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In Mac OS X 10.6, how do I give myself permanent sudo privleges? is it like linux, in the "/etc/sudoers" file?

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You know that sudo is there for a reason, right? The idea is to give access to superuser privileges without being constantly logged in as root (not a good idea). – blahdiblah Jun 6 '11 at 21:26
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Not exactly experienced in OSX, but it seems to be located in either one of the following:

  • /etc/sudoers
  • /private/etc/sudoers

It is recommended that you use visudo to edit the file but you can use another text editor.

Under the line that says root ALL=(ALL) ALL

You add the name of the user and user ALL=(ALL) ALLto give yourself permanent sudo privileges.

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ls -ld /etc results in lrwxr-xr-x@ 1 root wheel 11 30 Jun 2010 /etc -> private/etc, so they're both the same file. – Daniel Beck Jun 6 '11 at 21:22
yea, I did it in fedora a while ago.. It seems to be the same process, but thanks.. didn't wanna just go haphazardly changing important system file :D – FALL3N Jun 15 '11 at 0:40

You can, of course, edit /etc/sudoers manually to accomplish this.

But Mac OS X's System Preferences has a method built-in to achieve the same thing: Give the user an Administrator account, instead of a Standard account, and it will be added to /etc/sudoers as sudoer automatically (via the wheel group membership).

Users will still need to enter their own password though, which is a good thing (tm).

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Yeah, I've done that in fedora, but I wanted to ask before I did it, so I didn't break anything.. thanks – FALL3N Jun 15 '11 at 0:38
Wait, aren't there other special privelages that come with giving a user an "Administrator" account other than just that it adds them to the sudoers file? – cmcculloh Jul 16 '12 at 15:53
@cmcculloh It's not adding the account to the sudoers file, but membership in the wheel and admin groups, complete with e.g. write permissions to /Applications and comparable other global folders. Just compare the output of e.g. id in Terminal of normal and admin users. – Daniel Beck Jul 16 '12 at 18:41
I discovered you need to enable root access in MacOSX 10.8. – Keith John Hutchison Jun 22 '15 at 16:54

sudo in OSX is exactly like that under Linux, and like Linux man sudo shows the details

sudo determines who is an authorized user by consulting the file /private/etc//sudoers.

/etc is a symbolic link to /private/etc so your suggestion of /etc/sudoers will work.

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Unlock the root account.

Steps to unlock "root" in Mac:

•1.Open Directory Utility (/Applications/Utilities/Directory

•2.Go to Edit > Enable Root User

•It will prompt for password,press ok for BLANK password.

Logout,then type root in Username and your IN!!!!!!!! (Note:Make Sure that NAME & PASSWORD IS CHECKED IN LOGIN OPTIONS.)

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This isn't an answer to the question that was asked. Sudo is not the same as unlocking the root account. – HopelessN00b Aug 14 '14 at 1:00
In MacOSx 10.8 sudo is not available until root access is enabled. So the answer is valid. – Keith John Hutchison Jun 22 '15 at 16:55

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