A role is an account with all the attributes of a user account, including a name, user ID (UID), password, and home directory. A role also has a specific set of administrative rights. Instead of a login shell, a role has a role shell (for example, Administrator's Bourne instead of Bourne shell). The root account is a role with all rights, whereas other roles have more limited rights.
When a user is associated with a role, that user first logs in as usual, with the individual's user name and password. The user can log in to the SMC Users tools with the role ID and role password. Alternatively, from a command line, the user can type su rolename and type the role password to assume the rights of the specific role.