A user is just a number


A Unix heaven is, in my opinion, where everybody in an organization is a Unix user and has a Unix account, be it on a centralized mainframe or on a personal workstation. I could dream of that forever, despite the cruel reality being that even if everybody was a user,

A user is really nothing more than a number.

— as they say in the Chapter 8 of the “UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook.”

Notwithstanding this profound simplicity, user management even in a standalone system, let alone the modern global Unix clusters, is still a significant operation. And when it comes to user management in distributed systems, Microsoft’s Active Directory is an important player, apparently more important than LDAP, the usual suspect in the field.

And by the way, group management is an interesting topic too. Gotta go play with the group passwords…

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