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Old 11-01-2004, 08:07 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Make a root user for Ubuntu

This really pisses me off that there is no root user. I just want to know is there an easy way to enable root again? or give a user root privs?
Old 11-01-2004, 08:25 PM   #2
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The root user is still there, just not able to login. If you really must get around that feature, have a look in /etc/X11/xdm/somefile , I can't remember exactly which file but it has a line that says something like rootlogin=false. Just change that to =true.
You also may have to boot up into runlevel 1 so you can change the root password without knowing what it used to be.
Old 11-01-2004, 08:26 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Ubuntu 4.10
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"sudo passwd root"
Old 11-11-2004, 01:06 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: Gentoo 64
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but whats the password?!?!?!?!??!?!?
I never specified one and it still asks for one!
Old 11-11-2004, 05:08 PM   #5
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Sweden
Distribution: Debian
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When you type sudo passwd to set a root password you will have to type your own password. After this is done, root will be a real root user with a known password.

Old 11-11-2004, 10:58 PM   #6
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Registered: Mar 2003
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Distribution: Slackware, Ubuntu, Smoothwall
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Originally posted by jollyjoice
but whats the password?!?!?!?!??!?!?
I never specified one and it still asks for one!
I was curious about the 'no root user' with ubuntu also.

When I typed in

sudo passwd root

and it asked for a password, I entered the password that I set for the regular user I created during the install.
Then it prompted me for a new password. That will be the password for the root user.

... as hw-tph mentioned. Sorry, I didn't completely read his post before I added mine.

Last edited by itsjustme; 11-11-2004 at 11:00 PM.
Old 11-22-2004, 11:17 PM   #7
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Registered: Aug 2004
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OH HELP! - Ubuntu - same problem, extended. This is a fresh install of Ubuntu, downloaded and installed 11/23/04 using pretty default settings.

I try 'sudo passwd root' and it prompts for a password. I enter the user password and it says 'Permission Denied' and any subsequent attemps immedialty return 'permission denied' until reboot

I tried changing the user's password with just passwd and get 'permission denied' same with 'sudo passwd'

I chage my password using gnome's gui tools and try the above two things. No change.

I try booting into runlevel 1 and try passwd. Permission denied. I then rename the shadow file to 'skadow' so it can't find it and reboot.

I reach GDM and attempt to log in using no password. it is rejected. I try my old password. It is also rejected.

I go back to runlevel 1. It says 'give root password for maintenance' I hit enter and it asks again. I try both my old and new passwords. It repeats its question.

I boot into knoppix 3.7 (forgetting to tell it to be in ENGLISH) and eventually put skadow back as shadow. This puts be back to where I started, however.

I just want to be able to use passwd to change the user's password or root's password, and to be able to log in as root, but I am completely unable to enable the root account.

The shadow entry for root is: "root::12744:0:99999:7:::"
Which basically means everything is a-ok and there is no password. (When I was in knoppix, I changed it from "Root:*:..." which would mean a disabled account, but it still didn't work when I rebooted into ubuntu

Last edited by IMSargon; 11-22-2004 at 11:32 PM.
Old 11-23-2004, 04:52 AM   #8
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Registered: Nov 2004
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Thumbs up Root login succesful

Hi everyone,

I opened a normal terminal, and sudo gedit (type the user passwd) and opened /etc/x11/gdm/gdm.conf.
In the [security] panel (row 157) I changed AllowRoot=true (row 158) and AllowRemoteRoot=true (row 159). And after a reboot the root login worked.
Old 11-23-2004, 09:16 AM   #9
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Re: Root login succesful

Originally posted by brotherpanda
Hi everyone,

I opened a normal terminal, and sudo gedit (type the user passwd) and opened /etc/x11/gdm/gdm.conf.
In the [security] panel (row 157) I changed AllowRoot=true (row 158) and AllowRemoteRoot=true (row 159). And after a reboot the root login worked.
This was mentioned above. I had not tried it because I figured I could safely assume the problem was not with gdm if it was bothering me when I was in a terminal. Upon brotherpanda's post I decided to try it because it could cause no harm and I'd eventually need to do it anyway.

