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I used to be able to login to a desktop environment in Linux Mint even as the root superuser until I had a partition disaster and had to re-install it.

Now I can't remember the terminal command I used to enable the root to login to it's own desktop. I tried using the users and groups program from the desktop, but that doesn’t work; it says root already exists. I seem to remember that there is a command (an old UNIX command I think) that will work from a terminal.

Does any one know what it is?

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    Welcome to Super User! I'd like to ask that you please do not do this. It opens up your entire system to effects from any browser bug you hit, among other things. Instead, could you please expand on why you would want this? – Duncan X Simpson Sep 17 '18 at 22:53
  • Ive been used to doing this for years - ever since I became a Linux/Unix user - and found it easier to use all parts of the system for root and admin purposes - and for other purposes too like when researching things relavant to the needs of using the PC as root - for other activities I use other desktop accounts. I compartmentalise my life in this way. I have had no problems with having a root desktop so far. – Mark Sep 17 '18 at 22:57
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    Here's the problem. What if there's a problem with, say, Cinnamon, that caused it to accidentally rm -rf /usr? That exact situation has happened with two different programs. Please read askubuntu.com/a/16179/300807, and make sure you understand the risks. I will now post an answer. – Duncan X Simpson Sep 17 '18 at 23:01
  • So assuming good faith you say, “I think it was something like user something.” You know, I honestly am not to sure what that means. – JakeGould Sep 17 '18 at 23:04
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I would strongly advise you against doing this, even with the compartmentalization you mentioned.

Why? Here's the problem. What if there's a problem with, say, Cinnamon, that caused it to accidentally rm -rf /usr? That exact situation has happened with two different programs. Please read this post on Ask Ubuntu, and make sure you understand the risks.

If you still feel like this is worth the risk, here is what you need to do:

  1. Make sure root has a password (sudo passwd root)
  2. For lightdm, edit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf. Add this line:

    greeter-show-manual-login=true
    

    For mdm, edit /etc/mdm/mdm.conf. Add this line:

    AllowRoot=true
    

Then reboot (or restart lightdm), and you should be able to log in as root.

  • Removed link: askubuntu.com/a/16179 – dsstorefile1 Sep 18 '18 at 3:09
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    @dsstorefile1 Why was it removed and why is it not in the edit history? It's not a sensitive link. – Duncan X Simpson Sep 18 '18 at 3:44
  • I'm not sure; it's probably an oversight. – dsstorefile1 Sep 18 '18 at 3:48
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    @dsstorefile1 Oh, your wording gave me the impression that you were part of removing it. I'll add it back in now. Thank you! – Duncan X Simpson Sep 18 '18 at 3:49
  • I dont have lightdm or gdm - it turns out I have something called mdm. Is the syntax the same? – Mark Sep 18 '18 at 8:37

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