When prompted for an administrative password, what exactly does that mean?

I'm trying to run a few programs but they are asking for my adminstrative password, but I have no clue what that means.

I'mm trying to use things like unetbootin and remastersys, but running those requires that I enter the administrative password. I have no clue what it is, given I put in my user account password it says its the wrong password and im the only user on. when i type anything sudo in terminal that password works but when it shows me a message asking for it i dont know what it is..... can anyone help me find it or tell me what it is?

  • Try running the programs with "sudo".
    – sinclair
    May 16, 2013 at 21:03

2 Answers 2


Whoever installed the Ubuntu system was asked for a user name. That user name not only became the first user of the system, but also became the first sudo user (account that could put sudo to run root-privileged programs.

So, your password should work. If you did not install the system, you need to go on the sudoers list. These two questions should help you add your account to sudoers, but you still need the first account's password, if it was not you.

To check to see if you have admin privileges, try entering sudo -i and using your regular password. If that works, it would help to have more information about what you are trying to run.

  • ...i set up my system, i inatalled, i did everything..... thats why i dont know why its not working..... May 17, 2013 at 1:55
  • I've updated my answer. If that does not work, then you may have to use a live disk; mount your hard drive rw; and go alter sudoers, so it looks like a brand new install. May 17, 2013 at 12:28
  • yes sudo -i does work. i am trying to use wicd but it asks me for a password to access the network cards, and remastersys backup requires this admin password. i have no clue why or what to do anymore. i can use sudo and everything through the terminal. when i sudo i type my password and everything works, i can install everything and when i run remastersys i cant run the GUI but i can run it through the terminal with the sudo command and my password..... i need help May 22, 2013 at 13:53

I've found for programs that won't accept my user's sudo status for whatever reason, it will run for me under gksudo. Try:

gksudo unetbootin


gksudo remastersys

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.