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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
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I installed Ubuntu some time ago and used it as it is (with just 2 accounts: guest and Admin), since I only used it in order to compile C code sources. Now I finally started to learn Linux from a book; the problem is that when I try to type "su" I am requested to insert the password for root. My admin password won't work here. I know there are various topics about this over the internet, but something is still not clear: when I first installed Ubuntu I received by default the Admin account; did I also received a Root account? So.. who is root? and what happens when I type "sudo su"? it is asking me for my admin password, and then it changes the prompter from "$" to "#". Does that mean that I can only have root powers just as long as the session lasts?
root is the account that an "Admin" account executes things with. in Ubuntu you don't use "su", instead it relies heavily on the better, more secure sudo tool. here, "su -" would be replaced by "sudo -i" and then you would enter YOUR password, not the admin one.
and please *NEVER* run "sudo su" that's just a nasty hack, ALWAYS run "sudo -i" instead. it's even a whole character shorter.
Yes, # means you'll be root. you can run "whoami" too to confirm.
Last edited by acid_kewpie; 10-30-2012 at 09:52 AM.
Ubuntu and its derivatives work a bit differently than every other Linux distribution under the sun. For some reason, they decided to disable the root account by not assigning it a password, and instead they force all admin to be done through sudo.
An "admin" account in Ubuntu simply means that account is able to do anything they want via sudo. Any account can become an "admin" account by granting it full sudo rights as well.
If you would like to enable the real root account, you can assign it a password with:
Now I finally started to learn Linux from a book; the problem is that...
Nope, the only "problem" is that you are trying to learn Ubuntu from a book that is not about Ubuntu (which does things a little differently than most other distros).
Much better approach to learn Ubuntu from the official up-to-date Ubuntu-specific documentation, which is available free of charge on their website, starting with this page: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RootSudo
Then once you have a handle of the basics of Ubuntu, it may be that some of the exercises in your book are general-purpose Linux and can be done on Ubuntu, I really don't know--what is the title, author, and publication date of your book?
Thank you very much for your replies they were all very useful. About my book, it is a very very old one "Using Linux" by Larry Schumer and Chris Negus I don't indent to run every possible command from it, I just what something to start with. I can't just google something because I don't know enough to have any questions.
At college we're studying Linux, not Ubuntu, but they're teaching at a very very low level, so it won't matter anyway. Could you please recommend me any Ubuntu book/ online courses? (At least to begin with; after that I'll be able to ask questions)