theoretical question - can root's username be changed?

Mike McCarty mike.mccarty at
Fri Dec 2 04:01:25 UTC 2005

Claude Jones wrote:
> On Thu December 1 2005 9:31 pm, Mike McCarty wrote:
>>Claude Jones wrote:
>>>Subject line says it all...
>>Define "change a user's name". What is a user on a computer
>>with a different name? Isn't that a different user?
>>Are you asking whether other users may have the same privilege
>>as root?
>>The answer is "Yes".
> Let me put it differently. Root's UID is 0 - suppose I change UID 0's User 
> Login to 'doorknob' - first, can this be done? Second, would I have to create 
> a new home directory called 'doorknob'? Third, are there any implications, 
> doing this, for other software and/or settings in a Linux PC? Fourth - if 
> this shouldn't be done, can a new user, say UID 15, be created with all the 
> same privileges as root, and can root then be purged? 

You may have as many user names associated with UID 0 as you like.
The home directories may be set independently as you like.
I would not "purge" UID 0, but I cannot think of how that would

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