what is root actually means?

Tero Ratilainen tero.ratilainen at kapsi.fi
Wed Jun 27 18:39:21 UTC 2007

On Wednesday 27 June 2007 21:34:25 Edmund Laugasson wrote:
> > Kubuntu disables the root user by default.
> It seems like root still exist but password is randomly generated during
> the installation process. Just we don't know, what the root's password
> might be.
> But if I use sudo passwd root command, I can easily assign password to user
> root. If there's root disabled, then there should be not possible to assing
> password to it. So, it seems like root is not disabled and I think, that it
> cannot be disabled. How do you disable root? Perhaps comment out
> appropriate rows in /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow?
> > That's why we use sudo to
> > execute programs that need administrative access, and sudo -i to
> > actually switch to the root user.
> I use: su -
> But certainly, there's no big difference.
> > There literally is NO password for
> > root, so while the user exists, the account can NOT be hacked.
> Is it really possible, that there's NO password for root? If it is so, then
> there should be possible to log in by just typing root for user name and I
> am already in! But its known, that it's not possible. Therefore I think,
> that there should be some automatically generated password for root,
> because automatical logon is not possible. But it asks password for user
> root, if that username is entered. It means, that root is active but we
> just don't know the password.

By default, the root password is something that cannot be used as a password. 
So there is no way to enter the password. So basically, it is disabled, as 
there is no way to log in, even with brute force.

Tero Ratilainen

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