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[ih] Ping Eduardo A. Suárez (was Re: What is the origin of the root account?)

I am surprised someone hasn't chimed in.  Isn't 
the origin of root account Multics?

I always defined Unix as how much of Multics you could get on a PDP-11/45.

It has been a long time since I looked at my MPM 
but there had to be a root account in Multics

At 4:24 PM -0500 4/12/13, Larry Sheldon wrote:
>On 4/11/2013 1:58 PM, Eduardo A. Su?rez wrote:
>>this is off-topic, but perhaps anyone can help. What is the origin of
>>  the root account in unix?
>>Thanks, Eduardo.-
>My first reply to your question derailed the thread irreparably but I
>would like for you to know that there were at least two attempts at
>answering your question.
>I have copied below two messages (that contain other replies) that I
>think contain all the material on your question.
>>At 1602 on 4.11 I said:
>>On 4/11/2013 1:58 PM, Eduardo A. Su?rez wrote:
>>>this is off-topic, but perhaps anyone can help. What is the origin
>>>of the root account in unix?
>>It certainly is "history" although the "internet" part is a little
>>weak since unix existed before the Internet did, I don't think unix
>>had much to do with the development of the Internet except as the
>>operating system on some hosts that were reachable in the early
>>Be fore I continue let me confirm for you all that I have no
>>credentials whatever in the area and all I say is based on an
>>accretion of hearsay, the result of working one, with, and for
>>computers and networks of several kinds for several years in several
>>Every computer (or more precisely, every operating system instance)
>>with an "account structure" has to have a place to start.
>>On EXEC 8 systems, the first accesses via the construction of the
>>boot tape, fleshed out via the (presumed) physically secure console.
>>From those come the first accounts and their "permissions" and from
>>there the construction of additional accounts and file structures
>>MS-DOS systems presumed the only accesses were via the (presumed)
>>physically secure console and were presumed to be be single-user and
>>there was not much in the way of control or constraint on the
>>file-system structure.
>>MS-WINDOWS (I have not forgotten the original question--I'll arrive
>>back there momentarily) introduced the notions of (at first, serial)
>>multi-user and installed itself with an "admin" account (with either
>>a publicly known, or no password) that the authority to establish
>>file-system structures and to construct "accounts" with some subset
>>of its "permissions" (the most common subset was "all of them", I
>>I think unix (and multics, from which it sprouted*) was designed to
>>support multiple users from the outset, and since that first or
>>starter account (also accessible initially only via the (presumed)
>>physically secure console) had to have permissions on the "root"
>>directory it no doubt seemed natural to the GE, MIT and Bell Labs
>>people to call it the "root" account.
>>Obviously, MS had to use another symbol for the root directory and
>>another name for the starter account with access to it.
>>I have not mentioned any of the myriad IBM "OS"s, nor any other
>>because I don't know anything about them, and don't (as I did here)
>>pretend to.
>>At 2256 on 4/11 I said:
>>On 4/11/2013 10:07 PM, Bill Ricker wrote:
>>>On 4/11/2013 1:58 PM, Eduardo A. Su?rez wrote:
>>>>this is off-topic, but perhaps anyone can help. What is the
>>>>origin of
>>>>>the root account in unix?
>>>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.
>>That is what I was trying to say when I derailed the train.  I think
>>that this is exactly right sub environment in which it occurred.
>Requiescas in pace o email           Two identifying characteristics
>                                         of System Administrators:
>Ex turpi causa non oritur actio      Infallibility, and the ability to
>                                         learn from their mistakes.
>                                           (Adapted from Stephen Pinker)