Computer science

Different Roles of Users and Groups

A UNIX operating system has four types of users/groups who interconnect within a system to enable smooth running of an organization’s system. They include domain administrators, administrators, operators and general users (Silberschatz, Galvin & Gagne, 2009). Each type of user group enjoys different roles and functions with the domain administrators ranking on the top of the list whereas general users are handed the most minimal roles and functions (Silberschatz, Galvin & Gagne, 2009).

Domain users have super powers within a system as they are the overall system controllers with all the principal rights to a system. In this user group, members are permitted to create top level domains in a system and assign roles to other users (Frisch, 2009). These users belong to esdomadm UNIX user group and have the privilege to create customized and specific topology configurations and assign user privileges for such domains. These users are important to a UNIX system as they define actions available to users and govern user actions (Boyd-Wickizer et al., 2008).

In UNIX, administrators come in as the second senior most users. Their roles include all administrative functions which are outside of a topology system (Frisch, 2009). Their functions include loading of modules and configuration of managed objects and properties of data. A user is considered to be an administrator if they belong to the esadm UNIX user group and they can specify access controls at module and agent levels. The users are important to a UNIX system as they manage and configure hardware and software, ensure integrity of data and file systems and provide technical support and general troubleshooting to other users (Silberschatz, Galvin & Gagne, 2009).

The third group of users is operators and for one to be an operator in a UNIX system, they need to belong to the esops UNIX group. In this group, users can effectively fine tune their products but they have no jurisdiction to affect major configurations or architectural changes (Silberschatz, Galvin & Gagne, 2009). These users can view management information, configure own domains and topology containers, enable or disable management modules and manage objects with respect to their data acquisition (Stevans, 2011). These users are important as they help break down administrator roles. General users are the last group of users and their roles only include viewing management information and acknowledging alarms. They are important to a UNIX system as they are problem identifiers and remediate through first user level support (Stevans, 2011).

Operating system files

A UNIX operating system has many files which are associated with it. However, these file types have restricted permissions and some of them are mostly limited to specific users. One of the file types is the bin file which is an executable file and is located in the bin directories. These file types are available to all users (Stevans, 2011). The sbin files are another type of files which contain binary executable files and are only available to system administrators.

The usr files are used for miscellaneous purposes and their access is available to many users (Mazieres, 2001). They include administrative commands, library and shared files. Kernel files are contained in a kernel directory and their work is to manage communication between input and output software in translating user instructions and converting them to data (Mazieres, 2001). This file type is available to all users. Another file type is the tmp file which is a temporary file used between system boots (Mazieres, 2001). All these file types fall into three types of file categories including text files, binary files and special files.


Boyd-Wickizer, S., Chen, H., Chen, R., Mao, Y., Kaashoek, M. F., Morris, R., … & Zhang, Z.

(2008). Corey: An Operating System for Many Cores. In OSDI (Vol. 8, pp. 43-57).

Frisch, A. (2009). Essential System Administration: Tools and Techniques for Linux and Unix

            Administration. O’reilly.

Mazieres, D. (2001). A Toolkit for User-Level File Systems. In USENIX Annual Technical

            Conference, General Track (pp. 261-274).

Silberschatz, A., Galvin, P. B., & Gagne, G. (2009). Operating system concepts. J. Wiley &


Stevans, W. R. (2011). Advanced programming in the UNIX® environment. Pearson Education






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