The name of the main administrative user commonly used in *nix based systems.

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110
votes
6answers
94k views

What is the “You have new mail” message in Linux/UNIX?

Sometimes, when I log into a box and 'su' to root, I get a cute little message saying I have mail (thank GOD it's not AOL). Where is this mail? What does it contain? Who/What sent it? How important ...
74
votes
5answers
71k views

chown is not changing symbolic link

I'm trying to change the user/group of a symbolic link with the command: $ chown -h myuser:mygroup mysymbolic/ But it's not changing. I'm logged in as root. The current user/group is set to ...
33
votes
2answers
29k views

Can I create an SSH user which can access only certain directory?

I have a Virtual Private Server which I can connect to using SSH with my root account, being able to execute any linux command and access all the disk area, obviously. I would like to create another ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is it possible to change the password of an admin user on linux?

A few days ago, a friend of mine, wanted to show me that he can use my linux even if I don't tell him my password. He entered in GRUB, selected the recovery mode option. My first problem is that he ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

Sudo vs root; any actual differences?

I'm working with a support member for a product, and he insists that I need to be root to install a series of patches, and that sudo won't work; he doesn't provide a reason but seems very firm in his ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

Does the root account always have UID/GID 0?

On all the Linux systems I've managed, the root account has a GID and UID of 0. Is this guaranteed, or is it possible that the system will give root a different ID?
16
votes
8answers
70k views

User not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported

I need to install a package. For that I need root access. However the system says that I am not in sudoers file. When trying to edit one, it complains alike! How am I supposed to add myself to the ...
12
votes
3answers
11k views

How can I install DropBox without root privileges?

Is it possible to install Dropbox without root privileges in Linux? I've tried to install it at my university, using the sources found here, but I seem to need to enter the root password (which of ...
11
votes
3answers
11k views

UNIX - mount: only root can do that

I need to allow a non-root user to mount/unmount a device. I am a total noob when it comes to UNIX, so please dumb it down for me. I've been looking all over teh interwebz to find an answer and it ...
10
votes
2answers
26k views

Force logout a user

I When I logged into the machine as root and typed who to see which users are logged in, I found somebody else too logged in as root devuser pts/0 2011-11-18 09:55 (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) root ...
10
votes
2answers
13k views

Can I make a script always execute as root?

How to make a script execute as root, no matter who executes it? I read about setuid but I'm not sure how to do this. I'm using Linux, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
10
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I make sudo ask for the root password?

When I run sudo as a normal unprivileged user, it asks for my password, not the root password. That's often convenient, but it reduces the amount of information someone would have to have in order to ...
9
votes
1answer
572 views

Debian - allow user to be root only for specific commands

We have several Linux boxes running Samba that are used 'locally', eg each branch gets their own Samba box to store and share files. The office managers need to be able to add and remove users for ...
9
votes
4answers
18k views

Where's .bashrc for root?

I know it's not best practice, but on my dev system I login as root. What's the equivalent of the .bashrc file so I can alias some functions? I've found the /etc/bash.bashrc & ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

removing write permission does not prevent root from writing to the file

I just noticed on my Ubuntu machine (ext3 filesystem) that removing write permissions from a file does not keep root from writing to it. Is this a general rule of UNIX file permissions? Or specific ...
8
votes
3answers
17k views

How do I run a launchd command as root

I have the following launchctl command as a .plist file. It's loaded and set to run once a day but, it needs to run as root and I'm not sure how to verify this. Also, this cron job basically CDs ...
8
votes
3answers
11k views

How to check root partition with fsck?

I installed Linux Mint 12 KDE, and I would like to check the root partition for any errors. How do I check the root partition with fsck at boot time?
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Concern over running WireShark as root

I started WireShark on my Ubuntu machine and discovered that there were no interfaces I could listen to. So I launched it as root. This gave me access to all the interfaces, but gave me a warning: ...
7
votes
3answers
8k views

Restoring a SD card after using it to root a device

I recently purchased the Nook Touch reading device. I rooted it using the instructions on nookdevs.com Rooting included using win32diskimager to somehow transfer an .img file onto the card. Rooting ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I pass Root Password to a script

I have the root password in one of my scripts and I want to launch another script which requires root permission from this script. How can I use the root password which I have so that I do not have to ...
6
votes
7answers
958 views

Why is it bad to run as root?

I've often come across posts on forums or other websites where you see people joking in such a manner about running/logging in as root as if it's something awful and everyone ought to know about it. ...
6
votes
2answers
673 views

Potential issues with adding /usr/local/[s]bin to root's path?

I've noticed that the root account $PATH does not include /usr/local/bin or /usr/local/sbin by default. Are there any potential issues that could arise from adding those directories to the path? If ...
6
votes
2answers
174 views

Why doesn't the administrator mode protect Windows from malware?

It is often given as the main reason for Linux' relative safety from malware that only the root account, which is not used for e.g. browsing the web, can make significant changes to the system. ...
5
votes
3answers
971 views

Why is the dreadful 'rm -rf /' even allowed? [closed]

We all know the destructive power of the following command executed as root: rm -rf / Related questions: How far will you get with a 'rm -rf /' deleting everything: # rm -rf / I fail to ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Change Superuser name in Ubuntu?

I mistyped my superuser. It should be "masi" instead of "maasi". I do not want to configure and install all packages again. How can I change it?
5
votes
7answers
12k views

How to run a program as root without “sudo”?

