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I want to use the whole operating system as an administrator.

I know I can log in as a root in the Terminal by typing this:


But in this way I'm logged in only in the terminal.

I want to be able to delete/edit/open any files from anywhere on my computer.


I have a server in /Files Systems/opt/ and my PHP files says that I need to give permission to make it work that's why I need permission for everything.

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The php message did NOT say you needed to give it root permissions. It says it needs to exist and be readable. That's a whole different thing with multiple possible solutions that don't involve root at all. – hotei Sep 18 '10 at 0:48
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I want to be able to delete/edit/open any files from anywhere on my computer.

Elevate using gksu from the terminal

gksu nautilus will start nautilus, the file manager as root.

And as hotei mentioned - be careful

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thanks @Sathya, I edited my question. – Adam Sep 18 '10 at 0:01

Once you've logged in as root you can (usually) run other programs - such as gedit to edit files or nautilus (file manager). It isn't (usually) wise to do this unless you need root permissions to do something but it's your system.

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Thanks @hotei for your answer, you are true with nautilus but the problem is that I'm not the one who needs to open/edit/delete the files, I have a server on it and my PHP files says that I need to give permission to make it work. – Adam Sep 18 '10 at 0:00
You may need root perms to install php, but it's not required afterwards. Your php files will be executed by the web server which is usually running as a daemon (started when the system is booted). My web files (*.php) are not owned by root but rather by me, so I don't need root permission to change them. Maybe I'm not understanding your problem... – hotei Sep 18 '10 at 0:16
check out my question here… – Adam Sep 18 '10 at 0:24
@CIRK: FYI - I commented on your question on stackoverflow. – hotei Sep 18 '10 at 0:46

If you really want to be root on an Ubuntu box, you've got to enable the root account by assigning it a password. A simple

sudo passwd root

will do the trick. You'll have to enter your password first (to get past the sudo hurdle), then set a password for the root account. All that said, don't do this! The only remotely legit reason I can think of for this is so you can set up password-less ssh logins between boxes as root, and that's not a good enough reason, in my opinion.

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