root account

The root user, also known as the superuser or administrator, is a special user account in Linux used for system administration. It is the most privileged user on the Linux system and it has access to all commands and files. The root user can do many things an ordinary user cannot, such as installing new software, changing the ownership of files, and managing other user accounts.

It is not recommended to use root for ordinary tasks, such as browsing the web, writing texts, e.g. A simple mistake can cause problems with the entire system, for example if you mistype a command. It is advisable to create a normal user account for such tasks. If root permissions are needed, the su and sudo commands can be used.

For example, if we try to bring the eth0 interface down with an ordinary user, we will get the following message:

linux root permissions needed

To be able to perform the command above, we need to use the su or sudo command. We will learn how to do that in the next lessons.

In some Linux distributions, most notably Ubuntu, the root account password is locked by default. Instead, the sudo command is used for commands that require root privileges.

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Geek University 2019