OS X - user with most privileges?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by komatsu, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #1
    In Windows the user with the most privileges is known as the "administrator".

    What is the equivalent in OS X? and is it enabled by default?
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Admins have full privileges in OS X. They have the same name (Administrator).

    If you're referring to the utmost privileges to edit system files, it's called the root user, like all other UNIX systems. It's disabled by default :)
     
  3. komatsu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #3
    ok so are all accounts on OS X "administrators" by default? (for example when an OS if first deployed)
     
  4. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #4
    On Unix systems, an administrator is capable of using the program sudo, which allows them to execute a command as root. The first user account has this ability, but you can change it. There has to be at least one user account with this privilege, as you should never (and I really mean never) enable root outright.
     
  5. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    First account at setup yes then you have option to make any user you add after that an admin during the creation of the account.
     
  6. komatsu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #6
    Thanks for the great responses!

    So what sort of situation would merit enabling "root" access?
     
  7. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #7
    I am guessing that such a situation does simply not exist. sudo obviates the need for this and it is preinstalled and configured on OS X. The system also has something like an authentication sub-system, which allows administrators to perform many root actions in the GUI interface, such as in System Preferences.

    Using root makes more sense on Unix systems that do not have sudo preinstalled, such as FreeBSD and Arch Linux, but these systems are meant to be configured further and their manuals are quite clear that root should not be used for much longer beyond the system setup.
     
  8. komatsu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #8
    ok, that explains it pretty well.

    Thanks KoA,MU and KALLT!
     
  9. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #9
    From a pragmatic perspective you are correct when you say the Windows Administrator account has the most privileges. However this is not quite true. The Windows user with the most privileges is technically System.
     

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