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

       sudo_root - How to run administrative commands

       sudo command

       sudo -i

       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 privileges. 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

       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 follow-
       ing 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.

       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

       * 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.

       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.

       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.


                               February 8, 2006                   sudo_root(8)
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