root password setting unoffered at install

Peter Garrett peter.garrett at
Sun Nov 4 17:00:06 UTC 2007

On Sun, 4 Nov 2007 08:40:47 -0800 (PST)
Kent Paul Dolan <xanthian at> wrote:

> Hi, new kid on the block here.
> I just installed Ubuntu 7.10 (64 bit desktop version), and I
> was not offered a chance to set the root password during the
> install. Did I miss something, or is the default password for
> root published somewhere? I'm quite nervous about the default
> being left in place, so any help would be appreciated.

It's OK, you can relax :)

Ubuntu uses the sudo model,  and the root password does not exist
by default. It's locked.
> I do know one trick: boot from the installation drive, remove
> the shadow password file, null the password for root in the
> password file, boot again from the hard drive, and go forward
> starting with a null root password, but that seems like more
> work than I should have to do.

None of this is needed. The first user on install is in the "admin" group,
and empowered to use sudo for tasks requiring root. You simply prepend
"sudo" to the command, and use your own password. For a root shell
you can use

sudo -i

I suggest that you have a look at

For lots of other Ubuntu-related information, have a look at
Unix is hard to learn. The process of learning it is one of multiple 
small epiphanies. -- Neal Stephenson

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