Caution

Because of the potential for making a catastrophic error as the super user (using the command rm -rf /* is the classic example, but do not ever try it!), always use your system as a regular user and become root only temporarily to do sysadmin duties. While you are on a multiuser system, consider this advice an absolute rule; if root were to delete the wrong file or kill the wrong process, the results could be disastrous for the business. On your home system, you can do as you please, and running as root makes many things easier, but less safe. In any setting, however, the risks of running as root are significant.

The third type of user is the system user. The system user is not a person, but rather an administrative account that the system uses during day-to-day running of various services. For example, the system user named xfs owns the X11 font server and all the associated files. Only itself and root can have access to these filesno one else can access or make changes to these files. System users do not have a home directory or password, nor do they permit access to the system through a login prompt.

You will find a list of all the users on a system in the /etc/passwd file. Ubuntu refers to these users as the standard users because they are found on every Ubuntu computer as the default set of system (or logical) users provided during the initial installation. This "standard" set differs among Linux distributions.

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