Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

By system accounts I mean the ones that comes preinstalled with the system, for example nobody, daemon and bin. I know these tend to vary depending to the distro and the installed packages, but:

is there a standard set of system accounts? What are the security implications behind these accounts (i.e. why run something as user nobody)?

Where do I read about it?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There isn't much specified anywhere. You can read a little bit at the Linux Standard Base Core Spec and specifically about users here.

The general reason for different accounts is a basic security premise. Restrict functions to a single user only, so that user can't interact with unrelated stuff. You don't want a user to be able to reboot the server just because you used the same user ID / group for starting and stopping the system as you did for managing print queues.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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