Ubuntu – How to enable root login


I would like to enable the root account on my Ubuntu installation.

I realize the security implications of this.

Best Answer

  • Warning

    While it's possible to do, it is not recommended.


    To actually enable root logins first you have to set a password for the root account and then unlock the locked root account. If you don't set a password for the root account the passwd command will return

    passwd: unlocking the password would result in a passwordless account.  

    So, first execute in a terminal

    sudo passwd root

    you will be prompted for a new Unix password. Write it twice (second for confirmation).

    Then execute

    sudo passwd -u root 

    to unlock the account. This should return

    passwd: password expiry information changed


    If you want to disable root account in Ubuntu you need to lock the root account by using the following command sudo passwd -l root

    Alternatives to root login

    If you want to work on a root console you can also use sudo -i.

    Only do this if you know what you are doing. More information on why to stay with sudo here

    Graphical version needs setting up 1st:

    pkexec gnome-terminal will open a terminal with a root prompt.

    passwd root will allow you to create a password for root.

    Note: Running users-admin with elevated privileges no longer works because of a bug that is marked as "Won't Fix" for security reasons. See https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-system-tools/+bug/685215 for an explanation.

    pkexec users-admin will open the users screen:im1


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