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View Poll Results: What does the command su mean
Super User 32 33.68%
Substitute User 15 15.79%
Switch User 48 50.53%
Voters: 95. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-16-2007, 04:14 PM   #16
Inchcape
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Slip Ups ...grins
 
Click here to see the post LQ members have rated as the most helpful post in this thread.
Old 03-17-2007, 07:57 PM   #17
trickykid
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su should include do at the end of it when a user is wanting to execute commands that only root can do..
 
Old 03-18-2007, 10:57 PM   #18
burninGpi
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what about Set UID?

oh, and why does this poll need to be open until September 7?

Last edited by burninGpi; 03-18-2007 at 10:59 PM.
 
Old 03-19-2007, 02:47 AM   #19
jlliagre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burninGpi
what about Set UID?
The group id is set too, so it would be an incomplete definition.
Quote:
oh, and why does this poll need to be open until September 7?
Perhaps to let the truth win. Currently 85% of voters got it more or less wrong ...
 
Old 03-23-2007, 04:53 AM   #20
vangelis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-nc
Shut Up?

As in, "How can we shut this (l)user up?"

$ su -
$ cd </home/luser/>
$ rm -r *
lol!

But I believe the creator was a fan of the football club
Sheffield United



yep, most probably!
 
Old 03-23-2007, 03:28 PM   #21
AceofSpades19
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I always thought it meant Super User, because all the stuff I read said it was Super User
 
Old 03-28-2007, 01:37 AM   #22
Peter Sinon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlliagre
That isn't su original source code, su was written by Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson in 1971.

This command original meaning and purpose was "super user" (from AT&T internal Unix source code, version 1 to 6) but evolved to "substitute user" in version 7, when the su command was changed to allow becoming any account, just not root. Version 7 su manual page states

Code:
su  -  substitute user id temporarily
"switch user" is almost synonymous, but doesn't appear in any Unix documents, so it can't be the correct answer IMHO.
Whoever comes first is right in these situations, so it should be "super user".
By the way, it proves again that genius accompanies simplicity. Isn't this Dennis Ritchie just great for inventing C and the Unix-system (on which after all Linux is based)?
As Lennon stated earlier: "It's all in the mind". (Blue meanies, in Yellow Submarine)
 
Old 03-28-2007, 01:54 AM   #23
jlliagre
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As you agree Dennis Ritchie being the author is right then the second answer (substitute user) is correct as DR is almost certainly the one who changed the command purpose, semantics and description in the late seventies.
 
Old 04-08-2007, 09:49 AM   #24
xigua99
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by x-nc
Shut Up?

As in, "How can we shut this (l)user up?"

$ su -
$ cd </home/luser/>
$ rm -r *

.................
smelling
 
Old 04-08-2007, 12:20 PM   #25
pixellany
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It can't be "super user", since it is also used to go back to mere mortals.

"su" or "su root" means swith user to root
"su mere_mortal" means switch user to mere_mortal

So--you can't say "super user mere_mortal"---it is oxymoronical and internally contradictory

Besides, commands are verbs and "super user" is not a verb.....

So there!!!
 
Old 04-08-2007, 02:53 PM   #26
jlliagre
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The majority of Unix commands aren't verbs nor even verb acronyms: at, awk, banner, basename, bash, bc, cal ...

And I'm disappointed to see the most correct answer is still the last in this poll
 
Old 04-08-2007, 03:20 PM   #27
greeniguana00
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Yeah, it's kind of like asking what passwd means. You could always fill in those missing letters and get "password" but that doesn't mean that is what it "means". In reality, it means what it does. So a more correct answer for the question of "What is the meaning of su?" than any of those listed on the poll is "switch/substitute/swap root for current user," because that is what it means when you type it in. If the question were, "What is the meaning of su in 'su ______'?" then "replace current user with _____" would be a better response. It's just silly to think that knowing what an acronym stands for or being able to add a few letters back into an abbreviation is to know the meaning of something!
 
Old 04-08-2007, 03:38 PM   #28
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlliagre
The majority of Unix commands aren't verbs nor even verb acronyms: at, awk, banner, basename, bash, bc, cal ...

And I'm disappointed to see the most correct answer is still the last in this poll
Any command is a verb--because it describes an action.

su is a command and therefore a verb
"switch user" and "substitute user" are both verbs, "super user" is not.
If the actual command was --eg--"super-user", then THAT would be a verb.

Words can be verbs or nouns depending on context--eg "awk" is the command (verb) used to run the program named "awk" (noun)

We have now proven that this thread could quickly get REALLY absurd........
 
Old 04-08-2007, 03:48 PM   #29
jlliagre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany
Any command is a verb--because it describes an action.
I'm in no way an English language expert, but if I follow you, that means "to at", "to bc" and "to basename" are acceptable verbs ?

Okay, "to bash" works but that looks more like a pun.
 
Old 04-08-2007, 04:12 PM   #30
greeniguana00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany
Any command is a verb--because it describes an action.

su is a command and therefore a verb
"switch user" and "substitute user" are both verbs, "super user" is not.
If the actual command was --eg--"super-user", then THAT would be a verb.

Words can be verbs or nouns depending on context--eg "awk" is the command (verb) used to run the program named "awk" (noun)

We have now proven that this thread could quickly get REALLY absurd........
I think they are best described as commands and not verbs. After all, in the English language, a command is a type of sentence. But of course, this is not the English language! How many times in the English language do you have a one-word sentence like "su" where the subject, verb, and two objects are all conveyed wouthout any doubt! (the subject is the computer, the verb is to substitute, and the two objects are the user typing the command, and root)

To my knowledge, Unix was not designed specifically to be translatable into other languages, so it very well could be that a sentence with what we would call a noun (super user), could be interpreted as a command with everything else (verb and objects) explicity implied. (explicitly implied does seem like an oxymoron, though)
 
  


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