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I recently met with a severe issue with user accounts. On my system, there is only one administrator user, named vivek. I added another user with name vivi and changed its privilege to administrator. Afterwards, I changed the privilege for the vivek account to standard user.

Since vivek is being the current user, I dropped with all administrator privileges. No password was set for the new administrator user vivi and hence it was disabled by default. I no longer access to any administrative activities. Later I corrected this by editing etc/group file.

Isn't this a severe bug? Being the current administrator user, how could I degrade myself to a standard user and got out from administrator's seat? I did not get any warning messages indicating no other administrators exists to manage my system. I suggest this warning should be included there in user accounts when an administrator user changes his privilege without any enabled administrators. Your thoughts?

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migrated from Nov 13 '11 at 7:32

This question came from our discussion, support, and feature requests site for Ubuntu users and developers.

I'm not sure I understand the question. Can you edit it, and add something about what a good answer to this question would explain? See our FAQ as well. And, welcome to Ask Ubuntu! – Stefano Palazzo Nov 13 '11 at 7:34
can you please tell us more about the scenario? – coder Nov 13 '11 at 7:37
I am sorry. Let me explain the scenario as follows: – Vivek Nov 13 '11 at 7:42
I am sorry. Let me explain the scenario as follows: I installed Ubuntu 11.10 two days back with the username vivek. Yesterday I thought of adding one more user named vivi. I did it from user accounts in Settings.I changed the privilege of user vivi from standard to administrator. This account was disabled as no password was set yet. Then I edited my current user account, i.e., vivek by changing its privilege from administrator to standard. And at from the next moment I am not able to perform any administrative activities such as mounting drives, using sudo etc. it wanted password of vivi – Vivek Nov 13 '11 at 7:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Assuming that the utility you were using prevents you from taking away your administrative privileges (i.e., remove yourself from the admin group) when there are no other administrative users, arguably if it permits you to take away your administrative privileges when all other administrative users' accounts are disabled, that is a bug.

If you consider this a bug, I recommend that you report it as one. Please make sure to read the documentation on bug reporting carefully first, and also to search to see if someone else has already reported a similar bug. This would be a bug in the utility you are using to modify user accounts, and what utility that is depends on what version of Ubuntu you are using as well as what desktop environment you are using (for example, Users and Groups (users-admin, which is part of the gnome-system-tools package) stopped being the default utility for this in Ubuntu 11.04, being superseded by the User Accounts control panel in System Settings (a.k.a. GNOME Control Center; gnome-control-center, provided by the package of the same name). But in Ubuntu 11.04 and Ubuntu 11.10, users-admin is still the default utility for this in Lubuntu.

When you report this bug, you should start the report by running ubuntu-bug with the package name for the utility that allows this arguably undesirable behavior (for example, ubuntu-bug gnome-control-center or ubuntu-bug gnome-system-tools). You'll have a better handle on how to use the ubuntu-bug utility once you've read the bug-reporting documentation. You should make sure your bug report is complete and self-contained, so that it is not necessary for Ubuntu developers to refer to this question in order to fully understand and appreciate the problem you're describing. It would also be helpful for you to post a comment here with a link to the bug, once you've reported it.

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This has been reported as bug. I just wanted to see if this can be done. Thank You! – Vivek Nov 17 '11 at 7:02
@VivekSPanicker Can you give a link to the bug report you created (or found) for this? – Eliah Kagan Nov 18 '11 at 1:52

Thanks to Vivek & Eliah for the answers. I don't have any Ubuntu live CD.But I followed the procedure mentioned in this link and it worked, restored my admin privilege.

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