I am trying to install subversion on my Ubuntu 12.04 desktop. I follow the commands to start this process, using apt-get:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install subversion

Either of the above commands then ask me to enter my password. Though my user password allows me to get into Ubuntu, when I enter it here there is no echo back as I enter the password. It acts like nothing is being entered at all. Then when I hit enter, it tells me it failed x number of times. When I have tried to enter it the third time it bombs out and tells me this will be reported.

It does not tell me who it reports it to, considering it is my machine and my desktop installation of Ubuntu 12.04.

I am new to Linux but a very experienced Windows User. I am trying to switch mostly over to Linux (Ubuntu). Am I doing something wrong?

  • see the edit history before downvoting linuxslick's answer Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 20:11

5 Answers 5


I think there might be a different problem here:

When you get your password wrong three times and you are in the sudo group the result is:

sudo: 3 incorrect password attempts

Only when you are NOT in the sudo group, will it say something like "this incident will be reported".

Therefore, check whether you are in the sudo group with id, which will show all the groups you belong to.

If you are not in the sudo group, then you will probably have to boot from a live CD and follow the instructions here (but add yourself to sudo rather than admin if you're running Ubuntu 12.04). You won't be able to use pkexec if you are not in the sudo group, so that won't be a solution unfortunately.


You are issuing the wrong commands. It must be:

sudo apt-get update

Then after it finishes

sudo apt-get install subversion

You can also combine, like:

sudo apt-get update && apt-get install subversion

I didn't see the part where you said either so i'm supposing you enter the correct commands, if so, it appears that your user may not be allowed to run sudo.

To add your user to the sudo group just follow the info here as Mik said

To check if your user has root privileges you can go to - System Definitions - Users, and see if your user has the account type - Administrator

  • i hope the case is this simple Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 20:08
  • You cannot become root with su or su - on Ubuntu. The root account is disabled by default. If there are also no administrators, you have to boot into single user mode or into a live environment. Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 20:54
  • You can use sudo su though! Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 20:56
  • @ChristopherMonsanto You cannot use sudo su when the problem is that you can't become root with sudo! Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 20:59

This is normal. There is not feedback when you type it, not even asterisks. Keep typing it. It will be accepted if it is correct. Also, follow the other answer for the correct commands. The violation is reported to nobody, as it is sent to logs and a blackhole email address on your system. The password(It has to be your password) needs to be correct, though.


It is normal for any "sudo" command sequence to be asked for your password, when you type it nothing is displayed (it stops people knowing how many characters your password has) and when you finish entering it you must press return as any other character will invalidate the password you typed. The password used when you installed Ubuntu should always be valid though it is possible to set "auto log-in" on power up (like Windows) but the password is required for many operations such as installing software or running some updates. John


Type 'passwd' and press enter. it will prompt u to enter new unix password.do so and retype to conform as new password. try sudo again.and o it wont show u wat u r typing.just type the password and press enter. hope it works.it did for me.try to avoid numbers\\ :)

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