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10.6: Enable root user on Snow Leopard
Authored by: corienti on Sep 30, '09 02:39:00PM

Correct; logically there should not be anything you can do by logging in directly as root, that you cannot do by running a shell as root with sudo.

However, at the same time, for all practical intents and purposes, as long as you use a strong password for the root account, there is NO more security risk than there is by having access to run a shell as root via sudo.
(which all admin accounts do, by default).

So your top tip ("If you think you need root access, you've been misinformed") is entirely accurate from a factual point of view.

But it's also somewhat beside the point. From a practical point of view, if you have access to sudo, you might as well just "enable" root.
Not that the root account is ever actually disabled in the first place - it just doesn't have a password set. If you can run a root shell, via sudo or otherwise, then clearly, the account is perfectly well enabled.

So the corresponding tip is: if you think it's effectively any more secure to use sudo instead of "enabling" root, you've been misinformed somewhat and are not fully understanding the difference.
The only difference is how you actually gain root access. Two different ways; exactly the same end result (that is, root shell).

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