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To log in as root while using Fedora I use :


and then enter the password.

But while using Ubuntu this fails even if I use the correct password. But if I enter:

su -s

and then enter the password, I am successfully able to log in as root. What is the difference?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The root account is disabled in Ubuntu by default. You can't log in as root, even with su.

You can have more details on the community website's documentation.

I have, however, no idea as why invoking a specific shell will allow you to log. Did you, by chance, mean sudo -s, and not su -s?

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He probably did. su -s gives an error since a shell needs to be specified. The standard way of getting a root shell using sudo is sudo -i. – terdon Feb 27 '13 at 13:46
To clarify: There is no root password in Ubuntu by default (not an empty password, no password). You can't be typing the right password, because noting will match the stored hash. – cpast Feb 27 '13 at 14:14

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