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  1. I have installed ubuntu and always log in as user. I have read the HOW TOO’s but I am confused by the comment ‘Make sure you use the root password.’ How can you use a root password when you haven’t got one (I think) because the only password I use is the password I gave when I installed Ubuntu (dapper Drake). Is this a root password also if you say it’s root as time of login. If you have to have a seperate login root password – How do you get it? Thanks john6.

    1. By default, the root account password is locked in Ubuntu. This means that you cannot login as root directly or use the su command to become the root user. However, since the root account physically exists it is still possible to run programs with root-level privileges.

      1. Hmmm, lets see Can not log in as : \ SU Thought Ubuntu is open source The only why you can adjust the Kernel is as root. what they hiddin willis.

        1. opp’s should have read more of the reply’s. but as a openBSD user never really had this issue.

  2. Thank you very much for this help!

    To all the latin people… is the answer in spanish:

    Escriban “su -” para cambiar al root. Les pedira la clave del root.

    Escriban “su – gon” para cambiar al usuario llamado gon. Les pedira la clave.

    Thanks again.


  3. John.
    You can change your root password by typing in console” sudo passwd root ” By doing this i had to enter my user password then set a new root password and repeat it.

  4. thnx. by default there is no password for root, hve to get by typing ”sudo passwd root”.

  5. Thanks for this article and to AIS/fahim for the additional information about how to change the root password! Just what I was looking for.

  6. The question is still unanswered.

    To login as root is very convenience and very important for some applications. Without it, you may not be able to run those programs at all. Su is good but with great limitation.

    So if anyone who know the answer, please help. We do not need advise about workaround.

  7. After 5 minutes of browsing on the Internet, I found it is very easy to make the changes so you can login as root from GUI. This is for Fedora 11:

    First, (dangerous?) you must su and login as root then cd to /etc/pam.d
    There are two files: gdm and gdm-password. Use your editor and
    Comment this statement for both files:

    # auth required user != root quiet

    Save and logout. Try login as root. You should be.

  8. After login as root and play around, I found the above changes were not enough. Thanks to, I found the last piece that fixed the problem.

    You need to edit another file: /etc/PolicyKit/PolicyKit.conf
    and add
    between .

    That will do the job.

  9. The missing statement between <config></config> is
    <match user=”root”><return result=”yes” /><match>

  10. Thanks a tonnnnn Gregory. Somehow I could never find the answer for this , instead of getting ridiculed for wanting this. :)

  11. you didn’t answer the question!

    you condescendingly gave some “best practices” advice, and then proceeded to explain out how to do something else.

  12. I have to agree that the entire tenor of this conversation is offensive. Crossing the street is dangerous, also, but I do it anyway. My mother taught me the risks when I was quite small, as well as how to do it safely. If you really want to keep UBUNTU safe from learning problems, I suggest that you lock down the entire system and send us all to a Windows app.

    Instead, please stop insulting all of us who are adults and capable of taking our own risks. I need to open the folder /etc/openvpn using my GUI and add a file to the folder. Stop patronizing me and tell me how to do this please.

  13. I agree whole-heartedly. Uber-geek Linux users can be extremely condescending. I’ve had them to tell me to RTFM. Which one? The “right” one”? The “other” one. The one that applies to my distro? Oh wait, that distro has tons of bugs, but the upcoming distro gives you a workaround. RTFM!
    How bout this? FTFM ! FIX it. Fix all the crappy and conflicting documentation. Yeah, this thing is “free”. But when all the wasted time getting things to work is considered, it’s more expensive than products from The Dark Empire. Bottom line is, if you’re going to do something, whether it’s for free or not, do it right and make it work like you say it does. Or don’t do it at all.
    You people have a lot of nerve criticizing Windows when you worship a product that is a stone’s throw away from hieroglyphics and documented in glyphs.
    Cheers, ubers …

  14. I agree wholeheartedly. I need Linux for a project, but it, and all other Linux distros I’ve used, seems to be dwelling in the past, and the developers delight in their backward approach and to delight in making things difficult. Personally, I think it’s almost up to the Windows 98 point, but not quite there yet….

  15. hi,

    I ran following commands as root and now im am unable to su from any user/admin please advise.

    chmod -o-x /bin/su
    chmod -g-x /bin/su

  16. Linux has become more and more like microsoft, not allowing root log in? really?
    I thoguht the whole selling point for linux back in the day was that we didnt have the hood welded shut!! Any one remember that, I also remember that in the beginning of linux.. back when it was all terminal there was only root!! you could add other users of course, but why? Any way my point being is that with out Root LOG IN!! you are just anothe windows microsoft puppet.

  17. I have read all of the notes on root login and still do not have the answer that i want. I have over 30 years in the business and since retired a 100% disabled Vet. I just want to be able to Login as root just like any other user and I do not want to have to su each time to do things. I am well aware of the risks but since this is my own Ubuntu System I think I am capable of managing it. I am running UBuntu 14.10 and what I would like is to be able to do the following;
    Login root
    passwrd lslslslslsl
    and then I will be root for anything that I need . Please help with a simple straight way to do this in UbunTu.. DO I need to use Fedora instead ??
    Leo Leavitt

  18. Hi Team,

    I am having a problem since yesterday. A server was running since 2 years and every thing was working fine. suddenly yesterday it refused to accept the credentials. It doesn’t allow to login even with root user.

  19. Hi

    I installed Ubuntu through VMware Fusion on a Mac, when the installation process completed. I was only given an option to create a root user and root password. This does not allow you to log onto the system. The question is how do you log onto Ubuntu with this root password. Or how do you log onto Ubuntu, to get to this root user when no other user credentials were created at installation.
    Kind regards

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