Difference between a user and an account

New to Freedombox, I am trying it out within a virtual machine on an Ubuntu 20.04 desktop.

When setting it up, I was prompted to create a “user”. I did that, no problems.

When all was set up, as I was exploring around within my new Freedombox setup, I clicked on “accounts”. I expected to see the user I set up there. Instead, I saw two “accounts” (that I did not set up): “fbu”, and “root”. So, now I’m confused.

What is the difference between a user and an account?

What, if anything, will I ever need to do with these two accounts?


The “Accounts” page is part of Cockpit, a more advanced tool for system administration. So it shows a lower-level view compared to FreedomBox interface.

Every Debian system has a “root” user, which has access to all functionality of the system.

“fbx” is a user that is created when building the FreedomBox disk image, and can be used for troubleshooting and recovery if the system is not otherwise accessible.

For both of these accounts, there is no default password. I recommend to just ignore the “Accounts” page of Cockpit unless you have a reason to use it.