I have actually been a windows user for every one of my expert life. I just gained a MacBook Pro and also want to acquire started developing with Ruby on Rails.

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I have run across several installation travel guide which recommend utilizing the sudo command. Native what I have the right to tell, the sudo command enables you to operation a command as an administrator.

What i don"t acquire is... I only have actually 1 user account on mine mac, shouldn"t ns be the admin user by default?

Why do I should use the sudo command?

Am ns correctly understanding what sudo does?


On the mac, the user you use to log in in is by default no the supervisor user (root) account. This is a security feature (Least Privilege) the is by design.

Along with that defense model, sudo is a tool that is detailed to permit regular (non-root) users to do root tasks on a case by case basis.

This prevents a totality host of issues, not the the very least of which is royally screwing increase your device by accident. :)


Part that the man you"re running into is the terminology. In OS X, there are 3 key levels of account privilege you"ll run into:

root (aka the gaianation.net, mechanism Administrator, or System): this is a details account (not just a type of account), and also is usually all-powerful. For example, root has full accessibility to all files on the system, not matter what their permissions are. It is generally a bad idea to log in as root, for this reason by default the account is disabled (and mostly hidden). This roughly corresponds come what you"re most likely calling "Administrator".

(Update: in current versions the macOS, root"s power has been minimal to border the damage from malware the gets root access. System Integrity defense (SIP) and also the read-only device volume protect the OS itself, and Transparency Consent and Control (TCC) restricts access to users" an individual info.)

Administrator: this is the form of account you have; it"s enabled to do system-wide changes, but usually needs to do something special (i.e. Click a padlock icon and also authenticate) to enable that access. For instance, if you try to copy a record you don"t have read access to, the Finder will call for you come authenticate prior to copying the file. The sudo command is an additional example that this -- it enables administrators come promote us temporarily come root.

Standard user: no special privileges, not enabled to mess v (most) system-wide settings or bypass accessibility restrictions.

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There"s also sort-of a 4th category: controlled accounts are standard accounts that have actually "parental controls" applied to them.