administrator privileges for desktop 8.04

Tom Poe tompoe at
Tue Apr 7 02:52:13 BST 2009

I want to run /usr/bin/updatedb on my newly installed Ubuntu 8.04.  How 
do I do that?
tom at tom-desktop:~$ su
su: Authentication failure
tom at tom-desktop:~$ cd /usr/bin
tom at tom-desktop:/usr/bin$ updatedb
updatedb: can not open a temporary file for `/var/lib/mlocate/mlocate.db'
tom at tom-desktop:/usr/bin$

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