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I know that the password doesn't show up on the screen that's all good. I just can't seem to get any further as I am typing my user password but this comes up:

2012-12-04 22:38:14.815 TextEdit[27507:4b0b] NSTrackPersistentURLs: LSSharedFileListInsertItemURL() failed at inserting URL file://localhost/etc/hosts (/etc/hosts)

Why can't I use it? I don't really understand sudo but I do need to change some things around on my mac, can anyone help?

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This looks more like a problem with the command you're trying to use with sudo, than with sudo itself. Can you give us more information about what you're actually trying to do (at the very least, what's the full command you're running)? –  Gordon Davisson Dec 4 '12 at 23:44

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