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[ih] What is the origin of the root account?

At 8:23 PM -0700 4/11/13, Paul Vixie wrote:
>Bill Ricker wrote:
>>  Etymologically, i have always //suspected// that the userid=0 account
>>  is called username='root' because that's the special userid that owns
>>  the root directory '/' also called 'Root', which indeed is the root of
>>  the singular file-system. Unix was peculiar in having *all* files in a
>>  single-rooted tree, not a forest of separate directory trees named by
>>  devices.

Nothing funny about it.  Unix followed Multics lead.  Since file and 
application names were suppose to be location independent, i.e. you 
didn't have to know where they were to use them, having the device 
name (or an extension) on the file name was considered poor (or 
legacy) design.   Files may have attributes but there is no reason 
for them to be part of the name.

After all your name doesn't include your location or your type.  ;-)

>i've always harbored the same suspicion, which is what made it funny
>when it became inconvenient to have "/" be the root user's home
>directory (too much trash was accumulating) thus causing that trash to
>move to (wait for it) "/root".