How to Enable root user account in Ubuntu Linux

This tutorial explains how to enable root use account in Ubuntu Linux step by step with example. The root account is the main administrator account in Ubuntu Linux. It has the highest privilege in system. By default it is disabled. But if require, it can be easily enabled by following these steps.

Since root account has the highest privilege in system, can do whatever you want to do while you logged in from this account. This causes security risk. Even a small mistake in file system can crash entire OS. You could type a command incorrectly and destroy the system.

So Ubuntu developers made a conscientious decision to disable the administrative root account by default in all Ubuntu installations. This does not mean that the root account has been deleted or that it may not be accessed. It merely has been given a password which matches no possible encrypted value, therefore may not log in directly by itself.

As a network administrator you may need to enable root account in several circumstances. In this tutorial we would enable root account in Ubuntu.

During the installation of Ubuntu we need to create one user account. By default this account has permission to run sudo command with his own password. Log in from this account.

enable root normal user login screen

We need Terminal to execute commands. Click on Ubuntu button, type terminal in search box and click on terminal icon. Alternatively you can launch terminal directly by pressing ALT+CTRL+T key combination.

enable root open terminial

Set password for root account. Run following command

sudo passwd root

Just remember, when sudo asks for a password, it needs YOUR USER password.

And when it say Enter new UNIX password enter the password which you set for root account.

enable root set password for root

root account is enabled. Now we need to enable login option. Run following command

sudo sh -c 'echo "greeter-show-manual-login=true" >> /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf'

enable root enable ghrapic command

Reboot the system and Login from root

enable root reboot command

While you logged from root account in Ubuntu username will show Guest in notification area.

enable root root desktop

You can confirm from terminal that you logged in as root account.

Open terminal and run who am i command

enable root who am i

While logged in from root account several services like google chrome, sound would not run. Please check our other articles from Ubuntu tips and tricks to enable these services for root account.

If you wish to disable root account again follow these steps.

Reboot system Logged in from the account which you have created during the installation process

enable root normal user login screen

run following command

sudo passwd -dl root

enable root disable root

Reboot system again and try to login from root.

enable root login error with root

Enabling the Root account is rarely necessary. Almost everything you need to do as administrator of an Ubuntu system can be done via sudo or gksudo. We suggest you to check our other articles to learn how to perform administrator task without enabling root account.

ComputerNetworkingNotes Ubuntu Linux Tutorials How to Enable root user account in Ubuntu Linux