27

What does root:wheel mean in the following?

chown root:wheel myfile

31

root is a user (the super user) and wheel is a group (of super users I guess).

chown root:wheel myfile

means making myfile belong to the user root and the group wheel (read man chown for more information).

2
  • 9
    wheel is typically the group with sudo rights (see this question) – Michael Mrozek Sep 4 '10 at 14:28
  • Some Unixen do this for files which are to be accessed by system administrators. Typically these file will have a user:group of root:wheel and permissions rw-rw----. This approach has fallen out of favour, as it allows system changes to be too readily made in error (eg, cd /etc; …; vi hostname would succeed); rather the modern approach has system files owned by root:root and requires the use of the sudo command prior to successfully changing a file (eg, cd /etc; …; vi hostname would fail, only the more intentional sudo vi hostname succeeds). – vk5tu Oct 14 '20 at 13:34
8

More specifically about the wheel group:It is a Unix group specifically intended for only those users who have rights to su as root.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.