root user in Ubuntu

Today I got stuck on what could be a simple problem to long time Ubuntu users - making changes that require root access.

I never faced this problem until today because my Ubuntu user account/password was enough to make system level changes as it was treated like admin user by Ubuntu.

Today I tried to modify the directory /var/www which is owned by the root. Since the folder is not owned by me, Ubuntu asked me to enter the root password and I typed my Ubuntu user password. It didn't work, obviously.

Then I tried to escalate the permission level to root, so I tried the command: su root and gave my Ubuntu user password. This also failed.

After googling sometime, I found out that,

  1. Ubuntu does not allow you to directly login as root.
  2. The first Ubuntu account you create is treated like admin account.

So, in order to escalate yourself as a root user in Ubuntu terminal, I had to give the command: '*sudo su -' (without quotes) and then enter my current Ubuntu user password. After that, I was escalated to root user and then able to modify the /var/www *folder as I wanted. Piece of cake!!

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This post was written by Veera, a software developer by profession and a maker by passion.

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