Being root

Knapp magick.crow at
Wed Jun 24 10:29:42 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 12:15 PM, Avi
Greenbury<avismailinglistaccount at> wrote:
> bill wrote:
>> In unix I am used to logging on as root when I need to do a series of
>> administrative tasks, aware of the danger.
>> New to linux, I haven't found a way of logging on as root or su'ing to
>> root. When I installed I did not enter a root password and that makes it
>> difficult to log in.
>> How does one set the root password, or is this never done ?
> It's only Ubuntu, to my knowledge, which doesn't have a root account
> password set. The vast majority if Linuxen operate as you expect by default.
> You have two, non-mutually exclusive, courses of action possible:
> 1) Sudo. In short, prefix commands with `sudo` to run them as root. This
> requires you be configured as such in /etc/sudoers, which on Ubuntu the
> initial user account is. See `man sudo`, since there's more to it than
> the above.
> Sudo is lovely and configurable, though reasonably easy to misconfigure,
> but it doesn't preclude also using su. Personally, I use su in general
> and have configured sudo to allow the other users of my systems to run
> particular administrative tasks.
> --
> Avi Greenbury

The sudoers file has LOTS of settings. Some fun ones are to make it
insult you every time you type the wrong password. :-) (It says thing
like, is that you Dave?) But the reason I wrote this is because once
you sudo and type your password, the second time it does not ask for
the pw. This times out in something like 5 minutes. If you plan on
living in Sudo land you can change this to something like 60 minutes.
I personally almost never use sudo for more than 2 commands in a row
so a few minutes is fine for me.

Douglas E Knapp

Why do we live?

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list