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I have tried installing Linux Mint (after giving up with Manjaro for the same reason) but find I cannot do anything such as set up network connections as I have no root login. Should I not be prompted to provide a root password on installation? I have used Suse Linux in the past and this is set up as part of installation process. Does nobody else have this problem? I know the dangers of being too liberal with root priviliges but I need to allow software to install and set up my internet connection, seems this is too dangerous. I had the same issue with Manjaro althouth at least there I could set up the internet without the root login but was not able to install libre office or do anything much else.

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I believe the root account is locked by default. Consider using sudo to perform those tasks. – douglaslps Nov 19 '13 at 11:09

The root account is locked by default. To unlock (considering you know the risk of this operation) you should:

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Run sudo passwd root
  3. You will be prompted for a password. That is you current account password.
  4. Set the root account password followed by Enter.
  5. Retype the root password followed by Enter.
  6. Run "su" at the terminal to become the root user.
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note, if you only need it temporarily, you can use sudo passwd -l to re-lock the account when you are done. – Frank Thomas Nov 19 '13 at 14:52

Everything you used to do by su and then running a command in the SuSe world, you do with sudo command in the Debian world.

In most modern Debian derivatives, including Mint, the root account is not set up by default. If you want to, you can activate it by following the steps given by @douglaslps but that is usually neither necessary nor recommended.

sudo will execute whatever command you give it as an argument as root. So, to list files in /rootfor example, you would run sudo ls /root. If you want to get a shell with elevated privileges, instead of su, run sudo -i. That will give you a shell where you are logged in as root and can run commands as root without needed to use sudo before each command.

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