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Enabling And Disabling Root Account in Debian/Ubuntu

 ·   ·  β˜• 2 min read  ·  ✍️ Sathya · πŸ‘€... views

Debian and other debian-based distros like Ubuntu have, by default, has the root account disabled as a security measure.(thanks to Subbu and PICCORO for the clarification)

To re-enable the root account, just open the command prompt, and type

sudo passwd root

You’ll get the following set of messages:

sathya@sathya-laptop:~$ sudo passwd root<br /> Enter new UNIX password:<br /> Retype new UNIX password:<br /> passwd: password updated successfully<br /> sathya@sathya-laptop:~$

To disable root access, just type

sudo passwd -l root

If you’re weary of using the command line(you shoudn’t ;) ) then there’s another way:

Just head over to System > Administration > Login Window > Security > and check mark the box beside Allow local system administrator login.

DISCLAIMER: Christof Baumann mentions in this post as to why you shouldn’t fiddle with the root account:

Be aware of locking the root account if you once activated it. I activated the root account and skipped the %admin ALL=(ALL) ALL line int /etc/sudoers file because i thought i wouldn’t need it anymore. Then i disabled the root account without thinking and now had no chance to start programs with root rights. Luckily i could restore it using a knoppix live cd. Be aware of changing settings concerning the root account.

Also, read this article in Ubuntu Wiki as to why sudo is preferred over standard root account.

PS: Just incase you guys are wondering why I’ve posted this basic info so late, well I’m just getting the hang of Ubuntu.

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Sathyajith Bhat
Author, AWS Community Hero and DevOps Specialist

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