Shortening the rope (around RH's neck)
Posted Apr 10, 2009 18:47 UTC (Fri) by madscientist
In reply to: Shortening the rope (around RH's neck)
Parent article: Shortening the rope
A lot of people are misunderstanding my comment, and thinking that I mean you should just use the default and never change it, and learn to live with the blood on the floor. That's not what I'm saying. What I mean is that it's irresponsible (at best) for Red Hat to ship their standard shell configuration, especially for root, where they override the default behavior of a critical application like rm to be something "safer".
I've said above, but I'll repeat: what this does is encourage people who learn Linux/UNIX on Red Hat systems to assume that the default behavior of rm is to ask before deleting every file. I'm sure everyone here can see why this is bad!
Those people go to someone elses system, or log in as a different account, or even write a shell script!, or whatever that doesn't happen to have that magical alias installed, and they run rm expecting to be asked about every file... and before they know it they've deleted an entire directory or worse.
I have similar complaints about those of you who say you set up your user's accounts to contain this alias before they ever log in. You may think you're doing them a service, but in the long run it's more dangerous.
I have no problem with creating a DIFFERENT alias, like "rmi", that aliases to "rm -i", and encouraging people to use that instead of "rm". And of course I have no problem with someone creating their OWN alias, in their own shell config file, to do whatever they want: hopefully they will be aware enough to be careful at that point. But it's wrong and dangerous to set aliases like this in the shell config of unsuspecting users.
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