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Submit Response is a weblog by Jack Mottram, a journalist who lives in Glasgow, Scotland. There are 1308 posts in the archives. You can subscribe to a feed. This post was made on and belongs in the mac category. The previous post was , and the next post is .

Fast Root User Switching

I’ve pretty much acclimatised to Panther, or tweaked it to my liking, but there’s one little niggle that I can’t seem to fix.

When logged in as ‘Jack Mottram’ - my imaginative, witty username - it appears to be impossible to use the Fast User Switching feature from the Menu Bar to switch to being logged in as root - the Unix-style super-user, he who can do all manner of terrible things.

Instead, I have to call up the Login Window, then type ‘root’ in the username field, and the corresponding password. The reverse is not true, so when I’m logged in as root, it only takes a click in the top right corner of the screen to bring up a password prompt for the ‘Jack Mottram’ account before the groovy swivelling cube user switching graphic magic kicks in.

I can see why Apple implemented Fast User Switching this way, but in my case there are no other users, and I frequently need to leap into a phone box, spin around a bit, then leap out as root, rather than remaining in my mild-mannered reporter ‘Jack Mottram’ guise. It’s hardly ruining my life, but since there’s no visual cue to remind me that I’m logged in as both myself and root, I quite often leave root tootling away in the background, hogging resources, but not actually doing anything.

So, does anyone know a way to enable Fast User Switching via the Menu Bar between a bog-standard user with administrative privileges and the almighty, terrifying root?

Posted at 5pm on 15/12/03 by Jack Mottram to the mac category.
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