[clug] Runlevel 5 vs 3 and startx

Michael James Michael.James at csiro.au
Thu Nov 24 01:16:14 GMT 2005

Dear Cluggers,

For a desktop machine, set the runlevel to 5 and log in graphically.

For a server, I've always set the runlevel to 3,
 logged on in plain text, then used startx because I want graphics.
(Even if only to have 2 terminals side by side.)

Now SuSE's permissions.secure takes the SUID bit
 off /usr/X11R6/bin/Xorg thereby breaking startx
 for all but privileged users.

When I complained the maintainer said startx is obsolete.

Am I just being old-fashioned keeping my servers at runlevel 3?
Is there no real resource penalty to having them at 5 all the time?
(If it's just a bit of inactive RAM, it'll soon be swapped out.)

Logging on locally is rare but sometimes I do it
 for convenience or to configure network interfaces.
Just to do what startx used to do I now have to log on (text) as root,
 up the runlevel to 5, log on again, do the work,
 su to root and finally init back to 3.  What a pain.

Anyone know what the security problem with Xorg is
 that led to removing the SUID bit?

Anyone know a wrapper that could make it safer?


Michael James                         michael.james at csiro.au
System Administrator                    voice:  02 6246 5040
CSIRO Bioinformatics Facility             fax:  02 6246 5166

No matter how much you pay for software,
 you always get less than you hoped.
Unless you pay nothing, then you get more.

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