Why is there a freebsd user?

January 22, 2015 1.4k views


I recently created a FreeBSD droplet.

Does anyone know why there is a 'freebsd' user by default on DO droplets, as well as the root user?

I'd like to just remove the freebsd user to get a more standard setup. Is there any reason I wouldn't want to do this?

Many thanks!

1 comment
3 Answers

Only the folks who created the image can answer for sure why they did that, but I suspect it's because FreeBSD doesn't allow ssh access as the root user by default. Using a different user rather than allowing root ssh access avoids accusations of insecurity (warranted or not). Also, using a non-root user is more like how other cloud hosting providers (at least AWS) do it, in my experience, and how some DO droplets are configured by default, I think, so might not be considered entirely unexpected.

I don't think there is any need to remove freebsd user. This setup is reliable. You have your system ssh keys shared on your server, that lets you to have have password less ssh access to your server. and then use sudo to elevate the privileges. Also in FreeBSD ssh login as root is disabled. It is good that way for security reason. In any *NIX environment, using root account for login should be avoided as far as possible.

But if you still do not want to login with the freebsd user. create another user in your server. assign a strong password.... add him to the wheel group... and you are ready..... login and check... after that you may delete the freebsd user account.

Best not to alway do things as root, plus there are tons of attacks for root@yourserver if you have ssh running.

Side note, FreeBSD has a secret root account names toor. Take a look at here for more info.

Not sure if this feature is available on DO's version of FreeBSD.

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