As someone who hates passwords with a passion, why do I have to create 1 password that never gets used and gives no more capabilities than my user password? I find I end up using sudo often. (Mostly installing and updating, and also mounting removable drives.) I even created an alias so I wouldn't have to type "sudo" each time I install an update, but I still have to enter my password every update (which, on Arch Linux, are fairly frequent) and I have to use a different command if I'm just looking up packages.

On my desktop, my root password is weaker than my user password, though used to be stronger (barely) before I changed my user password to something longer than 1 character. Now my root password is far weaker than my user password. Its obviousness is the only reason I still know it, or at least I thought so. I don't remember ever changing my root password since installing, but it won't let me log in with what I thought was the root password. Which, by the way, is "root" (or so I thought) because I am terribly uncreative and care more about getting setup over with than security.

Is there any way to just have 1 password for 1 user? I feel like many linux systems assume it's being run by an administrator and multiple other accounts, when I'm just a user and hacker suddenly tasked with administrative duties.

The only user on my machine added manually other than my main account is an account for playing with linux from scratch, meaning that I have 3 accounts for a single person on a single machine.


2 Answers 2


… why do I have to create 1 password that never gets used and gives no more capabilities than my user password? I find I end up using sudo often …

Nothing requires you to have a separate root password. Even if the installer for the distribution you chose begins by having you set a root password, as long as some user account is able to use sudo, the root account can later be locked with:

sudo passwd -l root

After this, the root account has no password, and it is impossible to log in with that account through standard means. This won't prevent public-key authentication via SSH, but PermitRootLogin tends to be set to False there.

Ubuntu and many of its derivatives actually disable the root account by default, so this practice is not uncommon in the Linux world.


I don't fully understand your question, but I will try to answer by telling you what I do.

I do not have a root password set: I can not log in as root. I use sudo to do admin stuff. There are a few commands that I do regularly with sudo, that pose little risk to security (sudo apt update etc). I have set up /etc/sudoers so that I can run these commands without password.

note: If you have disabled remote logins, and the computer is secured, where no untrusted people can touch it, then you don't need a password. If untrusted people are left alone with it then a password can only stop those that don't know what they are doing (If you can touch it then you can break into it).

  • Sorry, I have a tendency to ramble and go off on tangents.
    – Angeldude
    May 21, 2017 at 6:45

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