Revision [29483]

This is an old revision of spot made by darkcity on 2013-11-08 11:29:42.


HomePage > Components and HowTos > Security


Root, Spot and Fido user accounts

Puppy Linux typically is a single user OS. The single user is run as the root account with full privileges. This is equivalent to being the administrator in Windows. That is there is no file a user can't modify (unless its read only) and no command that is prohibited.

It has been argued that running as root is not significantly less secure that running with other user accounts with less privileges.

Some Puppy versions also come with spot and/or fido accounts that don't have root privileges. They can be used to run browser and other networking software to add an extra level of security.

spot is not a normal user, you don't login as user spot. Instead, you bootup in the normal way as the root user, but you can choose to run some Internet applications as the restricted user spot.

This means that you have unfettered access to your local system, all the benefits of root, no hassles with file/directory ownerships and permissions, no restrictions on access to all hardware.

However, networking software such as Seamonkey (browser, Composer, mail&news, IRC-chat suite) can be run as spot.

The home directory for spot is /root/spot and Seamonkey will only be able to (normally) edit/create/write files inside /root/spot.

With spot, you have the best of both worlds. Freedom in your local system, a restricted user for Internet access.

Note, Puppy offers only Didiwiki personal blog running as spot and Seamonkey optionally running as spot -- you can choose your level of web-browsing danger, via the Login and Security Manager in the System menu.

fido is a full non-root login account, similar to other Linux distros. However, it's home directory is /root (which may indeed seem peculiar, but there is a reason for it). As with other distros, you would use 'su' or 'sudo' to perform administrator activities.

fido always requires administrator password to perform administrator-level operations.

fido is offered as an option at the first shutdown of Puppy, when you are creating a save-file for the session. If you opt for fido, at next bootup you will be automatically logged in as fido. Note though, fido is not quite mature, so not yet recommended to be used.

Fatdog 64
FatDog64 features all Internet applications running as spot.

Also on the Wiki
MultiUser - Puppy versions set up for more than one user
AttackPup - Puppy for network testing
penetration testing - network testing
Privacy - Keeping your information private
WatchDog - Puppy for securing your home

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