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

On 4/13/2013 5:15 PM, Miles Fidelman wrote:
> which does bring this to mind:
> http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1993-11-09/

which, in turn, forces me to relate the following bit of Arpanet history...

At UCLA, the local computer science dept. operating system was 
home-grown and ran on an XDS Sigma-7.  In capabilities it was roughly 
competitive with BBN's Tenex.  Developed by Vint Cerf, Jon Postel, my 
brother Steve and some others.  They called it the Sigma Executive. 
When I started working at the department, one of my jobs was to assemble 
and develop documentation for users.

You won't be surprised that the short name for the o/s was the SEX 
system.  Nor that the user guide was called the SEX Manual.

But unlike BBN, the UCLA system was a one-off.  No one else ran it, and 
it was memory-starved.  Eventually, the guys located some additional, 
used memory for a good price and lobbied Arpa for the funds to buy it. 
Arpa saw that the o/s was a dead end and said we should instead switch 
over to a terminal access system for using computation over the Arpanet.

The system we finally got was a PDP-11 running Unix.

So they took our SEX away and made us Unix.

The original root password was, inevitably, eunuchs.


  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking