What is the Wheel group on Linux?


The users of the wheel group are able to su to root. This usually consists of a group named “wheel” and a set of users that are permitted to use the utility ‘su’ in order to change to root.

The term is derived from the slang phrase big wheel, referring to a person with great power or influence



  • Create a “wheel” group
  • Change the permissions of the su command so that only those in the wheel group may run it.


In the pluggable authentication module, there is a wheel module. See the wheel PAM module

Documentation / Reference

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Linux - su command (switch user)

The su command (switch user) is a part of the user management. To switch to another user, use the su command. This is most commonly used to switch to the root account. su run a shell with substitute...

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