Forum Thread: What's the Difference Between Root and Administrator Account?

What's the Difference Between Root and Administrator Account?

Hello good people. This is my first post here. I would like to ask the question that what is the difference between administrative user on Kali 2.0 and root user? Some applications like Google chrome does not work as root. But updates and upgrade doesn't work with other users. Which one should I use as my main user and how do i go about doing it?

Thank you so much

5 Responses

If I remember correctly (Sorry it's been so long since I've used Windows)
Windows has 3 types of accounts.
---
Guest.
Administrator.
System.
---

I read a while ago that System has higher privileges than Admin, whether this is true, I'll have to look it up myself.

But GNU/Linux is the same.

You would have a seperate account, with less permissions, Admin which has full permission (Without causing excessive damage) and Root (Highest Privileges.)

Administrator essentially is root, since they commonly share the same password, Root is mostly a security feature though, it's either enabled by default (In Root-Common distributions, like Kali)

Or disabled, and you need to grant the distribution access to what you intend to do.

Some distributions like Ubuntu have now implemented a 'Fail-Safe' mode under root, to stop people who aren't so skilled, from executing deadly commands, like wiping the root directory.

You should always use Admin account on Kali, and you will auto root when you issue commands, the reason Chrome doesn't run is because of the security features, root has potential to be useful and deadly, you can alter certain code in some apps, like Tor Browser to bypass the error 'Cannot run as root'.

In a nutshell though, some apps just aren't supposed to be run as root, it can cause allsorts of permissions with that app, which can cause major problems for a lower priv user.

For example, if you're running Mint, and you type...
su
it will ask for a password, once entered, you're in root shell.

Then while in root, you decide to use wget to download a source off Github, the files downloaded are Owned by root, so if you want to run them without root, it won't let you.

Hope this helps!

Thank you so much. It did help a lot.

No problem :)
Happy to help! :)

Root is not a "security feature" it is a user just like any other user on the system, but has full permission to do anything. The root and administrative account only have the same password as each other if you want them too, and they shouldn't.

Also, the administrative account doesn't have full permission, only root does. You can change that though, but out of the box on the distributions i've used it does not have full permission.

Some would argue to run a guest account as well, and use the other two accounts on a as-needed basis.

You're correct, root is a user.

I didn't get much sleep last night, as I'm trying to crack a WPA2 handshake in hashcat, with generated Key Space wordlists.

Sorry about that.

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