root password setting unoffered at install

Gilles Gravier Gilles at
Sun Nov 4 17:00:53 UTC 2007


This is normal. You are not supposed to administer Ubuntu as root. This 
is in many cases dangerous.

Rather, the way Ubuntu works is that you are asked to create one intial 
user. This user has administrative rights, in the sense that it can use 
SUDO to launch any administrative operations.

In effect, this means that when logged in as that user, you can launch 
any administrative operation and you will be prompted for your password 
(for security purposes) and the operation will take place. You can also 
use the "sudo" command with the same password control.

If for some strange reason you really need to log in as root, you can 
actually "sudo bash" or "sudo su -" which will do the trick.

But at no point do you ever need to have a root password for Ubuntu. It 
is normally blocked out. You never log in as root.

Consider this some form of very simplistic role based access control. 
Your normal user has the administrator role when it enters the correct 
password. Unfortunately not much fine grain control, but still... better 
than full access to root. :)


Kent Paul Dolan 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.
> 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.
> Help?
> xanthian.

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