I have a PC at work running Fedora 14. For some reason, the IT guys do not give out the password for the root user, but instead, if needed they create a specific suXXX user with root permissions.

The entry in /etc/passwd looks like this:

su9705:XXXXPASSWORDXXX:0:0:Root My Name:/root:/bin/bash

As you can see it shares the same UID and GID as root, so anytime I need to do something with special permissions I can just type 'su su9705'.

The problem is when I'm in the graphical environment, and some software (usually software installers, update managers) asks for the root password to perform certain operations. In that case I cannot use my su9705 password.

In the past I solved the problem by running su and changing the root password to something else, but I believe if IT finds this out they are going to kill me slowly.

I also added a line in /etc/sudoers to give my normal user user full permissions:

myNormalUser  ALL=(ALL) ALL

However I'm still asked for authentication.

Are there any clean solutions to this? I would just like to be able to authenticate using my su9705 password instead of root in Gnome. Any ideas?

  • 3
    Start logging in to gnome as su9705, when the IT department finally realise what a ridiculous and dangerous thing they've implemented, they will relent, and if they don't, you win! – EightBitTony Aug 4 '11 at 9:56
  • On a serious note - after the sudo change, when it asks for authentication, are you sure it's not just asking for your regular user's password now (which is how it would normally work). – EightBitTony Aug 4 '11 at 9:57
  • With sudo you are supposed to use myNormalUser's password. – jw013 Aug 4 '11 at 9:57
  • 1
    You're asked for authentication for your own account. This is a good thing. – Daniel Beck Aug 4 '11 at 9:58
  • @Daniel: It only happens if the user is considered an "admin" by PolicyKit, which by default only recognizes uid=0 (and in Fedora, unix-group:admin IIRC). Otherwise, Polkit asks for the password of root. – user1686 Aug 4 '11 at 11:23

If Xprog is a GUI program which needs root perms, can you not initially invoke X by opening a terminal window and typing su su9705 -c Xprog? Then there's a good chance it won't prompt again for the password for root.

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