re: How do *you* pronounce sudo? VIEW POST


Habitually like the US English pronunciation of 'pseudo'.

When actually explaining the command to people though, I pronounce it as three syllables, spelling out the first two letters and pronouncing the last two just like the English word 'do', because that's how it breaks down as an acronym (short for 'Switch User and DO', derived from su for 'Switch User').


I thought it was short for "Super User Do"? 🤔


No, it's not. It's from su command "switch user". Also check the man page that says "sudo, sudoedit — execute a command as another user".


I've heard people say that, but it's pretty well established that sudo is derived from the old UNIX su command, which is definitely 'switch user'. It just happens that both have the root user as the default user to when a specific user isn't specified and that's the common case, but there's nothing that prevents you from using it to switch to any user (and by default, the root user can use sudo to do so without needing a password).


linux and MacOSX man su say "substitute user" (though "switch" seems to make more sense). but i'm pretty sure that in the old days it was "superuser", which is the default user to switch to.


It's ambiguous in the original manual (page 17 of, which is a scanned version of the original Version 1 UNIX manual), which does mention becoming 'super-user', but only once and not as the command name. I'm a bit too lazy to figure out when it changed from switching to UID 0 to being able to switch to any user, as that's likely to be the first place it's mentioned as switch or substitute.

All I've ever heard people say when talking about it is 'switch' though, probably because that's the mental flow for most people.

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