The "root" account is the most privileged account on a Unix system.

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39
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4answers
23k views

How do I run a command as the system administrator (root)

I need to run a command with administrative privileges. Someone said I should run a command as root. How do I do this?
21
votes
4answers
6k views

Can I launch a graphical program on another user's desktop as root?

Following are other questions which I think I need to know: From a non X Session? (meaning root isn't logged into X) If multiple people were logged in on X, could I auto-detect who was on which ...
28
votes
8answers
6k views

Non-Root Package Managers

From my research, I seem to notice that all package managers insist on being used as a privileged user and must be installed into /. Typically, what I like to do is create a throwaway account, ...
41
votes
4answers
29k views

Reserved space for root on a filesystem - why?

I understand that by default, newly created filesystems will be created with 5% of the space allocated for root. I also know you can change the defined space with: tune2fs -m 1 /dev/sdXY What I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
287 views

How to change the forgotten root password?

I am very new to Debian linux, I forgot my root password...actually I think I know what it is because it is the same password I have for pretty much everything but in the Terminal in tell me "Sorry, ...
50
votes
3answers
3k views

How do the internals of sudo work?

How does sudo work internally? How is it possible that it can become root without having the root password, unlike su? What syscalls, etc. are involved in the process? Is it not a gaping security hole ...
14
votes
6answers
5k views

Can root/superuser read my read-protected files?

On shared unix hosting, if I have a file sensitive-data.txt and I issue: chmod 600 sensitive-data.txt Can root user still read my file? Specifically I'm wondering if it's safe to store my password ...
13
votes
11answers
1k views

Concern about logging in as root overrated?

For personal linux on my personal notebooks, I've usually set my environment to autologin as root even under X or lower runlevels. I've found my workflow is very pleasant and fast, without any ...
37
votes
5answers
3k views

Becoming root from inside Vim

Sometimes I start editing configuration files in /etc using Vim, but forget to use sudo to start Vim. The inevitable result then is that after finishing my edits I encounter the dreaded notice that I ...
8
votes
2answers
334 views

How do I edit a file as root?

Are there any special considerations to editing a file as root? What is the safest way to do this?
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What does it mean to be in group 0?

Several users in a system I inherited have their group set to 0 in /etc/passwd. What does that mean? Do they essentially get full root privileges? The system is running CentOS 5, and the users ...
19
votes
3answers
7k views

How is sudo intended to be used?

I've tried configuring sudo before, but I haven't had too much luck with it. How is it different from su -l -c "x"? It seems that via the configuration file, one can make it so a user can only have ...
18
votes
7answers
15k views

Can root kill init process?

Can root kill init process (the process with pid 1)? What would be its consequences?
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a root password on OS X and Ubuntu?

When you setup a new Ubuntu or OS X installation a user is generally created for you. On OS X it is whatever username you pick. On Ubuntu (the server version) usually the ubuntu user is created. The ...
7
votes
3answers
12k views

How to get back sudo on Ubuntu?

I have done this: sudo chown -R myname /usr/ and now I can't use the sudo command because of this error: sudo: must be setuid root And as I read this means that the owner of this file ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Why cannot find read /run/user/1000/gvfs even though it is running as root?

Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong, what this is, or how to fix it? I'm running Fedora 18 and getting the error shown [root@servername /]# find . -name ngirc find: `./run/user/1000/gvfs': ...
8
votes
1answer
669 views

Lightweight virtualization on Linux with user isolation

What Linux-on-Linux virtualization technologies provide user isolation? Specifically, I want root in the virtual machine not to have any privilege on the host. This was not the case for LXC, but was ...
4
votes
2answers
997 views

System Crontab or Root Crontab

System crontab: /etc/crontab Root crontab: sudo crontab -u root -e Which way is preferred? As they all run tasks within administration privilege.
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it bad practice to set root's shell to something other than the default?

Once a friend of mine (who is an experienced Unix/Linux user) told me that setting root's shell to something other than sh (i.e bash or zsh) might create problems, because some script might assume ...
4
votes
1answer
697 views

Mac OS X Darwin: how to reset admin password?

Today I bought an ibook G4 from a garage sale. The people who sold it to me didn't know the password for the 2 accounts on it. Apparently it was the guys late father's laptop. Any suggestions on how ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

How does the 'passwd' command gain root user permissions?

How does Linux know that it has to give euid 0 (uid of root) to only certain process like passwd, setuid, etc. If a process can gain root permissions, will it not lead to potential security breaches ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Is there a way to run a privileged command upon successful SSH login (not necessarily with shell or PTY)?

I'd like to run a privileged command upon successful SSH logins at the server's end. However, this has to be in the server configuration (sshd_config or anything else that cannot be manipulated or ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Root password not working to log in to Gnome with gdm

I have a weird issue going on. I have a user account and I can login to Gnome normally. From a terminal there I can use su root and switch to root with my root password. However, when I try to login ...
34
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is root login via SSH so bad that everyone advises to disable it?

Everybody on the Internet advises to disable root login via SSH as it is a bad practice and a security hole in the system, but nobody explains why it is so. What is so dangerous in enabling root ...
20
votes
1answer
10k views

Why are the first 1024 ports restricted to the root user only?

