Originally Posted by Malone
I've heard lots of places that you shouldn't use root as your main account, so I didn't. Why is this? Are they afraid you will edit a file that shouldn't be edited?
Major security risk. The reason Windows viruses cause so much damage, among other things, is that most people log in with Administrator privileges on a regular basis. So, when a virus runs with their permission set, it can basically do whatever it wants to the system. Using linux, if you're not root, you pretty much have destructive access to your home directory, parts of /tmp, and not much else.
EDIT: also, a lot of people using the CLI have a REALLY bad habit of going too fast. I've personally typed in 'rm /' when I meant 'rm ./'. That one slip can cost you your system.
EDIT2: plus, it's so easy to become root and run programs using it while logged in as a regular user that there is no reason to be logged in as root for day-to-day tasks. Under windows, the only real way to do that is to log out and log back in, screwing everything up. Windows XP tries to fix this, but you still have to switch users in order to do what takes only a 'su' under Linux.