Try to do stuff as the regular user you created, only use root account when it's absolutely necessary. This usually prevents fatal accidents and possibly creates a bit more security, when root login is not open (should a security breach happen, it's not hopefully as fatal in a regular user account than with root privileges). Anyway, to become root temporiraly:
it asks for the root password (the one you entered during setup), and after that you're logged in as root (remember: this way, when you are acutally logged in as a regular user, the $PATH variable is not the same as root user's, so for some programs you need to specify full path, for example /sbin/fdisk
instead of fdisk
). A (hopefully) more secure, and one you should learn to use, is sudo
. With sudo
one can give limited (i.e. only certain commands, only for certain users) root privileges for a given user, and no root password need be revealed. For this you usually need to add the desired user into sudoers
group (edit /etc/group file) and then add a line to /etc/sudoers
that lets that user (or a group where the desired users belong to) use sudo command -- there you can also specify what commands that user can access with root privileges, and if (user's) password is needed (it should be). After these two things are set, you can then
for example; this time the user's own password is asked, and after that the given command is run as root; after the command finishes, you are back to your regular account, so no root account is left 'open' if the command suddenly dies.
Note: when typing passwords, usually no letters are shown on screen. Everything is written though it's not displayed.