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sudo_root(8)                         System Manager's Manual                         sudo_root(8)

NAME
       sudo_root - How to run administrative commands

SYNOPSIS
       sudo command

       sudo -i

INTRODUCTION
       By  default,  the  password for the user "root" (the system administrator) is locked. This
       means you cannot login as root or use su. Instead, the installer will set up sudo to allow
       the user that is created during install to run all administrative commands.

       This  means  that  in  the terminal you can use sudo for commands that require root priviā€
       leges. All programs in the menu will use a graphical sudo to prompt for a  password.  When
       sudo  asks  for a password, it needs your password, this means that a root password is not
       needed.

       To run a command which requires root privileges in a  terminal,  simply  prepend  sudo  in
       front of it. To get an interactive root shell, use sudo -i.

ALLOWING OTHER USERS TO RUN SUDO
       By  default,  only the user who installed the system is permitted to run sudo. To add more
       administrators, i. e. users who can run sudo, you have to add these  users  to  the  group
       'sudo' by doing one of the following steps:

       * In a shell, do

           sudo adduser username sudo

       * Use  the graphical "Users & Groups" program in the "System settings" menu to add the new
         user to the sudo group.

BENEFITS OF USING SUDO
       The benefits of leaving root disabled by default include the following:

       * Users do not have to remember an extra password, which they are likely to forget.

       * The installer is able to ask fewer questions.

       * It avoids the "I can do anything" interactive login by default - you  will  be  prompted
         for  a  password  before major changes can happen, which should make you think about the
         consequences of what you are doing.

       * Sudo adds a log entry of the command(s) run (in /var/log/auth.log).

       * Every attacker trying to brute-force their way into your box will know it has an account
         named  root and will try that first. What they do not know is what the usernames of your
         other users are.

       * Allows easy transfer for admin rights, in a short term or long term  period,  by  adding
         and removing users from the sudo group, while not compromising the root account.

       * sudo can be set up with a much more fine-grained security policy.

       * On systems with more than one administrator using sudo avoids sharing a password amongst
         them.

DOWNSIDES OF USING SUDO
       Although for desktops the benefits of using sudo are  great,  there  are  possible  issues
       which need to be noted:

       * Redirecting the output of commands run with sudo can be confusing at first. For instance
         consider

           sudo ls > /root/somefile

         will not work since it is the shell that tries to write to that file. You can use

           ls | sudo tee /root/somefile

         to get the behaviour you want.

       * In a lot of office environments the ONLY local user on a system is root. All other users
         are  imported  using NSS techniques such as nss-ldap. To setup a workstation, or fix it,
         in the case of a network failure where nss-ldap is broken, root is required. This  tends
         to leave the system unusable. An extra local user, or an enabled root password is needed
         here.

GOING BACK TO A TRADITIONAL ROOT ACCOUNT
       This is not recommended!

       To enable the root account (i.e. set a password) use:

           sudo passwd root

       Afterwards, edit the sudo configuration with sudo visudo and comment out the line

           %sudo  ALL=(ALL) ALL

       to disable sudo access to members of the sudo group.

SEE ALSO
       sudo(8), https://wiki.ubuntu.com/RootSudo

                                         February 8, 2006                            sudo_root(8)

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