I am new in using UbuntuServer13.10 so during giving permission to a folder to open it on FileZilla on other PC, I got these words and now I want to know about the difference between; "root", "user", "group", "guest" and their security levels. So can anyone explain to me briefly about their function and usage. Just the basics, or provide a link to an external article on them.

  • 3
    This will explain you more. – Avinash Raj Mar 27 '14 at 7:43
  • @AvinashRaj Thnaks, you link also helped me a lot to make my sharing secure. – Muhammad Hassan Mar 27 '14 at 14:38

root: is a special account which is usually locked in Ubuntu. This account is in effect the ultimate super user and can change anything on the system. If you want to enable this account you can but its not recommended see How to enable root login? For how this can be done and a discussion on why its not recommended.

user: These are the users of your systems there are three types administrators, normal users and guest. Administrators can make major changes to the system while normal users can not. There is a useful summary in the RootSudo Comunity Documentation. The guest account is used to provide casual access to someone (to play a game, surf the web, etc.) without giving them access to other users files. Any files they create are automatically removed when they log out.

groups A user can be a member of one or more groups groups are used to control privileges within the system for example all administrators are in the sudo group but you can also create you own groups. You may for example have a sales team who need to share some files but you want to prevent other people from accessing these files. By creating a special group for these people you can do that. See:How can I share a directory with an another user? for how you can set this up.

  • 1
    - users: 3. guest is the 3rd. – Rinzwind Mar 27 '14 at 8:15
  • @Rinzwind thanks I'd forgotten about guest. I've edited by answer to include it. – Warren Hill Mar 27 '14 at 8:53
  • @WarrenHill Thanks for describing briefly. – Muhammad Hassan Mar 27 '14 at 14:32

Ok here goes my best shot at explaining this.
First of all root is like what the System user name would be. It has the highest level of permissions available. Some apps require you to run them as root in order to unlock their full potential (i.e. to carry out tasks regularly unavailable to just an administrator/user) Secondly, user is kind of a generic term for your login or the login of another on the system (i.e. Joey, or Alice) Users are part of groups, There are different levels of groups such as Administrator, or User. Administrator is second to root, and User would follow Administrator. So inyour case file access permissions can be set to only allow one "User", or an entire "Group" of users. Some items are only accessable by root, which usally means that it is some system file or folder that you should consider avoiding messing with. To access these particular files and folders you can get there several different ways. Including by typing from the Terminal

sudo nautilus
This will start Nautilus with root permissions... Helps? -Bill

  • it is a very bad idea to do sudo nautilus. Please research, and do not recommend this. Use sudo -i nautilus instead – Zanna Aug 22 '16 at 7:41

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.