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account: Every user of a Linux system must have an account. This is a way of saying the user has been registered to use the system, including being entered into things like the user's list (see adduser), has a password, and (optionally) a home directory.

In addition to persons who are users, there are special user accounts set up to run some programs. For example, user "nobody" is often used as an account name for network programs. However, for security reasons, it is recommended that each such network program use a different user name. Those special user accounts usually don't, but may, have a home directory under /home.

Usually, "user" works fine as a synonym for "user account".


  • RandyKramer - 02 Feb 2002
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Topic revision: r5 - 2003-09-07 - AnitaLewis
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