It did not solve the problem for me, however- everything seems as it was.
Old 11-25-2004, 12:55 PM   #10
Registered: Apr 2004
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man the root password is the password you asigned for your user account
Old 11-25-2004, 04:01 PM   #11
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No, Speel, the password is actually not assigned for root. If it was, there would be a hash for the account in the shadow file and in passwd's config, but there was not. Despite that, I DID try using the password I had assigned the user account, as that is the only password I had given the system (this is mentioned in my origional post for this topic). It did not work.

I kind of solved the problem though. I installed Windows XP becuase my girlfriend was coming over and wanted to try some video games. Ubuntu is terrible at compiling code (in the out of box setup) and it felt strange having to install GCC, so I'll be moving back to Gentoo on that machine I think. If you just want to get a linux system up and running for everyday tasks, however, I highly recommend Ubuntu.
Old 11-30-2004, 03:50 AM   #12
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Distribution: CentOS Fedora RHEL SLES Knoppix
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It's part of the design of Ubuntu. They expect you to "sudo" the root commands.

That's easy enough;

$ "sudo <command>"
Password: <your password>

Note: Once a user has been authenticated, a timestamp is updated and the user may then use
sudo without a password for a short period of time (5 minutes unless overridden in sudoers).

So for example:

$ sudo cat /etc/sudoers
Password: <your password>

...will print the contents of the /etc/sudoers file.

If you then enter any other command that requires root permissions within the next five minutes,
you don't have to enter the password again. ie:

$ sudo cat /etc/sudoers
$ sudo more /etc/shadow

Note: It is my experience that if you enter a sudo command in a shell it does not translate to the
GUI or vice/versa. So for instance if a pick a menu item that requires root authentication. The next
time I pick that same item within five minutes I do not have to type in the password. But if I enter
a sudo command in the shell (it is independant of the GUI) and require the users password just as
if I had never entered it in the GUI. The same goes if you try it the other way around...

Old 11-30-2004, 08:19 AM   #13
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That's right Linuxles, however, contains the "official" instructions on how to convert from the sudo based system to the normal one. Unfortunately it didn't work. So for anyone with the same problem, that page should give you all the info you need. Unfortunately, if you're me and it doesn't work on a fresh installation, well you're either stuck with the sudo system or another OS. Perhaps there has been a change in latest release? A bug? A feature? Who knows, I can't try anything else as it isn't installed anymore.
Old 02-12-2005, 05:36 PM   #14
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I know this is an old thread but...


I just had to rant as I was playing with Ubuntu today. The quote from below is from the Ubuntu wiki and is quite appalling (in my opinion) :

Even more significantly, if root were enabled during install, the user would be required to forever remember the password they chose--even though they would rarely use it. Root passwords are often forgotten by users who are new to the Unix security model. (Matt Zimmerman)
Whomever came up with this should be strung up by their toes and flogged with a wet noodle. I may indeed be an idiot, but if I want my OS to assume I'm an idiot, I can go back to using windows. What happens if you hose your only user account and can't login? Not only can you not login and sudo, but you can't login as root to fix things.

Also, any reason why I needed to create my own non-X runlevel? (by deleting the S99gdm symlink from rc3.d) All runlevels lead to X as default. Any more basic linux conventions you'd like to throw out?


Old 02-12-2005, 09:42 PM   #15
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A little harsh, but you're right about all of that. The thing is Ubuntu isn't meant for you and it's not meant for me. There are quite a few linux distros that can barely be considered distros from our perspective, because they have so little of what we have come to expect. That is not to say, however, that these distros are for nobody, as they provide a more gentle lerning curve than entering the scene through Debian or Gentoo as I did, and they may not even have the intention of learning more at all. They are just the thing for those who wish to join us who could barely use Windows or, heaven help us, Mac OS. I would welcome these individuals, and I hope you would to, as they are the critical mass that is required to put linux on par with Windows, and to put Apple out of business. So go ahead and hand out Ubuntu LiveCDs. There's no need to install it on your machine. Other than the lacking of a little of the power we're used to, it's a pretty clean and stable distro, don't you think?


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