Poll: What does the su command mean to you?

Exploring what the su command means

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What does "su" mean to you?

894 votes tallied
super user
350 votes
switch user
411 votes
substitute user
122 votes
7 votes
Other (tell us in the comments)
4 votes

Do you still prefer using the command line to accomplish tasks on your Linux or UNIX based system?

For some, navigating the filesystem and firing off commands in a terminal window can be extremely productive. SSHing from one machine to another or running scripts in the background are everyday occurences for system administrators.

I was watching a conversation happen on a mailing list a few weeks ago about the "su" command. There was some debate about what it meant and, in fact, a history lesson started—gotta love some of the shared knowledge you discover on mailing lists.

As we discover and use technology, we learn different ways to do things or different ways to accomplish the same thing. Let's explore more about the "su" command. How did you first learn about it and what do you think it stands for?

About the author

Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets - Jason Hibbets is a Principal Program Manager at Red Hat with the Digital Communities team. He works with the Enable Architect, Enable Sysadmin, Enterprisers Project, and Opensource.com community publications. He is the author of The foundation for an open source city and has been with Red Hat since 2003. Follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets for a fun and shareable feed of his open source (and...