Users, security, and root.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 14, 2001
I recently had to change my password by booting from the Jaguar CD and I saw something that I didn't recognize. In the user list there were 3 names.

They were in this order:

System Administerator (root)
sshd Privilege seperation (sshd)
my name (name)

So how do I log in to my system as root? ...and what the heck is "sshd privilege seperation?"



macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2002
quite simple...

go to system preferneces then to accounts then to login options:
click the radio button for:
- Display login window as: name and password

then log out. when you log in type 'root' as the user and type in your root password.

of course, root has to be enabled for this to work.

If you dont know what root is, ignore this post, because misuse of root can mess up your computer seriously.

BTW: sshd Privilege seperation (sshd) is something to do with UNIX. Im not sure what exactly it is though.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 14, 2001

PS: Anyone out there got any info about "sshd Privilege seperation (sshd)"?


macrumors 68030
May 14, 2002
I don't know why it requires a separate user account, but sshd is the secure shell daemon which enables you to remotely login to your computer using the command line.

BTW, it isn't a good idea to login to your computer as root unless you absolutely NEED to. Better to use the sudo command from the terminal for anything needing root privileges.


macrumors regular
Aug 21, 2002
Originally posted by tfaz1

PS: Anyone out there got any info about "sshd Privilege seperation (sshd)"?
Not specifically, but I'd imagine it's more a recommended thing than an absolutely required thing. IE the security will be more secure by seperating the ssh side of things into a seperate user (and hence seperate permissions, etc).



macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2002
bat country
since no one else has the balls to tell you how to set up the root user, i'll tell you. open up "netinfomanager" in your utilities folder. there will be a menu called "security" with only one option, "authenticate". select this and you will have to enter your admin password. then you need to select "enable root user" from the security menu. next you will have to give the root user a password, it may ask you to fill one in, or you may have to select "/users/root" from the little browser in the top half of the window or you can probably just select "change root password" from the "security menu". once your root user is enabled and has a password, you can type in
in the login screen (if you have it set to fields, not icons)

it's been a long time since i did this, so it may be a different setup from my instructions, but it's pretty easy to figure out.


macrumors member
Nov 15, 2002
I have sshd setup as a separate user account on my Linux machine. I do this for security... if someone hacked it, that account does not have any real rights. They would have to "su" to do any real damage.

It would seem as though Apple thought of that as well, since it is not normally set up that way.