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Root, SU and SUDO

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by Whil Hentzen
Length: 4 pgs
Formats Available: PDF
Press date: 2006/11/04
Source code: N/A

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The Linux "root" user has what many system admins refer to as 'god' powers complete control over the machine and environment. In the next breath, any competent sysadmin will admonish you to avoid logging in as root unless absolutely necessary, and then they'll add for effect, "and it's almost never necessary." But the new Linux admin or user will find that root access seems to be necessary a lot more than their admin friend lets on. The reason the experienced admin doesn't need to log on as root is that they've got a couple of root access tricks up their sleeve, namely, the 'su' and 'sudo' commands. In this article, I'll explain how to use 'su' and 'sudo' to avoid a lot of root logins.

Table of Contents

1. Preface
1.1. Copyright
1.2. Revisions
1.2.1. History
1.2.2. New version
1.2.3. Feedback and corrections
1.3. References and acknowledgments
1.4. Disclaimer
1.5. Prerequisites

2. Command prompts for the root user vs regular users

3. Changing to root inside a command window
3.1. "su"
3.2. "su -"

4. Using "sudo" for a single command
4.1. Set up "sudoers"
4.2. Run "sudo"

5. Where to go for more information

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