wheel group on *nix computers typically refers to the group with some sort of root-like access. I've heard that on some *nixes it's the group of users with the right to run
su, but on Linux that seems to be anyone (although you need the root password, naturally). On Linux distros I've used it seems to be the group that by default has the right to use
sudo; there's an entry in
sudoers for them:
%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL
But that's all tangential; my actual question is: Why is this group called
wheel? I've heard miscellaneous explanations for it before, but don't know if any of them are correct. Does anyone know the actual history of the term?