I have a certain binary program on OS X that can only be run as root. I'm tired of prepending sudo each time I invoke it and typing the password, and would like it to automatically run as root when I ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

In Linux, is working as su the same as working as root?

I thought that using su as a regular user made you root temporarily, but encountered an issue where I get "bash: usermod: command not found" when I try to perform a usermod with su, whereas the ...
5
votes
5answers
9k views

How can I find out which user logged in as root?

We have a couple of servers which are managed by a large group of admins. They usually log in as service users (say hudson) and then switch to root to make some small fix. This means we often can't ...
5
votes
2answers
258 views

man page only found after ran with root

When I try to run man page on my Red Hat as a normal user I get "No manual entry for zip" If I change to root run: "man zip" and then I get the man page and afterwards I see the same man page as I did ...
4
votes
3answers
553 views

I just ran rm /* accidentally, any fix?

I fell so stupid... I just ran rm /* accidentally, but I meant rm ./* on a cloud server with root access. Now, no one command works. ls, ssh, sftp... none. Is there a way to fix that? (Note: params ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Running chrome in Backtrack Linux

I am using the Backtrack 5 linux distribution, and i wanted to install chrome, but it wont run as root for default. I know that using --user-data-dir will let me run it as root. But is there a safer ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Use another user's .vimrc and .vim/

I know that I can :source /path/to/some/.vimrc to load my user's .vimrc when running as root, but how can I use the entire .vim/ directory as well? Is there a startup option for using /home/user/.vim/ ...
4
votes
6answers
8k views

What is different between root and sudo?

A root user can have all the privileges. But a normal user can gain access like a root with su or sudo command and their own password. So what's the difference?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there an account to see all folders on a Time Capsule?

When using Time Capsule with many user accounts, is there a root account to connect to the Time Capsule with, that can see all folders on the device?
4
votes
4answers
684 views

Is it possible to change the ownership of an executable to root using sudo?

I have an executable created by my userid that I need to have run as root. Therefore I need to change the ownership of my executable to be root:root and use setuid. When I attempt sudo chown ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I use sed in /etc/apache2/sites-available?

I'm attempting to write a script that uses sed to copy the default file for apache and writes a new file, replacing /var/www ($DOC_ROOT below) with my own directory, $NEW_SITES_DIR. However, sed isn't ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

I believe I've deleted MySQL root user, how do I recreate it?

I'm running ISPConfig on CentOS and I don't know how, but I don't seem to have a root mysql user. I can stop mysqld with /etc/init.d/mysqld stop Start it again and skip grant tables mysqld_safe ...
4
votes
1answer
641 views

Who knows an alternative to thawte's discontinued personal mail certificate service?

Here's the news: Thawte delivered the message about stopping it's free mail certification a week ago (by means of an an unsigned email). StartSSL offers similar service, as well as CA Cert. But I ...
3
votes
6answers
22k views

How do I enable the root account in Snow Leopard?

I know how to enable root account on Leopard, but not Snow Leopard. How can I do it?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Ubuntu: Accidentally changed root user to nonexistent shell

I tried to change my user's shell, but used "sudo chsh", and changed the root shell to "bash" instead of "/bin/bash". Now when I try to change it I get "chsh: PAM authentication failed" and it seems ...
3
votes
3answers
287 views

Can we have a user with the same powers/priviliges as root?

I am confused on the following in linux. Can I have a user to have the same permissions as the root. In Windows any user can be the administrator but I am not clear exactly about this on Linux. It ...
3
votes
3answers
19k views

Set password for root on virtualbox ubuntu

I loaded ubuntu into virtualbox. It all works well but it occurred to me that I was not asked (or did not setup) a root password. I want to use root on occasion, but I cannot seem to find out how to ...
3
votes
3answers
25k views

How to log in as root in linux shell?

How to login as root in linux shell?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Are root password changes logged?

Long story short, after a recent company "reorg" the root password on all of our servers was mysteriously changed. I need to figure out first how to regain root access, but second how to figure out ...
3
votes
1answer
281 views

Why is the reported user “root” when a “normal user” executes “ps ux” on OS X? Is this normal behaviour?

I am running OS X 10.6.1 . When i am logged in as a normal user of group staff and do a ps ux it lists my ps ux command as being run by root: snies 181 0.0 0.3 2774328 12500 ?? S ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

How does sudo actually work?

How is it possible for sudo to actually function? If it's just a normal program, couldn't you make the same thing without requiring the user to authenticate, giving anyone with access to a computer ...
3
votes
3answers
980 views

Can't login as root after changing permissions of /usr/bin

I changed the folder permissions of /usr/bin to 777. Now when I login to root user it shows "incorrect password". Now I'm not able to do anything on this PC. How can I revert the permissions of ...
3
votes
2answers
539 views

How to install skype on CentOS without root access

So I'm trying to install Skype on my office computer which has CentOS6.4 and where I have no root access. http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/ only offers binaries for Ubuntu, ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Would a user with admin=true and root have the same privileges on AIX?

Does a user in /etc/security/user with the parameter admin set to true (admin = true) have the same privileges as the root user? According to IBM (full information here): admin Defines the ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

How to determine the user and group of a deamon in Ubuntu?

How can I check the user and group for the nginx daemon in Ubuntu? Or what's the syntax to find the user and group for a deamon running in Ubuntu?