Hmm ... su ... I always thought it stands for "switch user" . I have read it somewhere some time ago. It made perfect sense to me since you can use su to switch to another user .... like su john ... enter password.su
has been interpreted as meaning s
bshell and s
Since before Linux existed substitute user
was the "official" meaning that you would find in books about Unix and in the the man pages for su
. To interpret su
as super user
just seemed silly if you knew that you could also su to other users than root.
But then muungwana
found this link: http://pthree.org/2009/12/31/the-meaning-of-su/
. It shows that the original meaning of su
may indeed have been "superuser" -- long before you could
su to anyone but root. Or so it seems.
But to quote uncleV:
"Mind the difference between su and su -". That's actually more important.