Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 02-20-2006, 01:00 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2005
Location: Alexandria , Egypt
Posts: 24

Rep: Reputation: 15
Exclamation Who is the "super user" ?

As a Newbie to linux, I've been reading alot about it, and by now I can manage to just use it, open few programs, I still have difficulties with installing and uninstalling non-rpm fils, and updating Kernel.

Doing further readings about advanced using of linux and security i came across the term (super user) and hat most linux users are super users, that's why no virus maker may think it is wise to make a linux virus or so cause he will b hunted down in no time by exprts.

That's all good to me, but my main question, Who is a "supe user" ?
I know he's someone that knows enough about computers... well, wt kind of knowledge are we talking here exactely ??

there's alot to know about.. there's hardware, programming, database stuff, newtworking and so on.

I'm a graphic designer and illustrator,I only use photo editing software, vector graphics software and 3D like 3D Max and Maya... but i have no knowledge about networking, ,or TCP/IP or any programming language, what do i have to know or learn to be a "super user" or to be somone of "good computer knowledge"

and if u know any good resources or "keywords" for searching , i would be so greatful if u would kindly share them .

Thank you all
Old 02-20-2006, 01:03 AM   #2
LQ Addict
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: London, UK
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 7,464

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
The super user is just the root user on your system.
Old 02-20-2006, 01:12 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
I think you got the concept wrong. I'll try to explain in a brief way...see if it helps.
You can use a GNU/Linux operating system in two different modes-one as a normal user with limited privileges and as a super user with infinite privileges. A normal user is given limited privilegs as a security ensure that he does't damage the system and does't do anything serious either by chance or intentionally. A super user, also known as the root user or administrator has got absolute control and freedom over the system, and other users. A super user may not be an expert in computers. If you know the root password of the system, even you can be the super user.
Old 02-20-2006, 01:17 AM   #4
Registered: Feb 2006
Location: oregon
Distribution: PIII fedora2 | P4 fedora2 | Thinkpad fedora2
Posts: 54

Rep: Reputation: 15
I have also seen root listed as administrator, but that is much less common.
Old 02-20-2006, 01:42 AM   #5
Senior Member
Registered: May 2004
Location: In the DC 'burbs
Distribution: Arch, Scientific Linux, Debian, Ubuntu
Posts: 4,289

Rep: Reputation: 378Reputation: 378Reputation: 378Reputation: 378
The administrator account is the super-user account in Windows. The name of the super-user on *nix systems is almost always root. Actually root on a Unix/Linux machine has more powers than the Windows administrator (some powers in Windows are delegated to the Local system account as I understand it). Many argue that root is too powerful and a number of add-ons, e.g. SELinux or grsecure exist to limit the root account to prevent system compromise.

Anyhow, getting back to the OP, as other have mentioned the super-user account (root) is a special account on your system used for administration. It is the only account that by default has the right to change system configuration, etc. That's why Linux virii have such a hard time of it -- a virus running as a normal, unprivileged user can't do much to a well configured system. It can, however, do nasty things to files owned by the user it's running as.
Old 02-20-2006, 02:19 AM   #6
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2005
Location: Alexandria , Egypt
Posts: 24

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15

well thank you all for the soon reply..

But basicly seems like i got the wrong term... seems like i forgot that the "super user" is the "root"...

I mainly meant to talk about Linux "advanced users" but looks like i got hooked up in terminology.

My apologies for the confusion, and thank you all for ur replies.

As I said, i only use graphic related software, and most Linux articles are talking about Networking, scripting, Perl and python, PHP and mySQL...etc.

Still I wish to know what should I learn about to in good command of Linux and computers in general, just like it has been mentioned in the articles and forum threads i've been reading...

Last edited by lordashraf; 02-20-2006 at 02:37 AM.
Old 02-20-2006, 03:51 AM   #7
Registered: Nov 2005
Distribution: xubuntu, grml
Posts: 451

Rep: Reputation: 38
if you want to learn commandline this is a good start:
Old 02-20-2006, 05:17 AM   #8
Senior Member
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Lower Rhine region, Germany
Distribution: Slackware64 14.2 and current, SlackwareARM current
Posts: 1,611

Rep: Reputation: 133Reputation: 133
The Rute tutorial can be a good place to start, and the revised Slackware book isn't restricted to Slackware but can in most parts be used for other Linux systems.

Rute tutorial:
Revised Slackware book:

I guess for special issues like MySQL and PHP there are many tutorials that go in greater detail. The two links I mentioned give a good starting point nevertheless, they cover the tasks you need to admin your machine and get a basic knowledge of Linux systems.
Old 02-20-2006, 10:34 AM   #9
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2005
Location: Alexandria , Egypt
Posts: 24

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thank you again for ur help.

I checked the links, I've already read the slack book, but the Rute tutorial is "wow" it covers everything I guess.. I'll get into readin it soon. "linuxcommand" is wonderful as well, it would b so much help.

Another question, should I try learning a little about programming and TCP/IP?

caus while using Linux I come across terms that I belive are related to programming.. like "compiling a source code".... Isn't that wt programmers do after they finsh writing their codes? they "compile" it, right?

and if I should learn a bit about programming, then wtlanguage to start with?

Last edited by lordashraf; 02-20-2006 at 10:40 AM.
Old 02-20-2006, 11:49 AM   #10
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Distribution: SuSe 9x
Posts: 17

Rep: Reputation: 0
Super user is root as stated above.
Old 02-20-2006, 11:51 AM   #11
LQ Veteran
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Annapolis, MD
Distribution: Arch/XFCE
Posts: 17,802

Rep: Reputation: 740Reputation: 740Reputation: 740Reputation: 740Reputation: 740Reputation: 740Reputation: 740
Originally Posted by lordashraf
Another question, should I try learning a little about programming and TCP/IP?

and if I should learn a bit about programming, then wtlanguage to start with?
Having forum-lurkers tell you what you **should** do is a bit iffy. You should do what you need to to achieve your goals.
If your goal is learning Linux, then writing shell scripts is a good place to start.
To get started in programming, I would suggest starting with an interpreted language like Perl or Python. Then transition to something like C and learn how to compile, etc.
Old 02-20-2006, 04:16 PM   #12
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2005
Location: Alexandria , Egypt
Posts: 24

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thank u for ur reply "pixellany"

basicly wt I wanna do is to b a good linux user so I can depend on it to do my work (graphic design and 3D) and most of all I need to make sure I know wt's going on in my system and to make sure that I'm safe using it.

I noticed that most Linux users r programmers and network related ppl and data base.

The links sent to me above seem to b very helpful. I'll start reading on them, and I hope it would get me to where I want,

If u know any other way or if u think that I would b waisting my time, it would b so apreciated if u advice me.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Two questions, 1 about "GOK" and the other about "Super Karamba" Matt.Ramos Linux - Software 0 07-14-2004 09:57 PM
"User" & "System" CPU load difference JJX Linux - General 3 06-06-2004 01:42 AM
Shorten a Qmail user name to "user" instead of "" anorman Linux - Software 0 12-12-2003 08:29 AM
How to use the "super" to add user from web? beelzebub888 Linux - Security 5 12-28-2002 11:06 AM
How to use the "super" to add user from web? beelzebub888 Programming 1 12-27-2002 04:20 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:30 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration