I bought a raspberry pi so that I can learn Linux, but I'm confused with the users.

Is pi the main user or admin? Or is pi and root the same user?


They are two different individuals. root is a common Linux and Unix super-privileged person, who can do anything on the system. pi is a default account created by Raspbian installer. Such an account, though it may be named differently and might behave differently on differents OSs, is usually created by all Linux installers. It will usually be somehow able to gain root powers. The logic here is that as few things as possible should be done as root, as little time as possible spent as root, and as few root sessions should be open. Thus you can use either su or sudo to elevate your pi user for certain tasks. See man su and man sudo for a good start.


In Linux, you have 2 types of users - the root user (administrative user) and all the other users on the system. (slight over simplification)

On a Rasbian system, the pi user is Just A User.

However, that user is a member of a group that allows them to use the sudo utility to run commands as if they were the root user.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.