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Windows accounts

Posted on 2013-01-20
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Last Modified: 2013-01-20
Is the account called LocalSystem the same account as System account. People just refer to it in two different ways???????
Or are they two different accounts in Windows?
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Question by:metro156
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JAN PAKULA earned 255 total points
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There is a single well-known SID for the local system. It is S-1-5-18, as you found from that KB article. This SID returns multiple names when asked to be dereferenced. The 'cacls' command-line command (XP) shows this as "NT Authority\SYSTEM". The 'icacls' command-line command (Vista/Win7) also shows this as "NT Authority\SYSTEM". The GUI tools in Windows Explorer show this as "SYSTEM". When you're configuring a Service to run, this is shown as "Local System".

Three names, one SID.

In Workgroups, the SID only has a meaning on the local workstation. When accessing another workstation, the SID is not transferred just the name. The 'Local System' can not access any other systems.

In Domains, the Relative ID is what allows the Machine Account access to resources not local to that one machine. This is the ID stored in Active Directory, and is used as a security principle by all domain-connected machines. This ID is not S-1-5-18. It is in the form of S-1-5-21[domainSID]-[random].

Configuring a service as "Local Service" tells the service to log on locally to the workstation as S-1-5-18. It will not have any Domain credentials of any kind.

Configuring a service as "Network Service" or "NT Authority\NetworkService" tells the service to log on to the domain as that machine's domain account, and will have access to Domain resources. The Windows XP Service Configurator does not have the ability to select "Network Service" as a login type. The SQL Setup program might.

"Network Service" can do everything "Local System" can, as well as access Domain resources.

"Network Service" has no meaning in a Workgroup context.

In short:

NT Authority\System = Local System = SYSTEM = S-1-5-18

If you need your service to access resources not located on that machine, you need to either:

Configure it as a Service using a dedicated login user
Configure it as a Service using "Network Service" and belong to a domain

(from:

http://serverfault.com/questions/168752/windows-localsystem-vs-system

)
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