4 Examples To Grant Normal User Root Privileges In Linux

“root” super user is the king of the users in Linux/Unix. Having root access grant full and unlimited access to the Linux box. I will show how to allow root access to a user in a Linux system. Typically root level access used in system administration. It’s always a pain to give others (users) root access. You need to be careful and withdraw the access once need is finished.

According to Linux file system permissions root or super user has full permission read(r), write (w) and execute(x) to any file. By default root user id is 0.

I am going to crate two users namely user1 and user2. Then I will give root access to user1 .

Method : 1 Using Usermod Command

[root@mypc Desktop]# adduser user1
[root@mypc Desktop]# adduser user2
[root@mypc Desktop]# groupadd test

These are the groups I have in my Linux box

[root@mypc /]# groups
root bin daemon sys adm disk wheel

I am going to add user1 to root group

[root@mypc Desktop]# usermod -G root user1

Below command provide existing user the root privilege

[root@mypc Desktop]# usermod -g 0 -o root_user

Method 2 : Using Useradd Command

I have add new user user3 to root group using one single command

[root@mypc /]# useradd -m -G root user3
[root@mypc /]# groups user3
user3 : user3 root

Another option using useradd command

Useradd -c “Imitation Root” -d /home/root_user -m -k /etc/skel -s /bin/bash -u 0 -o -g root root_user

Method 3 : Editing /etc/passwd file

Edit /etc/passwd for the particular user. Change that user’s UID and GID to 0 then the user will have the permissions of root.


Now temproot user should have root privilege


Method 4 : Setting as Sudo User

The sudo configuration file is /etc/sudoers and you can edit this file using visudo command: # visudo. Using visudo protects from conflicts and guarantees that the right syntax is used.

Full Access to Specific Users

Add below entry in the file

bob, tom ALL=(ALL) ALL

This method is not a good idea because this allows bob and tom to use the su command to grant themselves permanent root privileges thereby skipping the command logging features of sudo.

Grant access to specific user to specific files

This entry allows bob and all the members of the group operator to gain access to all the program files in the /sbin and /usr/sbin directories, plus the privilege of running the command /usr/oracle/backup.pl.

bob, %operator ALL= /sbin/, /usr/sbin, /usr/oracle/backup.pl


Posted on June 16, 2015, in Linux (Ubuntu/CentOS). Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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