what is root actually means?

Fred Schaer fred.schaer at wanadoo.fr
Wed Jun 20 19:30:25 UTC 2007


I would say that root is the God of the system. Yes, that's the almighty
root can do (almost) whatever he (it ?) wants, including destroying your
hard drive, your data, your monitor or whatever.

Its why you have to be carefull when issuing commands as root,
especially when removing files with the famous "rm -rf" and I'm not
giving you the full command here ;)

You should only "log in" as root when you need to do administrative
tasks, and by login I mean use "su -" in a shell window.
You should never connect in X (KDE, Gnome or whatever) as root, and it
seems to me that Kdm just forbids root login for instance.

Please note that logging in as root using "su -" is not the same as
using sudo : with sudo, you keep your environment and can run graphical
applications, whereas when you su - in a shell, you usually (at least I)
can't start X programs because of X access rights.

Finally, root also means "the root of the filesystem", that is to say "/" .


Frederic Schaer

dicky s a écrit :
> 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..
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