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Authored by: jalex on Nov 21, '02 02:12:26PM
Just another note about how dangerous this is: One of Unix's core securities against viruses is its multi-user nature. As long as you never run untrusted applications as root, then typically the worst you can do is mess up your own files, leaving the system intact.

If, however, you run your Finder as root, then start launching applications, I am fairly certain those applications will be launched as root as well, since they're children of the Finder. I've never tried this, but this will be the case unless Apple has specifically coded the Finder to reset the effective user id back to the original user logged in. Anyway, let's say you have a root finder, then you launch MS Word, and it starts running a word macro "virus". This macro is now running as the super-user on your machine, with full access to do whatever it wants to anything in your system. Obviously, this is also true of any kind of virus, although I haven't heard of any that run on OS X yet.

So to sum up - even if it is a real nuisance, think twice, and then think a third time before you start the Finder as root. And most importantly - know what you're getting yourself into.

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