I have set up sudo on my FreeBSD server. As I now never want to log in as root anymore, I was wondering whether I should do sudo pw lock root.

My questions are:

  • Is this possible, without forever disabling my machine?
  • Is it a smart idea, or is there a good reason to not do this?
  • Will I still be able to do sudo su to get a root shell?
  • 5
    This is actually the default configuration for Ubuntu: root account is locked, and sudo prompts for your own password. Running sudo to run su as root to run a shell as root is also redundant; just use sudo -s.
    – psusi
    Nov 29, 2011 at 14:56

2 Answers 2


I actually did this on my FreeBSD box - so yes, it is possible, but of course you should take care to verify that sudo works properly before you do so ;-)

sudo su will not work anymore, but you can still do sudo bash to get a root shell.

  • 6
    or sudo -s will also get you a shell
    – psusi
    Nov 29, 2011 at 14:55

It's possible, yes.

But it's not a very good idea. Locking out the account is equivalent to setting an absolutely unguessable password. You might as well set a practically unguessable password, i.e. one with sufficient entropy (128 bits, which comes out to 20 random printable ASCII characters, is massive overkill), and keep that password in a safe.

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