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Amazingly I just spent some time skimming through The Practice of System and Network Administration (the book's website, Addison Wesley) but could not find a specific reference addressing this. The closest I noticed was in the Software Depot section where a bulleted list (pgs 491-492) of things to think about touches on the subject: Who can install packages? Who does the quality-control? How are upgrades handled? How are packages deleted?

I think the problem is this is part of the fundamentals of good system administration. Something the stereotypical clueless (about the art of system administration) developer is going to have a very hard time grasping. One obvious approach is to ask him how much he would enjoy explaining to upper management why a fast, undocumented fix he just made broke something highly visible in production. Then ask him why he thinks it is okay to do something similar on the current server.

I agree with the sentiment expressed above about revoking root access (though I would get management buy-in first). There is responsibility that comes with root access that this person clearly does not have.

Or alternatively give him full responsibility for that system (make a backup first). He will quickly learn itís not as easy or simple as he thought!

You could also have him read some of the BOFH stories and then ask him how he would feel as the luser.

Or, you could take on the mantle of the BOFH and show him the true power of root!! Muahahah!! :-)


In reply to Re: On "fixing" Perl core modules "in place" by Argel
in thread On "fixing" Perl core modules "in place" by tlm

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