Who writes this stuff? It’s obviously people who don’t really know about Mac OS X. This also doesn’t give me much confidence in their software. The little excerpt, below, is from documentation by a major company that provides a certain kind of security software for Macs in enterprise deployments.
Prepare Your MAC
Installation of daemons (services) on MAC OS X systems requires root account privileges. This means that root account should always be used when installing the Xxxx XXX Agent (names obscured to protect the potentially guilty).
You can switch to your local root account by using the command ‘su root’ in your Mac Terminal. You will be prompted to provide the password for the root account.
Provide the password for ‘root’ if you know it. If you are not certain about the password, you may want to try entering ‘toor’, which is the default password for the root account, or you may also try with the current password of your Administrator account. Both ways may work, but if the account is disabled on the system, none of the passwords would work.
If you do not know the password for the root account, or the latter is currently disabled, you can perform the following actions in order to enable the account and set a new password:
- Open Terminal
- Type ‘sudo passwd root’
- Provide a new password
There’s like 8 things wrong with this set of instructions, OK maybe just 2, but they are so WRONG it’s painful.
‘su root’ does not work on a Mac and it should never work! Then, since when has ‘toor’ been the default password for a Mac OS X system!? Ok ok maybe it was at one point on 10.0 or some beta version but I’v not found any such evidence. (not that I did an exhaustive search).
The ‘root’ user is disabled by default, there’s no authentication method enabled for root so you can’t login as root. You can use ‘sudo’ to run commands as the root user, and look they do that to give root a password! This is incredible and it just goes on from here with more stupidity.
The short of this is you can install their software with ‘sudo’ and it works fine, at least I think it works fine but really why should I have ever had to go to the command line to install this. It really boils down to the fact their Mac people don’t know Macs. They might know Linux but not Mac OS X.