HELP! Is that possible "creating a user named root but acturally not the administrator root"

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Thu Feb 11 08:04:18 UTC 2010

On 11/02/2010 05:23, Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
> On Thu, 11 Feb 2010 00:18:30 -0500, Robert Huff <roberthuff at> wrote:
>> Lin Taosheng writes:
>>>      Is that possible to implementated?
>> For most purposes, what's important is not the account name,
>> but the User II.  "Root" is special because it has UID 0.  You can,
>> create other accounts with UIS 0 ... but it's usually a Very Bad
>> Idea.
>> As far as I know, there's no reason you can't rename the "root"
>> account and have a non UID 0 account with that name.  On the other
>> hand, if you're asking this question there may be a better way to
>> accomplish your objective: would you care to share?
> The kernel doesn't really care what your user *name* is.  See for
> example the 'toor user in '/etc/master.passwd'.

On the other hand, lots of software expects the superuser account to be
called 'root' because that what it always has been ever since Thompson
and Ritchie et al. first created Unix.  Changing the name of the
superuser account, and making root into an unprivileged user will cause
you much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  It doesn't really buy you much
in terms of improved security in any case.  Far better to concentrate
on making it impossible for the existing root account to be compromised.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.              7 Priory Courtyard, Flat 3
Black Earth Consulting                       Ramsgate
                                             Kent, CT11 9PW
Free and Open Source Solutions               Tel: +44 (0)1843 580647

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