Root, in computer science, is the base of a hierarchical file system.


The root directory contains the tree of directories and files that make up the file system.

The symbol used to represent this directory depends on whether the file system is on a Microsoft Windows platform or a UNIX platform. Windows designates the root with a backslash (\), and UNIX uses a forward slash (/). The root directory is the first element in the absolute path of a file or directory on the file system.

Root (superuser)

The term “root” can also refer to the user with the highest level of administrative rights, especially on a UNIX system. Other names for this user are SuperUser (UNIX), Supervisor (NetWare), and Administrator (Windows).

The name root may have originated because root is the only user account with permission to modify the root directory of a Unix system. This directory was originally considered to be root’s home directory, but the UNIX Filesystem Hierarchy Standard now recommends that root’s home be at /root.

The highest-level entity

The term “root” can also refer to the highest-level entity in a directory system structure. For example, the root of Active Directory in Windows Server is the RootDSE object.

ROOT (data analysis framework)

ROOT is a framework for data processing, born at CERN, at the heart of the research on high-energy physics. Every day, thousands of physicists use ROOT applications to analyze their data or to perform simulations. It was originally designed for particle physics data analysis and contains several features specific to this field, but it is also used in other applications such as astronomy and data mining.

ROOT is an open-source data analysis framework used by high energy physics and others.

See: ROOT – Data Analysis Framework


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