1. Alternatively referred to as an admin, administrator, and gatekeeper, root is a superuser account on a computer or network and has complete control. See our Administrator definition for a full explanation.
2. The root or root directory is the highest level in a directory hierarchy and includes all other directories under it. For example, in MS-DOS, the root or root directory of the primary hard drive would C:\. When working on a web page, the root directory will be your home directory or your public_html directory. On a UNIX system, the root directory is designated as "/" (a single forward slash, without the quotes).
How to get back to the root directory
To get back to the root directory use either of the commands below depending on what command line you are using.
MS-DOS and Windows command line users
Linux, Terminal, Unix
- MS-DOS and Windows command line cd command help.
- MS-DOS help and support.
- Linux cd command help.
- Linux and Unix commands and help.
- In the Microsoft recovery console you can set the current directory to the system root with the systemroot command.
3. With Android devices, root refers to unlocking the Android device to allow more access to the core software that may have been blocked by the manufacturer of the device.
4. In an arithmetic sense, root may be used to describe exponentiating a base number with a fraction. For example, 41/2 is the same as taking the square root of four, which is two because 2x2=4. Similarly, 271/3 is the same as taking the third root of 27, which is three because 3x3x3=27.
5. Root is also an ability, effect, or spell in computer games that locks a target in place. For example, in the game World of Warcraft, the Mage class has a spell called Frost Nova that freezes an enemy in place for a few seconds.
Also see: Administrative, Avatar, BOFH, Current directory, Full rights, Game terms, Hierarchical file system, Home, Moderator, Op, Owner, Parent directory, Power user, Remote admin, Security terms, Sysop