How to enable a Root Password in Solus

Solus comes with the root password disabled by default settings as an additional layer of security. During the installation of Solus a user with administrator rights can be created but when you try to ‘su’ in the Terminal you will see authentication failure error even with the administrator password.

Let me throw some light on the administrator and the root account.

Root vs Administrator

Ironically, both the accounts are basically same! So why would the administrator’s password result in the “Authentication failure” error while invoking the su command?

In Linux, even the administrator runs as a standard user normally. When activities such as installing updates or apps, or changing config files, the system prompts for the administrator password. Once that activity is completed, the system reverts the user access rights to working as a standard user.

By using the ‘su’ command in the ‘Terminal’ a user can get continuous root access without the need to enter ‘sudo’ every time. This makes things to be done quickly. In Solus, the root access is disabled by default settings.

Enabling Root Password on Solus

1) Launch the ‘Terminal’.

2) Let’s first check if root is enabled in your PC. Enter ‘su’ and press enter.

su

3) Enter the administrator password and hit enter. You should get “su: Authentication failure” error.

Trying to get su rights
Trying to get su rights

4) Enter ‘sudo su’ to enable the root password. Now try entering the administrator password. The system should take you to the root prompt where you will have continuous root privileges until the end of that Terminal session.

sudo su

Root Password enabled in Solus
Root Password enabled in Solus

Changing the Root Password in Solus

If you wish to change the password, simply enter ‘passwd’ and hit enter. You can then enter the new password.

Changing Root Password in Solus
Changing Root Password in Solus

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities, especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. I hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

3 COMMENTS

  1. The command is

    sudo su

    The screenshot has it right, but I only discovered that after it failing a few times. Thanks for the help though because I’m not any good with Linux yet and couldn’t figure out why su wasn’t working.

  2. hi kiran – thanks for this. i’m new to linux and solus is my first distro so i’ll be using your resources pretty extensively. i’m trying to install hplip so that my machine can communicate with the printer but experiencing problems. any suggestions? meanwhile, keep up the good work! Tony

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