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[vox-tech] Purpose of "nobody" user?
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[vox-tech] Purpose of "nobody" user?

Yesterday, I was helping Melissa add a user account to her laptop.
I decided to just point her at KDE's "Kuser" (K->System->"User Manager")
GUI tool, mostly because I wanted to see it. ;)  ("adduser" is not hard to
use, but I figured most non-Unix-types would go hunting a GUI tool,
so wanted to familiarize myself with it.)

One thing she noticed was the user "nobody", which sounded supsicious.
And it had quite an insane UID (65534), compared to other user accounts.
Her first thought was to Google for 'nobody 65534', and found many, many
posts where people had obviously dumped their /etc/passwd to a mailing list
for help with this-or-that.  Based on this, she seemed happy enough to
know it's just some "thing" that Linux does/has.

For the life of me, I couldn't really explain _what_ "nobody" is used for.
I'm familiar with it in terms of NCSA httpd and Apache, but beyond that...
A little help, here?  :^D


(PS - Google for '"nobody user" OR "user nobody" purpose linux' wasn't as
helpful as I had hoped. :^/  I also tried throwing 'FAQ' in there ;^) )
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