Coming from Mac OS X, there is a possibility for every ordinary user to open Terminal and type in 'login' to change to a different user account.

When I do this with Ubuntu, it provides the following error message:

login: Cannot possibly work without effective root

Is there any way to remedy this? Which file do I need to edit and with what to enable the use of this command (even for a standard user)?

  • 3
    For changing to other user account you can use su username command.
    – OHLÁLÁ
    Jul 6 '14 at 12:57
  • su <username> - - note the hyphen.
    – muru
    Jul 6 '14 at 16:29
  • Thanks @run and muru That kinda works and is even shorter than "login".
    – Phoenix
    Jul 7 '14 at 19:12

You can use su <user name> for changing to a different user.


The login command in Ubuntu requires root permissions. Try $ sudo login.

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