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

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25
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4answers
9k 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 ...
51
votes
4answers
103k 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?
41
votes
10answers
11k 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, ...
57
votes
4answers
54k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
555 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, ...
65
votes
3answers
6k 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
10answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
14k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
16k 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': ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to see password as we type it

In debian wheezy terminal i type su - It ask for password, which i type but it dont show anything as Password: I want to it to show at least some asterisks as the placeholder for the password ...
3
votes
2answers
240 views

Prompt for sudo password rather than give access error

Can I configure Fedora 22 so anything needing root privileges asks for a password, rather than giving an error, and needing me to re-run with sudo? I wouldn't even mind having to type my password ...
51
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
32
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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?
7
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Resize root LVM and FS in Debian 7

I have a Debian server and I would like to increase the "root" partition from 5GB to 17GB and to diminish the "home" partition from 14GB to 2GB. I am a newbie in linux sysadmin, so a really need your ...
52
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
24
votes
6answers
25k views

Can root kill init process?

Can root kill init process (the process with pid 1)? What would be its consequences?
19
votes
7answers
3k views

Which access rights can't the superuser violate?

Fr. Br. George told in one of his lectures (it's in Russian) that there are some access rights that superuser can not violate. That is there are some access right which can forbid superuser doing ...
20
votes
1answer
31k 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
5answers
19k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
6k 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.
8
votes
1answer
810 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
440 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

SSH login as root fails, but I'm sure I entered the right password

What am I missing? I change the root password on a unix machine, then try to log in with that password. PasswordAuthentication is set to yes in sshd_config and the sshd daemon has been restarted. ...
4
votes
1answer
931 views

I changed /etc/sudoers, and now I can't run as sudo

I messed around with the sudoers file without really knowing what I was doing using this link. Assume I did everything that was in the top answer along with editing it with vim and not visudo. How do ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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
1answer
526 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
3k 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 ...
30
votes
4answers
50k views

Why is Debian's root shell colorless?

Are there any security concerns? What is the best way to enable it?
29
votes
1answer
18k 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 ...
31
votes
4answers
70k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
58k views

How to properly configure sudoers file, on debian wheezy?

I have seen many blog posts that say, it is enough to do aptitude install sudo su root adduser USERNAME sudo But that only protects aptitude, in other words: aptitude install sendmail will ask ...
1
vote
1answer
2k 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?
8
votes
1answer
2k 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: ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Difference between owner/root and RUID/EUID

I am relatively new to the concepts mentioned in the question and reading about them from different sources only makes them more confusing. So this is what I understood so far: When we are given ...
6
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
16k 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
5answers
18k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
20k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Negatives/downsides of Ubuntu's no-root sudo setup

By default, Ubuntu does not create a root account that the user can login to. Instead users use sudo when they need to perform actions that require administrative access. Obviously, the people at ...
2
votes
3answers
14k 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
2answers
28k views

How do I set the default ftp root folder for an Ubuntu user connecting to VSFTPD?

How do I set/change the default ftp root folder for a specific user? I want to be able to create a developer account that homes to different sites on a development box depending on what is currently ...
9
votes
2answers
33k views

why can't I install packages with rpm? I get “transaction lock”

I'm having problems with yum and I am trying to re-install it. I've download yum.3.2.0-40-el6.centos.noarch.rpm. When I try: $ rpm -ivh yum.3.2.0-40-el6.centos.noarch.rpm I get: error: can't ...