Chown ???

Patrick O'Callaghan pocallaghan at
Wed Apr 8 13:44:21 UTC 2009

On Wed, 2009-04-08 at 13:11 +0000, g wrote:
> Paul Newell wrote:
> >  From "The Unix Programming Environment" by Brian W. Kernighan and Rob 
> > Pike (c) 1984 (I think mine is 5th printing of that first edition) page 52:
> not to argue a point, but.
> 'su' is 'substitute user' as you can substitute to *any* 'user' or 'group', not just 'root user'.
> you are a 'super user' if you you become 'root' or 'adm'.

The original meaning of 'su' is 'superuser'. You can find it in Unix
manuals from the 1970s. 'Substitute user' is a lame back-formation from
when the command was extended to allow changing effective id's to any
user and not just root.

DOS systems have no concept of user privilege, and hence have no concept
of superuser. Windows systems do have user privileges but AFAIK they
don't use the superuser terminology.


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