Cannot Sudo

L. Richard Cameron lrcameron01 at
Mon Aug 13 17:13:35 UTC 2007

Hi there,

My name is Richard Cameron. I'm the network administrator for a small 
electronics company. Last year I was asked to set up a new server for this 
company. At that time the only thing I knew about Linux was that it wasn't 
Windows. Security, reliability and price led me to try out Ubuntu for the 
server OS.

In the following months, I learned as I went, posting the odd question on 
the forums. I would never go back to windows now. Ubuntu is great. In May of 
this year, I got laid off. Another fellow in the company who uses Linux 
regularly (but didn't get paid as much as me) was put in charge of the 
network. He left last week on very bad terms with the owners. Now I've been 
hired back, and here is my dilemma.

When I left, the server had a GUI. It has been removed. Samba has stopped so 
nobody can save information to the server. These problems are minor and 
would not be a big deal to fix, EXCEPT:
Whenever I try to "sudo" I get the reply "Administrator is not in the 
sudoers file. This incident will be reported." The passwords that I used 
have been changed and the fellow who did it all is not forthcoming  with 
them (or any help).

I'm left with a chicken and egg situation. I need to be root to re-enable 
"sudo" but I need "sudo" to become root. Please tell me that there's some 
way around this without having to re-install the server OS. Oh yes, I'm 
still a newbie about most of this so make your reply as straight forward and 
step-by-step as possible.


Richard Cameron
Network Administrator - Allendale Electronics Ltd.
lrcameron01 at

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