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Both tags are very popular on SO: (4171) vs. (8651).

But in the same time Login's wiki states:

A login or logon (also called logging in or on and signing in or on) is the process by which individual access to a computer system is controlled by identification of the user using credentials provided by the user.

From my point of view login is authentication, one of the sub-processes during authentication, a part of it. Authentication is more global and general term, so separate tags existence makes no sense for me, and I vote for synonymizing. Don't you?

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2 Answers 2

No, they are not synonymous at all. Authentication is the processes that verify that something is what it purports to be. Login is a process that uses this information to (amongst other things) allow access to a system.

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In theory, and if I'm not completely wrong about my English, is a process which does only use to validate the user.

is a superset of , but is not necessarily a subset of .

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I said that login is a superset of authentication. During a login there's much more going on then just authenticating the user. –  Time Traveling Bobby Jun 1 '12 at 8:11
    
@abatishchev: Login does many more things than just authenticate you. –  Iain Jun 1 '12 at 8:12
    
Ok, what else happens during login except auth? –  abatishchev Jun 1 '12 at 8:12
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On a nx box e.g., authenticating the user, checking permissions, providing a terminal session or starting x together with the session information. Additionally maybe doing something with the display manager, pushing a new instance onto a new terminal... –  Time Traveling Bobby Jun 1 '12 at 8:14
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Login creates the environment you are going to interact with, updates databases about who logged in and when etc. –  Iain Jun 1 '12 at 8:18
    
So we have [authentication], [authorization] and [login] separately? –  abatishchev Jun 1 '12 at 8:18
    
@abatishchev: Yes, three different processes, which are related, but not the same. –  Time Traveling Bobby Jun 1 '12 at 8:22
    
@abatishchev: Yes, they are all different concepts. Authorization says that your authentication allows you access to something. webopedia.com/TERM/A/authentication.html –  Iain Jun 1 '12 at 8:22
    
I know that this is different terms ;) I want to confirm that everybody are satisfied with this variety. –  abatishchev Jun 1 '12 at 8:27
    
Why would they not be? –  Iain Jun 1 '12 at 8:34
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@abatishchev: There is no "variety". That's like saying "Should we merge J# and Java or are we okay with that variety?". –  Time Traveling Bobby Jun 1 '12 at 8:47
    
@GardenGnobobby: Your analogy is not correct, sorry. –  abatishchev Jun 1 '12 at 9:46

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