On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 09:05:37 +0100,
Adam Williamson <awilliam(a)redhat.com> wrote:
There's that, and logically speaking there's absolutely no reason to
have a root password on a live image. You need to be able to boot the
machine to run a live image, and any machine you can boot is a machine
on which you have root access (it's trivial enough to find some kind of
bootable media which gives you 'root' of some kind, or even to build
The assumption that the person potentially getting root is able to boot the
system is not be correct in all use cases.
On a live image with an encrypted, persistent /home, you could in theory let
someone else use the image after it was booted. (Who wouldn't be able to
get /home mounted on their own.) They might not even being physically
present at the machine the image is running on.
If there is a compromise, not having a root password makes it trivial to
escalate the compromise to root access.
I think in situations where firstboot is run on live images, it probably
is reasonable to set a root password.