On the Mac, there is no sudo group. But inside the sudoers file, there is something called the wheel and it says:

root and user in group wheel can run anything on any machine as any user.

And it has %admin ALL = (ALL) ALL below it. Does group wheel take the place of the sudo group? If not, where is the sudo group?

1 Answer 1


The group admin is synonymous with the group sudo found on Linux boxes. Members of the group wheel have a special privilege where they can su (switch user) to root assuming that the member knows root's password. Since the root account is disabled, membership in the group wheel would be similar to membership in the group admin, if configured in /private/etc/sudoers. Since some Apple supplied command line tools require admin membership, the group wheel is a vestige from FreeBSD.

  • 1
    My account is neither in the wheel group or the admin group and I am still able to use sudo. Why is that? Oct 11, 2017 at 23:36

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