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sudo is a good option for giving regular users access to run commands that can only be run by the superuser or another user. There are some neat security measures available within this utility. You'll want to look over the sudo and sudoers man pages to get a better idea of how it works.
Often when setting up new software or new procedures a regular user will run into roadblocks that can only be resolved by the superuser. The best way around this is to become superuser for a short time and then go back to your normal user account. This is done with the su command. I would recommend using su - over just su so that your default path gets set up properly. Otherwise programs in /sbin and /usr/sbin will not be recognized without using the full path or ./ in the directory where they are stored.