Can login using root password, but not remotely with SSH

John Murphy freebsd001 at
Mon Oct 22 18:38:53 PDT 2007

On Mon, 22 Oct 2007 15:39:19 -0400
Robert Huff <roberthuff at> wrote:

> James writes:
> >  Add yourself to wheel (which is the root group on FreeBSD, a name
> >  I believe it inherited from earlier BSDs, but I've no idea what
> >  the justification for choosing 'wheel' is; any BSD historians
> >  here - you'd be welcome to let us know!)
> 	Not sure, but I believe "wheel" predates UNIX.  I have
> certainly seen the idea on OSes that do.

Interesting. Google found this:

From "The New Hacker's Dictionary version 4.2.2" by Various editors

wheel n.

[from slang `big wheel' for a powerful person] A person who has an
active wheel bit. "We need to find a wheel to unwedge the hung tape
drives." The traditional name of security group zero in BSD (to which
the major system-internal users like root belong) is `wheel'. Some
vendors have expanded on this usage, modifying Unix so that only
members of group `wheel' can go root.

Thanks, John.

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