Ubuntu - enable root account

In Ubuntu Linux operating systems, the root account is blocked and cannot be used by users who do not have 'superuser' rights. To enable the root privileges on a user's account, sudo or gksu commands can be used. The sudo command in Linux allows users to set up the password mode for the root users in order to activate the console sessions in command mode only. The graphical user interface cannot be accessed with the sudo commands. To enable the root priviledges on a graphical user interface, the login and security settings have to be changed through the administration tools.


Under Ubuntu, access to the root account is blocked and only the sudo/gksu commands allow the use of features as with a superuser.


To enable the root account and access directly via the console in root mode, you must type the command:

$ sudo passwd root    

This command allows you to set up the password mode for the root user which will be activated for the console sessions only (no GUI). Once the password is initialized, it will be possible to open a console session with the user root.

Note that

To enable access to the graphical user root, go to System/Administration/Login, click the Security tab, then tick the box allowing connection of the local System Administrator.
Disconnect and reconnect with the root account.

Ask a question
CCM is a leading international tech website. Our content is written in collaboration with IT experts, under the direction of Jean-François Pillou, founder of CCM.net. CCM reaches more than 50 million unique visitors per month and is available in 11 languages.
This document, titled « Ubuntu - enable root account », is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).
1 Comment