This is more idle curiosity than anything else. A friend of mine asked me 'which port range is it that only root can use under Linux?' I told him 0-1024 were restricted. Then he asked my why it was so ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How to reset Linux root and grub passwords?

If we forget our Linux root password, we can change it by changing grub's boot options. But in this case, we also set a grub password and forgot both passwords. How can we recover both?
23
votes
2answers
1k views

How does the power button shut the computer down without root permission?

When I try to shutdown the computer from a command line or terminal I must have root privileges: amy@amy:~$ shutdown now shutdown: Need to be root and amy@amy:~$ halt halt: Need to be root but ...
17
votes
3answers
41k views

Can I change root's email address or forward it to an external address?

I'm getting a lot of mail in my root user's mail account. This appears to be mostly reports and errors from things like cron scripts. I'm trying to work though and solve these things, possibly even ...
8
votes
1answer
934 views

Can I launch a process as root without launching root's login shell?

I tried to change the login shell. Here's what the first line of /etc/passwd looks like (on a Debian Wheezy install): rootx:0:0:root:/root:/:zsh When I try to login as root: Cannot execute zsh: ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I disable remote root login via ssh?

How do I disable remote root login via ssh? I want to log into my server (I use keys on my main comp) then su into root instead of access root directly. I am using Debian. I follow guides online ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

How universal is sudo?

I was writing some instructions on how to install something (TeX-related - if you don't ask, I won't ruin your day by supplying more details) and used sudo to install system-wide. Someone commented ...
13
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the difference between root and superuser?

Do they refer to the same thing or is root just a location in filesystem (its ultimate base) and superuser a privileged user (sort of equivalent of windows administrator account) ? Do they need the ...
13
votes
4answers
9k views

How do you rename root?

Not that it's a very good idea to change it, but for fun. According to this post, there are still some problems even after changing entries in /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, and /etc/sudoers. Any ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

How can I resize my root partition in Debian?

I am trying to add space to my root partition and am really not sure the safest way to go about it. I have read this thread, Can I resize the root partition without uninstalling and reinstalling ...
12
votes
1answer
10k views

Unable to delete file, even when running as root

I am in the process of migrating a machine from RHEL 4 to 5. Rather than actually do an upgrade we have created a new VM (both machines are in a cloud) and I am in the process of copying across data ...
7
votes
1answer
6k views

How to run a GUI program as a different user (Debian)?

Using a terminal, I can change the running user with su and sudo — but how can I do that by clicking on an icon/shortcut on the desktop/start menu? If I have to be root to execute I will be asked ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Debian user is not in the sudoers file

Accidentally removed my gnome desktop and am stuck in tty1. Trying to reinstall the desktop and keep getting the error "user is not in the sudoers file". Having trouble adding my user, new to debian ...
3
votes
2answers
366 views

Permissions of webserver's root directory

I've had this issue on several setups, and I'm unsure of how to handle it. At first, all of /var is owned by root:root. Clearly I don't want the web directory to be owned by root, so I do chown ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Get environment variable of other user [closed]

Is there a way I can see the environment variable of an other user? I want to do that as root, so permissions won't be a problem I guess. For the user himself, I use echo $PATH or set | grep PATH ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

switching from user to root and revers (FreeBSD)

I want to make some modification with root and then with my user, in fact I want to install sudo and he give me the error in the first step: cd /usr/ports/security/sudo make install clean ...
8
votes
4answers
567 views

How do I stop the root user from deleting a file?

I'd like to know if I can prevent the root user from deleting a file. Is it possible?
6
votes
6answers
228 views

File protection in Unix

Is there a way to protect a file in such a way that even root cannot delete it or rewrite it after creating it? I have a file which is created by root under /var/log/ and I want to restrict all users ...
3
votes
1answer
543 views

How to determine if X server runs with root privileges

This is a one-liner: Is there a way/command to check if the X server is run as root or as user? This was supposed to be a one-liner but alas... I recently upgraded my Arch Linux box. After the ...
3
votes
1answer
235 views

How does having /dev/fd make running shell scripts under sudo safe?

At the end of the man page for sudo, there's the following remark: Running shell scripts via sudo can expose the same kernel bugs that make setuid shell scripts unsafe on some operating systems ...
2
votes
1answer
519 views

Why doesn't terminal show color schema once logged as root?

I'm currently using Debian 7 Wheezy, and I've noticed that the colors palette on terminal (which might be useful to identify among a large set of files and folders) are not enabled once I log as root. ...
2
votes
2answers
541 views

Gaining root privileges in SCO

I am learning Linux for work, so am still a bit rusty on the edges. I need to change the folder permission of the directory /opt, and I know in Linux, you do the following: chmod 775 /opt I get a ...
1
vote
1answer
934 views

How to suid iwconfig on Debian wheezy?

I have a script running under my own user account that takes care of all sorts of wireless interfaces. It (more or less) intelligently switches wireless LAN off and on and so forth. However, it does ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

shell script to execute in root mode

I need execute script that have commands which should be run in root mode. If I put sudo before command then when I run script I see permission denied ( I don't have a chance to write password). If I ...