Ubuntu superuser

I have recently installed Ubuntu on a laptop. This is my first experience with that operating system, although I have experience with other versions of Unix. Apparently Ubuntu has gotten rid of the superuser.

Unfortunately, when I download updates for the flashplugin, it wants the superuser password to (I assume) be able to put certain files in the right directories. Well, I don’t have a root password, so those files have not been updated yet. So what’s the fix for this?

Enter your own password.

Ubuntu doesn’t disable the root account, but you can’t log in as root, you have to log in as a normal user and use sudo for root commands. If you want a root shell, just type “sudo su” at a terminal.

The GUI prompt asking for a password is just a graphical version of the sudo command.

Thought I’d tried it without success. Just tried again and this time it worked, I think. Must have made a typo before. Thanks.

And if (for some reason) you need root privileges for a graphical interface (maybe you can’t handle vi and need gedit, ya big baby):

gksudo gedit /etc/yourconfsettings.conf (or whatever file)

This is better than launching gedit from a command line with sudo, because you don’t end up with temp files in your home directory owned by root.

Errr… yes, but.

That starts a root shell but keeps the user’s PATH and env variables. Depending on why you need a root shell, that may not be wise.

sudo -i launches a shell that uses root’s PATH and env.

This makes me suspect you’re not using the package manager to install stuff. You should always use the package manager. It will install it for you and keep track of updates.