Subject: wheel? (was: wheel vs root (newby question?))
To: Josh Huber <>
From: David Leonard <>
List: current-users
Date: 01/09/1996 08:12:00
Hmm this makes me wonder: what is the history of the name given to gid 0?  
Why `wheel' and not `privileged', `su' or something like that.


> > After installing NetBSD I found all the files owned by 'wheel', which is
> > not in the password file. As superuser (booted up single user) I had no way
> > of changing this, though. I consulted the FAQ's I could find, to no avail.
> root is the SUperuser, while wheel is the group of anyone you want to be 
> able to su(substitute user) to root.  root is in the group wheel.  to 
> look at it, check out the file /etc/group(bsdi 2.0).  By adding someone 
> to the group wheel you give them permission to su to root, which means 
> don't add just anyone to this group.  If you need to change the 
> owner/group of a file use the chown command like so:
> chown testfile, or, for a more real example:
> chown root.wheel /etc/passwd

David Leonard                            Project Officer, DSTC
The University of Queensland