what is root actually means?

Richard S. Crawford rscrawford at mossroot.com
Wed Jun 20 16:15:31 UTC 2007

On Wednesday 20 June 2007 08:57:09 dicky s wrote:
> again,its dicky..coming for asking.. these questions
> maybe so ridiculous for you all,a piece of cake for
> experienced users,i guess. the question is : what is
> root?a kind of user? how to log in as root? it seems
> like root have full access and permission to the whole
> system. i am the only user in my kubuntu 7.04, but i
> am not automatically log in as root.. i have no idea
> about these these things.. it has been 2 weeks with
> linux, trying to get closer with it, and i will not
> give up friends..haha..


That's actually a pretty good question.  Very simply, the root user is the 
user who can do *anything* on a Linux computer, sort of like the 
administrative user on a Windows computer.  It can be quite dangerous to log 
in as a root user unless you know what you're doing, because with the root 
user it's possible to destroy an entire operating system with a single 
command (and I've done it -- and by some miracle I managed to keep that job 
anyway).  Any actions that could change the system's configuration are done 
by the root user, including mounting new filesystems, installing most 
software, and so on.

For normal, every day use, you will almost never need to log in as root.  The 
way Kubuntu does things, with the sudo model, is more than adequate.

If you're still learning how Linux works, I suggest that you stick with your 
current user account and not worry about the root user account for now.  
Chances are you won't need it (I've been using Linux as my OS at home for six 
years now, and I hardly ever need to log in as root; my regular user account 
is adequate for 95% of what I do).

Richard S. Crawford (http://www.mossroot.com)
Editor In Chief, Daikaijuzine (http://www.daikaijuzine.com)
AIM: Buffalo2K / GTalk: underpope at gmail.com
"We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is."
	(Kurt Vonnegut, 1922 - 2007)

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