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The Journal Of A Linux Sysadmin

Ubuntu: How to Enable the Root Account

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Ubuntu is one of the few Linux distributions out there that will not enable the root account (actually it is the only one I have seen myself, but hey, there might be others that I am not aware of). This is a very good idea and you should probably try to learn to use sudo for daily maintenance. But in case you want to enable root login on your Ubuntu system this little post will show you how you can do that.

As you have noticed during the Ubuntu installation there was no question about the root password, as you might have been used to see during other Linux distribution installation process. This is why the root account is inactive and can’t be used (no password configured) until we will setup a proper password for it. To do this, we simply need to run:

sudo passwd root

This will ask for a new root password and once you confirm it, you can start using the root account to login.

In case you will want to disable back the root account, just lock the root account by running:

sudo passwd -l root

Are you aware of any other Linux distribution that doesn’t enable the root account at installation time? I am just curious because I believe that this is a great idea… but I haven’t seen it implemented in other distributions.

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