Ubuntu Default Root Password: What You Need to Know

If you’re a new Ubuntu user, you might be wondering about the default root password. Ubuntu, like many Linux distributions, doesn’t set a default password for the root user. Instead, you use the ‘sudo’ command to perform tasks that require root privileges. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to set or reset the root password on Ubuntu.

Step by Step Tutorial on Setting the Ubuntu Default Root Password

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’ll achieve. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have set a new password for the root user on your Ubuntu system.

Step 1: Open the Terminal

Open the Terminal application on your Ubuntu system.

The Terminal is where you’ll enter all the commands to set your root password. You can find it by searching for it in your applications menu or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+T.

Step 2: Gain Superuser Access

Type sudo -i to gain superuser access.

After entering this command, you’ll be prompted to enter your current user’s password. This is the password you use to log in to your Ubuntu system.

Step 3: Set the Root Password

Type passwd root and press Enter. Then, enter the new password for the root user when prompted.

Be sure to choose a strong password that’s hard to guess. It should include a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters.

After you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have successfully set a new password for the root user on your Ubuntu system. This password can be used whenever you need to perform tasks that require root privileges.

Tips for Managing the Ubuntu Default Root Password

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when managing your root password on Ubuntu:

  • Always use a strong and unique password for the root user to ensure security.
  • Avoid using the root account for daily tasks; use your regular user account and ‘sudo’ instead.
  • Regularly change the root password to minimize the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Keep the root password confidential and do not share it with others.
  • Be extra careful when typing commands as the root user, as you have full control over the system.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ‘sudo’ and why should I use it instead of logging in as root?

‘Sudo’ is a command that allows you to run programs with the security privileges of another user, typically the superuser or root. It’s safer than logging in as root because it limits the potential damage from mistakes or misuse.

Can I use the same password for my regular user and the root user?

While you technically can, it’s not recommended. Using different passwords for different roles adds an extra layer of security to your system.

What if I forget the root password I just set?

If you forget the root password, you can reset it by following the same steps we discussed earlier. Just make sure you remember your regular user’s password to gain superuser access with ‘sudo’.

Is it possible to disable the root account entirely?

Yes, you can disable the root account by locking the root password. However, this is not recommended for most users as it might complicate system maintenance and recovery tasks.

How often should I change the root password?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but a good practice is to change the root password at least once every six months or anytime you suspect it may have been compromised.


  1. Open the Terminal.
  2. Gain superuser access with sudo -i.
  3. Set the root password with passwd root.


Understanding how to manage the root user and its password is crucial for maintaining the security and integrity of your Ubuntu system. By following the steps outlined in this article, you now know how to set or reset the root password, ensuring that you have the necessary control over your system when you need it. Always remember to keep the password secure and to use the ‘sudo’ command for tasks that require elevated privileges. With these best practices, you’re well on your way to becoming a savvy Ubuntu user. For further reading, you might explore how to use ‘sudo’ effectively or delve into more advanced security practices for your Ubuntu system.

Remember, the power of the root user is at your fingertips – use it wisely!