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Log in as the root user When the root user is enabled, you have the privileges of the root user only while logged in as the root user. If the login window is a list of users, click Other, then log in.
How to Enable the Root User on Your Mac
Remember to disable the root user after completing your task. Yes No. Character limit: Maximum character limit is Yes, he also has an external Time Machine disk, but that is no substitute for cheap, easily managed, self-contained backups to keep off-site. I have no doubt there are a number of other ways to accomplish the same task, but I'm equally sure none are as simple and reliable.
Since he's logged out as his normal user, all his files--especially his FileMaker databases--are certain to be in a closed, consistent state.
Since he doesn't log into root for any other reason, he doesn't stay in root for any longer than it takes to back up, and he doesn't perform any other tasks while in root, I genuinely don't worry about him breaking something. For that matter, I honestly don't understand the great panic about anyone enabling root. Sure, it's marginally easier to accidentally break the system while logged in as root, but if all one really cares about is in his home folder, root is no more of a threat than one's own non-root user.
After all, the OS and apps can always be reinstalled if they get hosed. On the other hand, if the bogeyman is the risk of infection from trojans, worms, viruses, etc. The bottom line is that sometimes root is simply convenient. Sometimes we grown-ups can accept a little risk for a little reward and we have backups.
Update: be sure to disable the root user after test
We'll be OK. Having written an uncountable number of scripts in a number of languages, I'm keenly aware of the fragility of even the best written of them. For example, from the top of my head: Easier for him?
When does he insert the disc? When is it finished? Does he have to boot up without logging in and wait for something to happen? Does he have to log out and wait for something to happen? Do it get triggered upon the insertion of a disc while logged out? What if the burn fails? What if he inserts a non-blank disc? What kind of feedback does he get that the disc was burned correctly and that it contains all of his files and is completely up-to-date?
Easier for me? Do I have to write and debug the script and launchd plist? What if a bug in my script goes undetected and leaves some files uncopied or doesn't properly update the pre-burn mirror directory leaving stale files? What if the scheduled time for the mirror or burn becomes an undesirable time or if he wants to backup at another time? How should I handle all the possible errors or a bad burn? Do I also have to write and debug a script that programmatically confirms that all files are backed up and up-to-date?
If the burn fails verification, it will tell you and you can try again. It if succeeds, it will tell you that, too. It's clear you think this is simpler, and it's clear it's a system that works for you, so fine. Would I recommend it to someone else? For one, I'm picturing your dad's safe deposit box filling up with dozens or hundreds of old CDs that will never be looked at again There is a vast difference between choosing to do something because it works for you, and suggesting it as a course of action for others.
Heck, I've gotten by for years with my laptop swinging around on the back of my motorcycle, but I'm not about to suggest that carrying a laptop that way is generally innocuous.
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I don't see any sense in trivializing the risk any more than I see in aggrandizing it. Your system works though I still think it's overkill - a normal administrator account could do the same thing - possibly even a burn folder within his own account - unless there's something absurd in your father's home directory , and I don't argue with success. But I still think a cautious approach is a better approach when it comes to security. To enable root in terminal, Try "dsenableroot". You wil be prompted for your password and then what you want as root password and then a confirmation of the root password.
Otherwise, if disable [-d] is chosen, the root account passwords are removed and the root user is disabled. A list of flags and their descriptions: -u username Username of a user that has administrative privileges on this computer.
How to Change the Root User Account Password in Mac OS X
If this is not specified, you will be prompted for entry. If this is not specified for enabling, you will be prompted for entry. This is an incredibly poor idea. Enabling root doesn't let you do anything you couldn't do with sudo, and opens a potential security hole.
There are good reasons Apple ships the machine with root disabled. Enabling root is NOT a security hole bad passwords are. There ARE things that can't be done with sudo. Name ONE thing that a root login can do that sudo cannot do. I'll wait. 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. 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.
32.5. Mac OS X Recover Lost Root Password
The only difference is how you actually gain root access. Two different ways; exactly the same end result that is, root shell. Access GUI utilities with root permissions. This gives you more privileges and access than a standard user account. However, that is not the highest access level possible. With the Mac root user account, you can even access files in other user accounts. In fact, it gives you such God-like powers, you can modify or even delete critical system files.
OS X High Sierra currently has a root bug that allows practically root access in a few simple steps. Therefore, Apple advises you to enable the Mac root account, with your own password, until they fix the bug. Requisite : You need to be logged into an administrator account.