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Chapter 31. Sharing Your Computer with O... > Understanding User Accounts

Understanding User Accounts

In a multiuser system, everyone who works on the computer can have a separate account in which to store personal files. In practice, that means when one user saves a document to the desktop, it does not appear on the desktop that the other users see when they log in to their accounts. Also, each person can set system preferences that show up only when he or she is logged in. Users can customize the Dock and the desktop appearance and expect them to remain that way.

An interesting feature of multiuser operating systems is related to a feature called remote access. Because the operating system assigns a separate desktop to each account, multiple users can use different files on a single computer at the same time. Although this requires connecting to the machine from another computer and enabling remote login, the OS is designed to cope with different simultaneous processes so that users can work as though they were alone on the system.



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