Did I Lose my root user?

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jackerbes
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Did I Lose my root user?

Post by jackerbes »

I'm running 64-bit Mint on a Lenovo T520, it started back in 2017 or so with Linux Mint 18.1 and has since the original install has been upgraded a number of times and is now running on 19.3 Tricia.

I don't use the terminal very often and this laptop is my primary computer. I have used the su and root commands from the terminal but not very often and not in quite a while.

Today I noticed that I get an Authentication failure when I try to use su from the terminal.

I looked at the Users and Groups app and see that I am the only user on this system now and am there as an Administrator. I remember making myself an Administrator long ago but I think there also used to be a root user there and it is gone.

Has something in recent changes eliminated the root user on system with a single user that is an administrator?

Or am I confused about what I used to have?

Jack

(I am 78 years old, happy with Mint Linux, will never use Windows again unless it is the only way to get something done)
Mint 18.3 and 19, 64-bit, Cinnamon, Lenovo ThinkPad T520 laptop, ASUS Z-97 desktop, Samsung S6 Android phone
Jack Erbes in Ellsworth, ME, USA
ajgringo619
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Re: Did I Lose my root user?

Post by ajgringo619 »

Are you sure you were using su and not sudo? Sudo, by default on Mint, will demand your password; su needs root's password.
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MrEen
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Re: Did I Lose my root user?

Post by MrEen »

Maybe it was sudo su you used to use?
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jackerbes
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Re: Did I Lose my root user?

Post by jackerbes »

I was using only "su" (without the quotes).

If I use sudo with a command following the sudo, that still works and it will take my user's password. It says it is the "[sudo] password for jack:" and then prints the result of the command. Like this for the ls command:

jack@jack-T520:~$ sudo ls
[sudo] password for jack:
Desktop Downloads dump Music Public

and then the next prompt on the terminal becomes:

root@jack-T520:/home/jack#

And the "#" replacing the "$" means the super user in now in change...

So maybe it is that I was not using the su command right. But I'm still kind of curious as to what happened to the "root" user I'm pretty sure I used to have...

Jack
Mint 18.3 and 19, 64-bit, Cinnamon, Lenovo ThinkPad T520 laptop, ASUS Z-97 desktop, Samsung S6 Android phone
Jack Erbes in Ellsworth, ME, USA
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Re: Did I Lose my root user?

Post by ajgringo619 »

Simple way to fix this: sudo passwd root. This will change your root password and enable the account (if it was disabled).
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linux-rox
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Re: Did I Lose my root user?

Post by linux-rox »

jackerbes wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:13 pm
... started back in 2017 or so with Linux Mint 18.1 ...
That happens to have been the last version of Mint to set up the root account at installation.
Surprised you lost it by upgrade, unless you did a reinstall along the way.

As mentioned already, easy to set up. Simply run sudo passwd root.
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jackerbes
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Re: Did I Lose my root user?

Post by jackerbes »

OK, to enter that command "sudo passwd root" I had to first enter "sudo su" to change myself to a super user (get the "#" on my prompt in place of the "$").

Then I entered the "sudo passwd root" command and was able to give the root user a password. Out of habit on my single user computer, I use the same password for the root as I am already using for user jack.

After that I still did not see a root user from the Users and Groups menu so I did a restart. And after that I still don't have a root user listed there.

But you folks have made me smarter and got me back on track as far as using the su command. So thanks for that!

Jack
Mint 18.3 and 19, 64-bit, Cinnamon, Lenovo ThinkPad T520 laptop, ASUS Z-97 desktop, Samsung S6 Android phone
Jack Erbes in Ellsworth, ME, USA
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Re: Did I Lose my root user?

Post by ajgringo619 »

jackerbes wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:15 pm
OK, to enter that command "sudo passwd root" I had to first enter "sudo su" to change myself to a super user (get the "#" on my prompt in place of the "$").
This step was unnecessary. In fact, once you ran it you didn't need to use sudo anymore as you were already root.
Then I entered the "sudo passwd root" command and was able to give the root user a password. Out of habit on my single user computer, I use the same password for the root as I am already using for user jack.
This is a common practice.
After that I still did not see a root user from the Users and Groups menu so I did a restart. And after that I still don't have a root user listed there.
You will only see non-system users here, with UIDs of 1000 and above.
But you folks have made me smarter and got me back on track as far as using the su command. So thanks for that!

Jack
Glad we could help.
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