Subject: Re: Changing root's shell to /bin/sh
To: Hubert Feyrer <>
From: Bill Studenmund <skippy@macro.Stanford.EDU>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 03/15/1999 16:46:25
On Tue, 16 Mar 1999, Hubert Feyrer wrote:

> With the recent removal of the toor account, it is appropriate to move
> the root login-shell from csh to /bin/sh. Reasons for it are most

No, it's not. I believe both changes were inappropriate. We've had root
using csh since 1993 and a toor account for that long. We shouldn't be
changing these defaults willy-nilly. Especially as both of our *BSD
cousins still use csh. :-)

> widespread base on all Unix systems and more intuitive command line
> handling over csh.

This intuition is a matter of personal opinion. :-) I'm not trying to tell
you that you should love csh, just that some of the things csh does
are/might be more intuitive to some users than what sh does. :-)

> After discussion with a few developers, I've committed this change. 
> Please let us know if you have any troubles. :)

Part of my concern was that it was just done. Shell preference is IMMENSLY
personal. I think the detante we had, with both csh and sh available was
appropriate. If we don't provide both, one camp or another will be peeved.
:-) I think we should peeve neither.

Though I do agree with David that we shouldn't ship an /etc/master.passwd
which fails the security tests. But /etc/security already knows about toor
& root as specific special cases. I think a better solution would be to
just teach /etc/security fully that both toor & root are legit root
acounts. :-)

Take care,