An Introduction to Role-Based Access Control

Monday, 26 August 2002, 9:52 AM EST

Role-Based Access Control, or RBAC, was introduced with Sun Solaris 8, and is present in Solaris 9. Probably the best explanation of what it is would be to think of it as Sun's version of “sudo,” albeit with a large number of differences.

RBAC was introduced without much fanfare, and even now, it seems that very few system administrators are familiar with it, let alone use it. I believe this is caused both by a lack of clear documentation and by RBAC arriving rather late on the scene, long after other solutions had been devised and widely accepted.

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