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I have used various Linux distributions in the past.

Thought I would maybe get back into it. So I chose Ubuntu and began setting up my hardware. I was installing a Lexmark printer driver when suddenly it requested the root password. I entered "root" as that is what the root password in Linux has always been. Im going back 20 years.

Anyway I've got this installation prompt for password sitting on the back burner while I search the net for the default root password. I can't seem to find it anywhere. I stead I find somebody stating that Ubuntu doesn't release the password so we can't muss things up. Is this true?

Please tell me it isn't so. In my mind that goes away from everything that Linux is, or was.

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Never heard of a default root password, neither now nor in the past, it would be a great safety hole –  enzotib Dec 4 '11 at 8:21
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2 Answers 2

Enter your own password to temporarily gain root (superuser) privileges. Also usually you do not re-login as root but stay as "yourself" but gain root privileges temporarily.

If working in a shell/terminal entering sudo (super user do) before your command in the shell tells the system you wish to temporarily invoke superuser rights.

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Ubuntu doesn't set a root password at install time - instead you use sudo to gain root privileges. Chances are you just need to enter your own password at this prompt, or perhaps it's not written with sudo in mind?

You can set a root password if you need to, with:

sudo passwd

Which will first ask you to enter your password to become root, then ask you for a new root password (and again to verify it).

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