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Terminal welcoming message

asked 2015-08-31 21:56:14 -0500

Marko gravatar image

When you first time use terminal you get message:

We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System
Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:

    #1) Respect the privacy of others.
    #2) Think before you type.
    #3) With great power comes great responsibility.

But i do not understand what does that mean? My question is in which working circumstances these rules supposed to leave a point. Bare in mind that i do not know a lot about UNIX philosophy and working in team.

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This is the message that you see the first time you invoke sudo. The sudo utility gives you escalated privileges, and consequently the ability to disrupt or even destroy system functionality for other users, hence the warning.

randomuser gravatar imagerandomuser ( 2015-08-31 23:42:10 -0500 )edit

In lamest terms, don't be a jerk to others or their property. Play nice.

BatYaz gravatar imageBatYaz ( 2015-09-01 15:13:57 -0500 )edit

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answered 2015-09-04 02:22:34 -0500

deadrat gravatar image

updated 2015-11-15 23:41:37 -0500

This message appears when you use sudo command for the first time. sudo allows you to run the commands in terminal with elevated privileges.

It says "We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System Administrator." because the sudo permissions are set by the super user (sometimes referred as root user). It makes more sense if you assume is in a work environment. Few administrator privileges can be given to users and the Actual Super user would expect that user with admin privileges to behave himself.

It says " #1) Respect the privacy of others. " because sudo command might be used to access data like files saved in home directory of other users.

"#2) Think before you type." : You could install any programs / software packages using the package manager without having to be a super user.

"#3) With great power comes great responsibility." : The statement stands for itself!

This link might be helpful :


Or Consider this.

We have a Workstation in our home and it runs Fedora (or any similar OS). There is a Super user account "root" and two more privileged accounts, one for me and other for my wife. We have our separate Home directory where our files & configurations are saved. Normally, I cannot access the files in my wife's home directory and she cannot access mine. By using the super user privilege, I can violate my wife's privacy.

If I launch Files with sudo by typing sudo nautilus, I can gain access to her home directory. Using this I might gain access to her files, browsing history or other sensitive data.

For instance, Firefox stores the configuration files in Home directory under .mozilla. By going though that I could see the extensions she use, or even worse, I can copy and paste the config files and have my extensions configured the way she has it. Sometimes, it could reveal information such as password ( for eg. In Chatzilla, startup urls are saved in prefs.js of Firefox and if she has saved any password for any IRC channels for auto login, I can see it in plain text.) So I guess it is valid to say "Respect the privacy of others" and other things.

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I indeed never seen environment where multiple users use one computer, that they are tech savvy, and to have private data on that computer. Is there perhaps youtube video showing workflow in this environment? The only one that i could imagine is that if that computer would be server for say files but even then maybe one or two admins would ever log on that computer.

Marko gravatar imageMarko ( 2015-10-11 20:50:33 -0500 )edit

@Marko , see my edit in the answer.

deadrat gravatar imagedeadrat ( 2015-11-15 23:38:13 -0500 )edit

@Marko the case I mentioned is very normal. We have a similar set up in our home.

deadrat gravatar imagedeadrat ( 2015-11-15 23:50:46 -0500 )edit

answered 2018-02-17 09:45:33 -0500

Yes but then a password is asked for.. Which actually isn’t able to be entered when u type.. What is that about?


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Asked: 2015-08-31 21:56:14 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 17 '18