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Re: Debian Equivalent of Group "Wheel"?

On Mon, Jul 07, 2003 at 09:52:17AM -0400, Adam Garside wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 07, 2003 at 09:39:33AM -0400, Marc Trudeau wrote:
> > Dear List,
> > 
> > I?m a newcomer and tried to find this topic in the archives, but I had
> > trouble using Glimpse to filter out ?wheel mouse?. I hope I?m not belaboring
> > a well-covered point. If so, my appologies.
> > 
> > On my Mac (a flavor of BSD Unix), all administrators, including root, are
> > part of group, ?wheel?. I couldn?t find that group in the ?group? file on my
> > Debian system and lack the experience to recognize its equivalent. Is there,
> > by convention, a Debian equivalent to the ?wheel? group?
> see /etc/pam.d/su for details as well as Section 9.2.2 in the debian
> reference.

From the GNU coreutils info page:

Why GNU `su' does not support the `wheel' group

   (This section is by Richard Stallman.)

   Sometimes a few of the users try to hold total power over all the
rest.  For example, in 1984, a few users at the MIT AI lab decided to
seize power by changing the operator password on the Twenex system and
keeping it secret from everyone else.  (I was able to thwart this coup
and give power back to the users by patching the kernel, but I wouldn't
know how to do that in Unix.)

   However, occasionally the rulers do tell someone.  Under the usual
`su' mechanism, once someone learns the root password who sympathizes
with the ordinary users, he or she can tell the rest.  The "wheel
group" feature would make this impossible, and thus cement the power of
the rulers.

   I'm on the side of the masses, not that of the rulers.  If you are
used to supporting the bosses and sysadmins in whatever they do, you
might find this idea strange at first.

Rob Weir <rweir@ertius.org> | mlspam@ertius.org  |  Do I look like I want a CC?
Words of the day:       diwn military Crypto AG Chobetsu clandestine War Crimes

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