user 'hal'?

Derek Broughton news at
Tue Oct 4 17:19:43 UTC 2005

Jay Camp wrote:

> On Tue, 2005-10-04 at 12:49 -0400, Art Alexion wrote:
>> I was checking my groups and users and found that the cdrom and floppy
>> groups contained the mysterious user, 'hal'.  Where did this come from?
>> Is it a security breach?
> hal is the user for the Hardware Abstraction Layer.  The account doesn't
> have a password (you can look directly in /etc/shadow to see) so nobody
> can log in as it.  It handles automounting removable media (such as
> CD-ROM's, usb keys, etc.) as well in the future of handling other
> devices such as batteries and many other things.

hal doesn't _actually_ handle automounting (that would make it more of a
Hardware Concretion Layer :-) ), but it facilitates automounting.

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