7. Security and Root
openSUSE and GNU/Linux in general is a very secure operating system, but when using any computer on the internet one should always be careful.
7.1 The Root User
One of the reasons GNU/Linux is very secure is that you normally don't work with administrator permissions - only the root user has full administrative permissions.
You'll be asked for the root password when installing packages or performing other administrative tasks outside of your /home/ folder. Unless you unchecked the checkbox during installation the root user has the same password as your normal user.
||Only work as root when it's required.
7.1.1 Super User File Manager
To work graphically with system files that require root permissions you can launch the Dolphin file manager in super user mode.
Applications => System => File Manager => File Manager - Super User Mode
7.1.2 Working as Root User in the Terminal
The following command is used to switch to the root user in a terminal:
||Nothing will appear on the screen while you type your password. This is intended.
To stop working as root, enter the following command:
To run a single command as root you can use:
su -c "[command]"
You can read more about using the terminal in the next chapter.
7.2 Security Updates
Security updates are provided for 18 months for every openSUSE release. When new updates are available you'll be notified by Apper via the KDE notification system.
7.2.1 Installing Updates in the Terminal
To install official security and bugfix patches only, run:
To install official patches as well as updates from 3rd party repositories, run:
The Linux-kernel has a built-in firewall, and openSUSE provides a graphical user interface for it. By default it allows all outgoing traffic and blocks any incoming traffic, hence you'll only need to change the configuration, if you want to run some network servers. The firewall is configurable in YaST, read about YaST in a later chapter.
7.4 Virus and Spyware
There's no need to run a virus scanner or to scan for spyware. Malware spreading via the internet and infecting normal home user systems are non-existant for GNU/Linux. Just make sure you yourself don't install and run software or scripts from untrusted sources, and you'll be safe.
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