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What is it?

su is a Linux/Unix command that allows one to run another command with substitute user and group ID permissions.

  • su allows one user to temporarily become another user (most often the root user) if you know the user's password.

This page is about using the su command in the Terminal.

WARNING you can erase all the data on your computer by misusing the su command, so be careful.

To set the password for the root user

sudo passwd

  • You will be prompted to enter a new password for the root user. Key one in, then press Enter.
  • Re-enter the password when prompted.
  • If the two passwords were identical, you will see the message:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.

You should now be able to start a new session in root user mode by typing

su - and entering the new password.

You can leave the root user session by entering the Ctrl D key combination or entering the logout command.

See Also

This command is run in the standard Linux environment via the Terminal Activity. The GUI will probably not integrate comfortably with the XO Laptop's Sugar environment. Your user experience may vary considerably depending on the established environment and the other programs running on the laptop, may need re-installation after an OS Update. See the Linux software category for other commands.