Being root

Florian Diesch diesch at
Thu Jun 25 11:49:38 UTC 2009

"Amedee Van Gasse (Ubuntu)" <amedee-ubuntu at> wrote:

> On Wed, June 24, 2009 17:03, Florian Diesch wrote:
>> "Amedee Van Gasse (Ubuntu)" <amedee-ubuntu at> wrote:
>>> On Wed, June 24, 2009 12:09, 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 ?
>>> Normally Linux is the same as Unix, but Ubuntu is a special case: the
>>> root password is encrypted, effectively disabling root. You need to use
>>> sudo.
>> Passwords are always encrypted. When doing password authentication the
>> given password is encrypted and compared with the stored encrypted
>> password. For root the encrypted password has a value the encryption
>> function will never return so no password will ever match. That disables
>> password authentication for root.
> You did not understand what I wrote. It must be a language issue.
> In Ubuntu they don't ask for a root password. A root password is
> automatically created with some kind of random function. This random
> password is never told to the user.

No. There is no valid root password. None gets created during the
installation. It's the same '!' in /etc/shadow for every installation.

Have a look in /etc/shadow and read the manpage for crypt(3) if you
don't believe me.


More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list