"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Saturday, March 18, 2006


OK. Seumas. I've got Ubuntu installed on my old (and currently only) laptop. All seems good but wasn't able to log in as root. I've just read somewhere that root log-in on Ubuntu is disabled from the get-go and users therefore use sudo instead. This is where I reveal my lack of linux knowledge (haven't touched it for 12 months or so): what is sudo?? It now occurs to me that I don't think I was asked for a root password during the install process, so this kind of makes sense but I'd appreciate a bit of clarification on this.

As mentioned the distro seems pretty good, nice user interface, runs OK on my aged 800Mhz, 128MB laptop (well Firefox does, not really tried doing much else with it). Good that it all comes on one CD too.


phaemon said...

sudo is a way to let an ordinary user do root stuff without actually giving them a root login.

For example, say you wanted to use dhcp on your network card from the command line. Instead of logging in as root, and then typing "dhcpcd eth0" you would just type "sudo dhcpcd eth0" from your normal login.

You can activate root by setting a password (I think!). Type "sudo passwd root" and give it a new password. Now you can "su" and all whenever you like.

Also, you may wish to use Abiword and Gnumeric rather than OpenOffice, as I believe they support the same file formats (the new open one?) and they're smaller and quicker (probably don't have all the features but who needs most of them?).

Lastly, remember that Ubuntu is based on Debian, so most things that apply to Debian apply here. So, use apt-get (or the GUI, Synaptic) for packages, and you can add Debian repositories ("sudo apt-get abiword" will probably work in other words)

john said...

cool - all makes sense now re sudo. just poking around and i find that ubuntu includes a terminal services client! now that is *well* cool - i can control my windows 2003 server from my linux notebook. hurrah!