I tried to log in as root in gnome 3 like so: I pressed Not listed?, then I typed in root as username then I typed in my root password, but it says That didn't work.

  • Many, many Linux DE (Desktop Environments) historically and intentionally denied logging in as superuser (root), because an inexperienced person could quickly ruin it.
    – user140866
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 14:13
  • You should **really rethink what you're doing. Having to log in as root is a sure sign you've done something wrong! Commented May 22, 2016 at 14:39
  • I don't have sensitive information on my pc, and if my OS will broke i will reinstall it without making a backup
    – LXGA
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 14:48
  • This question can be useful for people that log in as root on gnome 3 unix.stackexchange.com/questions/603867/….
    – Scorpion
    Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 15:28

2 Answers 2


You should edit the file /etc/pam.d/gdm-password commenting the line that contains the root user check,

#auth   required    pam_succeed_if.so user != root quiet_success

While the above answer helped, only being able to log in as a user and not root, I wasn't able to edit the file mentioned above.

As long as you know the root credentials, you can switch user to root by entering the following command:


you'll then be prompted to enter the password, after that you should be good.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .