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Thread: Cannot use sudo and no su password

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    331
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Question Cannot use sudo and no su password

    I edited sudoers and saved it with a parsing error. (I tried to use visudo to edit the sudoers file but couldn't get the right command.)

    Anyway, I now do not have a valid sudoers file, so I cannot use sudo. I need sudo to edit the sudoers file in /etc

    I try to login as su but it doesn't accept the password I use for sudo. I have never set a password for su. I guess it must be the default. What is the default password for su ?

    Thank you!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Cannot use sudo and no su password

    There isn't a password that will work with su, the root account is disabled in Ubuntu.

    You can boot into recovery mode and edit the sudoers file that way instead:
    http://psychocats.net/ubuntu/fixsudo

    PS - This is why you should always use visudo to edit the sudoers file
    Cheesemill

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    331
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Question Re: Cannot use sudo and no su password

    Thanks for that great link, Cheesemill!

    I have to use the down arrow key. There is one on my keyboard on the number pad. It shares the number 2 button. It looks exactly like an arrow pointing down. I try to select this down arrow but nothing appears. I have tried using the shift+2, alt+2, ctrl+2 but they don't do the trick.

    There is another place with up and down arrows, too. The down arrow shares a key with Pg Dn. It is an inverted triangle. Page down is in blue - i think I need to use the blue function key for page down to work. Anyway, I can't get this down arrow key to produce anything on the command line either.

    Any suggestions on how to get the down arrow working?

    Thank you!
    Linux-libre ask for it
    Coreboot Free software to replace proprietary BIOS
    Trisquel a fully free GNU/Linux-libre distribution
    Open Source does not mean Free My Spec Earthlings

  4. #4
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    Re: Cannot use sudo and no su password

    If you press the num lock button first the arrows on your number pad will work.
    Cheesemill

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    331
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Question Re: Cannot use sudo and no su password

    I tried num-lock first. I got it to toggle between entering a number and entering something else. Unfortunately, when I try to get it to enter something else, like a down arrow, nothing appears. The cursor remains in the same place and no character is produced.

    This is frustrating!

    Edit:

    Ah! The down arrow key was working, after all. The problem was that I thought down arrow was an actual command on the command line. Instead, it was referring to moving down through a menu in instructions I was following. I don't actually have that menu, so I can't navigate through it.

    I still need to somehow drop to the root shell prompt from the command line though. I don't know how to do that.
    Last edited by yeehi; June 15th, 2012 at 11:19 AM.
    Linux-libre ask for it
    Coreboot Free software to replace proprietary BIOS
    Trisquel a fully free GNU/Linux-libre distribution
    Open Source does not mean Free My Spec Earthlings

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Distro
    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Cannot use sudo and no su password

    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    User friendly disk backup: Redobackup

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