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

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at
Thu Feb 11 19:16:06 UTC 2010

On Thu, 11 Feb 2010 08:04:00 +0000, Matthew Seaman <m.seaman at> wrote:
>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.

This is a good point.  One can argue that the specific applications are
those that are broken if they do not use a tunable option to switch the
name of the 'privileged user'.  But that doesn't negate the fact that
precisely *this* type of applications exists out there and will break.

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