Most of the year, sysadmins have to worry about things that are bugging YOU.
They have to worry about the things that YOU need fixed right now, that YOU have decided are more important than everyone else’s problems put together, and that YOU shouldn’t have to put up with if only the world were fair, etc.
No matter that the problem YOU are having is caused by a problem that YOU created.
If your sysadmins were any good they’d have set things up so that YOU couldn’t have got it wrong in the first place.
No matter that they did, indeed, set it up just like that but YOU complained about feeling stifled…
…and YOU turned off the safety feature all by yourself, with the help of your neighbour’s friend’s cousin’s 9-year-old child, who’s just happens to be a computer whizzkid.
Well, today is #SysAdminDay, which means that it’s time for us to do something for those sysadmins for once.
So we thought we’d get to the bottom of a thorny problem that has provoked a number of arguments that we’ve
deliberately started been caught in the middle of.
What is the right way – the ONE TRUE WAY, in fact – to pronounce the word
Today’s operating systems – yes, O Beardy Ones, that includes Windows! – don’t routinely let you login as a system administrator, also known as the
superuser, also known as
You logon as a regular user, which is the account you use for regular work such as keeping your resumé tweaked in LibreOffice, checking the Bitcoin price in Firefox, watching cat videos in VLC, playing retro games in MAME and recompiling the kernel.
To get rootly powers, you need to tell the computer that what you are going to do next should be boosted to run under the admin account.
On Windows, you can use the aptly named and easy-to-say
C:\Users\duck>runas /? RUNAS USAGE: RUNAS [ [/noprofile | /profile] [/env] [/savecred | /netonly] ] /user: program RUNAS [ [/noprofile | /profile] [/env] [/savecred] ] /smartcard [/user:] program RUNAS /trustlevel: program /user <UserName> should be in form USER@DOMAIN or DOMAIN\USER /noprofile specifies that the user's profile should not be loaded. This causes the application to load more quickly, but can cause some applications to malfunction. /profile specifies that the user's profile should be loaded. This is the default. /env to use current environment instead of user's. . . . .
On OpenBSD, which favours an approach based on the strip-back-the-fluff-and-keep-it-lean-mean-and-clean (if that is not a tautologically convoluted way of describing the OpenBSD view of life), it’s just
But Linux, and macOS for that matter, steers you towards the
sudo is often misconstrued to mean “superuser do”, or “do the next command as the superuser”, but that’s not strictly correct.
sudo command is short for “substitute user and do…”, or more precisely “set UID and do…” the command that follows.
You can therefore run
sudo to switch temporarily to any other user, subject to the privileges you have been granted, though the default user you’ll turn into is, indeed,
Now, on most Linux systems, regular users get complete control over their own files but very little control over the system at all.
On the other hand, the superuser, or root, is pretty much Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Minister of Finance, Chief Justice and Head of State (that’s His/Her Majesty to you or me) all at the same time.
There’s not really any sort of in-between user – you don’t get an account called
hemidemisemisuperuser – it’s everything or nothing.
That’s why, in the XKCD cartoon above, the person who’s being asked to make the sandwich collapses, in an instant, from “make it yourself” rejection into abject subservience.
So, to the burning question.
If you need to read out a command line aloud, you need to know how to pronounce it, like this:
$ gzip -c blah | tar xvf - gee-zip minus sea blah pipe tar exvieff dash
But you also need to know how to read out something more dramatic, like:
sudo rm -rf /var/log/webfilter/*.urls
Do you pronounce the first word as “Sue do”?
After all, the “do” part quite literally means “do”, as in, Ours not to reason why/Ours but to do and die.
Or do you get all metaphorical and treat the whole
sudo thing as if it were a game, as in Ludo or Cluedo or Sudoku? Or a fighting style such as Taekwondo or Kendo?
That would make
sudo come out more like “soo dough.”
Well, we’re delighted to sort this out for once and for all, now and for ever, until the end of time.
The ONE TRUE WAY to say sudo is as follows:
By the way, if you’re wearing a cool T-shirt, give yourself and all your fellow sysadmins a shout by replying to our tweet below:
Happy #SysAdminDay! Today we're saying 'thanks' to our server room saviours by celebrating the style, self expression and social signalling of the sysadmin.— Naked Security (@NakedSecurity) July 26, 2019
Yes, we want to see your tees! Get out your phone or turn on your webcam and send us your t-shirts of IT.#TshirtsofIT pic.twitter.com/HSyvMm8Czv
22 comments on “Sysadmins need to know – how DO you pronounce “sudo”?”
sudo aka “sue due”
Hmmm. The problem with using the word “due” as a pronunciation aid is (AFAIK) the majority of English speakers in the world say it as “dew” (as in the moisture on grass in the early morning), except for Londoners and North Americans who say “Doo” (as in Scooby). I am guessing you mean to ryhme it with Scooby…
In deference to Three Dead Trolls In a Baggie, it’s
Which of course runs on Linn-Line-Linn-Line-ucks.
and every computer crashes
because every OS, well…
Sue dough. But I also say Linnux and Gif, so I could be wrong 😉
Right or wrong, you’re hardly alone
(That’s +1 for each.)
Last time I researched it, in a department that had different pronounciations used in the same dialogue, I found something which said there were two official pronounciations, ‘sue do’ and ‘pseudo’ because it’s no biggie.
Kind of like how many non-Finns actually say Leanoocks?
IT’S NO BIGGIE?
That’s the sort of dangerously casual attitude that puts you on the slippery slope that ends in Emacs…
I’m not suggesting it’s so little of a biggie that ‘suh-duh’ would be acceptable.
Pseudo and Sue-do have valid etymologies, sue-do because it’s essentially doing something under the su command, and pseudo because it’s running something as another identity, so both were accepted as competing standards.
If you have a valid third solution then there’s an xkcd comic explaining how to achieve the most with this method.
Sudo should be pronounced like pseudo, sort of a false root user.
$ alias pseudo=‘sudo’ # sorted
pronunciation is in the tongue of the speaker 😉
Is that ‘tong’ or ‘tung’? (Ducks.)
Pseudo… Is the only way it makes sense to pronounce. As you’re kinda that person/root but not actually them. This isn’t like Emacs vs VIM there can be only one
I have a few Japanese friends named Sudo, pronounced “Sue Dough”, or pseudo.
If we were to look at the Chinese characters (as used in Japanese), we may find a totally new meaning for the word.
If you’re Welsh, wouldn’t it be “seedy” ?
Brilliantly trolled, as always!
Pseudo for me. It was just my initial take on the word and that’s just how I’ve been going ever since. To be fair, I tend to pronounce a lot of words wrong so I’m sure this is possibly not an exception.
I see ur trying to start another one, calling “-” “minus” and “dash” in the same sentence…
When it’s clearly called “tack”.
Wait… so you prounounce it ATHO? As in BATH-OH? Or are the plusses not silent?
“Rejection into Abject Subservience” is absolutely my next speed metal #coverband.