
                  > The 21-MARCH-2012 date for root.c is due to bugs in system header
                  > files on CentOS 6 requiring work-around when I installed CentOS 6
                  > during March 2012:
                  >
                  > -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 898 Mar 20 2012 Makefile.CentOS6
                  > -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 736 Jul 5 2000 Makefile.freebsd
                  > -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 656 Sep 25 1992 Makefile.hpux
                  > -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 736 Jul 25 2000 Makefile.linux
                  > -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 730 Sep 19 1998 Makefile.solaris
                  > -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 656 Jan 14 1993 Makefile.sunos
                  > -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 2156 Mar 21 2012 root.c
                  > -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 2137 Aug 12 1993 root.c-ORIG
                  > -rw-r--r--. 1 thad thad 4112 Mar 21 2012 root.o
                  >
                  > Due to Yahoo's mangling formatted text and folding lines, all examples
                  > showing why "su", "su -", "su root", and "sudo bash" are defective are
                  > in a text file so you and everyone else can see what's wrong with those
                  > commands. That file can be examined or downloaded here and it's 13.6kB
                  > and 354 lines:
                  >
                  > http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/linux/files/Thad_root_examples.txt
                  >
                  > That file contains the output of the four commands id, pwd, alias, and
                  > export when invoked as myself, 'su', 'su -', 'su root', 'sudo bash' and
                  > my root program.
                  >
                  > By examining that file it'll become obvious why the only correct way
                  > to usefully be root -- except in single-user mode -- is via my root
                  > program. No one here in the linux group expressed interest in the root
                  > program before but I'd be happy to upload the source code to the group
                  > 'Files' section for those who want to make life easier for themselves.

                  Interesting, I'll mention that phenomenon during the next meeting of the local LUG here in Berlin, which happen weekly. If you could upload the source code of that program that would be great, this would give us "learning material" for newbies coming to us for help as well as for "internal vocational training" (Pardon my poor English, could not find a better term).

                  Pascal
                • thad_floryan
                  ... Hi Pascal, I ve been extremely busy the past several days so this is just a quick note that I ll answer all the above fully by this weekend. I also have
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jun 20, 2013
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                    --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, "Pascal" <pascal.bernhard@...> wrote:
                    > --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, "thad_floryan" <thad@> wrote:
                    > > [...]
                    > > http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/linux/files/Thad_root_examples.txt
                    > >
                    > > That file contains the output of the four commands id, pwd,
                    > > alias, and export when invoked as myself, 'su', 'su -', 'su
                    > > root', 'sudo bash' and my root program.
                    > >
                    > > By examining that file it'll become obvious why the only correct
                    > > way to usefully be root -- except in single-user mode -- is via
                    > > my root program. No one here in the linux group expressed
                    > > interest in the root program before but I'd be happy to upload
                    > > the source code to the group 'Files' section for those who want
                    > > to make life easier for themselves.
                    > > [...]
                    >
                    > Interesting, I'll mention that phenomenon during the next meeting
                    > of the local LUG here in Berlin, which happen weekly. If you could
                    > upload the source code of that program that would be great, this
                    > would give us "learning material" for newbies coming to us for help
                    > as well as for "internal vocational training" (Pardon my poor
                    > English, could not find a better term).

                    Hi Pascal,

                    I've been extremely busy the past several days so this is just a quick
                    note that I'll answer all the above fully by this weekend. I also have
                    started a README file with some interesting notes about the program
                    which might not be obvious and I'll include that in the upload.

                    Wow, weekly Linux LUG meetings -- that's great -- nothing like that
                    here in Silicon Valley.

                    This is also another good use of the "mark unvisited" Firefox addon
                    so when I next look in this group's message area I'll see that I need
                    to (re-)answer your posting.

                    For those who've forgotten, this is the Firefox addon I use for that:

                    LinkVisitor 3.4.1
                    Mark link(s) as visited or unvisited

                    It's worth its weight in gold for me.

                    Thad
                  • Pascal
                    ... Hi Thad, Thanks in advance for your efforts ... I would have expected the opposite, as Silicon Valley is supposed to be settled by geeks and nerds. :-)
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jun 21, 2013
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                      --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, "thad_floryan" <thad@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, "Pascal" <pascal.bernhard@> wrote:
                      > > --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, "thad_floryan" <thad@> wrote:
                      > > > [...]
                      > > > http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/linux/files/Thad_root_examples.txt
                      > > >
                      > > > That file contains the output of the four commands id, pwd,
                      > > > alias, and export when invoked as myself, 'su', 'su -', 'su
                      > > > root', 'sudo bash' and my root program.
                      > > >
                      > > > By examining that file it'll become obvious why the only correct
                      > > > way to usefully be root -- except in single-user mode -- is via
                      > > > my root program. No one here in the linux group expressed
                      > > > interest in the root program before but I'd be happy to upload
                      > > > the source code to the group 'Files' section for those who want
                      > > > to make life easier for themselves.
                      > > > [...]
                      > >
                      > > Interesting, I'll mention that phenomenon during the next meeting
                      > > of the local LUG here in Berlin, which happen weekly. If you could
                      > > upload the source code of that program that would be great, this
                      > > would give us "learning material" for newbies coming to us for help
                      > > as well as for "internal vocational training" (Pardon my poor
                      > > English, could not find a better term).
                      >
                      > Hi Pascal,
                      >
                      > I've been extremely busy the past several days so this is just a quick
                      > note that I'll answer all the above fully by this weekend. I also have
                      > started a README file with some interesting notes about the program
                      > which might not be obvious and I'll include that in the upload.

                      Hi Thad,


                      Thanks in advance for your efforts


                      > Wow, weekly Linux LUG meetings -- that's great -- nothing like that
                      > here in Silicon Valley.

                      I would have expected the opposite, as Silicon Valley is supposed to be
                      "settled" by geeks and nerds. :-)

                      These weekly meetings are only the regular ones. The 'steering committee' meets
                      additionally from time to time at weekends and groups on specific projects also
                      on other week-days. I'm pretty happy that Berlin's LUG is quite active compared
                      to other Linux groups (in Germany at least). We have about 60 members, although
                      only a handful are really engaged. Well I guess that's the same story for all
                      voluntary organisations the world around. If I were not a member there I would
                      tinker a lot less with Linux.
                      BTW: We always welcome visitors and when they do presentation on a topic of
                      their choosing that even better. In fact we have members from places like
                      Finland, Norway, Scotland, France and Switzerland who drop by only when they are
                      in Berlin. If anyone plans to travel to Germany... We do speak some English, no
                      worry.



                      >
                      > This is also another good use of the "mark unvisited" Firefox addon
                      > so when I next look in this group's message area I'll see that I need
                      > to (re-)answer your posting.
                      >
                      > For those who've forgotten, this is the Firefox addon I use for that:
                      >
                      > LinkVisitor 3.4.1
                      > Mark link(s) as visited or unvisited
                      >
                      > It's worth its weight in gold for me.
                      >

                      Didn't know that plugin existed, I'll have a look at it.

                      Pascal
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