Ubuntu: how do i stop root from running a program


I would like to prevent my root user from running certain applications that can change the permissions of files which in turn prevents normal users from running those applications again.

for example, if i sudo to root, and then run thunderbird from the command prompt, it changes the permissions of files within my home dir / profile so i can no longer run it as a normal user; what i would like to do is prevent root from running thunderbird and hence stop this user error from repeating itself.

any suggestions?

to clarify,

if i have a lot of administration to do i use "sudo -s" which gives me a root shell, its just once a year or so, i shoot myself in the foot.


If you have thunderbird installed locally, somewhere in your home directory then you could change the permissions to 500 so that only you can execute that program.

Run this on the executable

chmod 500 thunderbird  

Also as TrailRider has said, don't run programs by prefixing sudo, it can be potentially dangerous. You can fix the permissions by changing the ownership of the thunderbird directory to your user name.


I believe as this is a case of stopping a bone headed user shoot them selves in the foot that there is no easy way to do this. with great power comes great responability, and it would probably be best if learnt not to use sudo -s quite so often.

that being said, i am going to wrap a bash script around thunderbird, that checks the user name using whoami or $SUDO_USER and then aborts if it is an administrator. its not a general solution, but it will help in this isolated case.


I have the habit of opening an extra session for root access with sudo su - and with a conspicuous prompt. This stops me from doing stupid things with sudo.

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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