It might be more relevant to the audiences of StackOverflow, ServerFault, or Programmers, but none of their FAQs covered this type of question. What is the origin of the "root" user in Unix-like operating systems? Specifically, why is it "root" and not "admin", or "deity", or another term synonymous with power? Was it an arbitrary decision, or did it have something to do with the architecture of earlier systems, much the way "production environment" was inspired by the ancient (in computing terms) job of "production scheduler?"


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