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Thread: how to access root?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    how to access root?

    can't login to root on my (relatively new - 3 months old) Pangolin laptop system 76 Ubuntu 8.10.
    I haven't tried before. I have successfully done updates through the gui sysadmin interface using the "admin password". I thought admin password would be the root password but I guess not.
    I used to be (5 years ago) an administrator on linux (not ubuntu) and was interested in looking around, i.e. who is in the sudoers file, if there are any parameters that can be adjusted for the firewall, what kind of firewall, hope to do some Perl development - realizing one shouldn't make changes unless one is VERY serious and feels VERY sure but still...

    how can I login to root (or su - superuser)? Did I miss something when I first brought this up? another password?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    6,115

    Re: how to access root?

    By default Ubuntu disables root, instead all administration is done with sudo.
    Ubuntu is not like most traditional linux distros where the root is enabled and can be exploited.
    HOME BUILT SYSTEM! http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/22804/ Please vote up!
    remember kiddies: sudo rm -rf= BAD!, if someone tells you to do this, please ignore them unless YOU WANT YOUR SYSTEM WIPED

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Re: how to access root?

    Here is some valuable information about root in Ubuntu...
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RootSudo
    To err is human, to forgive is very ... dog-like.

    Thomas Aaron
    FetchMasters, LLC

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Ohio
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    Lubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: how to access root?

    Quote Originally Posted by elphaba View Post
    can't login to root on my (relatively new - 3 months old) Pangolin laptop system 76 Ubuntu 8.10.
    I haven't tried before. I have successfully done updates through the gui sysadmin interface using the "admin password". I thought admin password would be the root password but I guess not.
    I used to be (5 years ago) an administrator on linux (not ubuntu) and was interested in looking around, i.e. who is in the sudoers file, if there are any parameters that can be adjusted for the firewall, what kind of firewall, hope to do some Perl development - realizing one shouldn't make changes unless one is VERY serious and feels VERY sure but still...

    how can I login to root (or su - superuser)? Did I miss something when I first brought this up? another password?
    It's your system & it's your decision.
    I know some folks cringe at a root login, but having cut my teeth on unix in the early 80's, I can't imagine not having one.

    sudo su
    passwd

    jdb

  5. #5
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    Re: how to access root?

    You can also sudo to change the password on root (with user auth) to something you know.
    "Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual." - Terry Pratchett

  6. #6
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    Feb 2009
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    Re: how to access root?

    I think it was on one of the first Ubuntus that was running that I enabled root by editing etc/passwd. You should not be doing this. I got root, but soon afterwards I reinstalled the entire thing.

    Sudo as opposed to root took some time for me to transitional (OK I have been Unixing only since '00, but still), yet it works fine. I can still do all the things I want and sudo wants a password only the first time. Overall, you will be better protected from yourself (so you don't have to reinstall).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Texas
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    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: how to access root?

    Thanks very much for the good info. I read the article posted about root-sudo, can't say I don't agree with it but still..if I end up developing scripts for the system, I'm sure I will find not having direct access a bit of a pain. Guess I will wait until the day I actually write the scripts and need it before considering it again.

    I am amazed at how easy it is to update programs. I had images of what I used to do in my head and this is NOTHING compared to that. I suspect that some of you guys don't know the headaches you've missed but then, I guess that is what they are striving for when they want to recommend ubuntu for everyone's desktop. (If I sound like a dinosaur, I am - we need a forum just for us so we can wax nostalgic...LOL)

    Thanks again. Guess I need to browse the help files a bit closer...

  8. #8
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    Re: how to access root?

    I am very new to Linux, have used Ubuntu about a month.

    By coincidence I read about root in Keir Thomas' manual just before I read this thread.

    elphaba, Mr. Thomas' remarks on Working with Root Powers, p77-78, might interest you.

    The handbook is available at no charge as a PDF download from this site.
    http://www.ubuntupocketguide.com/

    Good luck with your script writing.
    Eldera
    Last edited by Eldera; April 8th, 2012 at 06:42 PM. Reason: corrected spelling of elphaba

  9. #9
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    Re: how to access root?

    Anyone know how to disable root once enabled? It doesn't matter anymore since I wiped Ubuntu off that machine (put Dreamlinux on) but would be nice to round off the knowledge in this thread
    "Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual." - Terry Pratchett

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Re: how to access root?

    betrunkenaffe, I am very new at Linux but have been reading instruction books for a long long time.

    There was one description of disabling root in the tutorial thomasaaron referenced https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=6884539and two different descriptions in Keir's handbook that I was reading https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=6886951 (Different from the tutorial)

    I think it might depend on how you went into root in the first place. Have a nice day. Eldera

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