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I have one non-privileged account on a Linux server and I don't want root to read my documents.

How do I find out if root did something I don't want to happen?

This issue is not the same as Super users and the home directory.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

There is no way to prevent the root user from being able to read or write documents for an unprivileged account. Even more so, the root user can change the permissions of those documents. The whole point of having such a user is that you always want to be able to have no restrictions when it comes to maintaining a system. That's why the root user should not be used for daily tasks.

Furthermore, even if there were access logs to files, that would probably be controlled by root again. Also, the atime (last access time) isn't reliable for this, or might not even be recorded on your system. You'd have to be able to check the shell history of the root user, which, again, is not possible without a privileged account.

The only way to make your files safe from prying sysadmin eyes is to encrypt them, e.g. by putting them into a TrueCrypt container or using GnuPG.

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is truecrypt high performance solution for program files? – hugemeow Nov 3 '12 at 7:58
Using TrueCrypt will always introduce a little performance (or time) loss, but whether or not this is a solution for you depends on which types of documents you want to store in, how often you edit them, and whether you can run the TrueCrypt tools on your account or not. – slhck Nov 3 '12 at 8:03
but can ordinary user use truecrypt, since mount operation is needed when using truecrypt – hugemeow Nov 3 '12 at 8:25
That's what I meant. If you have appropriate sudo privileges, you can use TrueCrypt. If not, you're proabably out of luck – GnuPG might be the solution then. – slhck Nov 3 '12 at 9:02
gunpg is only tool to encrypt files, do not support encrypted virtual disk... – hugemeow Nov 3 '12 at 9:18

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