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Usually, it is the other way around...so this might be the first from what I researched.

lets say i log on to my server venus as willc86. When I su root, it lets me in. however, lets say I ssh venus -l root, it wont let me. access denied. if I ssh venus -l willc86 it works, but I have to su root in order to switch

is this a ssh problem?

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As bodhi.zazen mentions, root log in from ssh might be disabled.

Honestly, this is not a bad thing. You might want to consider getting used to having to "su -" to root if you have to (or sudo -i if you use it).

Try the following to check,

grep PermitRootLogin /etc/ssh/sshd_config

If you see the following come by, root login is disabled.

PermitRootLogin no

Or if the output is the following, root login cannot be done with passwords:

PermitRootLogin without-password

To change this setting, use your favorite text editor (vi/nano) and change no to "yes"

Again, consider getting used to working with "su -/sudo" when needed before changing this.

EDIT/Sidenote: Also, this will only work if you actually set a password for the root user.

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  • thanks people! ill check it out. reason i ask is because i am using clonezilla and using root to access – user2805313 Mar 21 '15 at 18:02
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    PermitRootLogin without-password will NOT ALLOW password aughtntication, so setting a root password is irrlevant with that option. without-password will allow login with keys or other methods such as Kerbos. – Panther Mar 21 '15 at 18:06
  • also, if you look at the ssh logs, ssh in root us a very very common crack for script kiddies, so I would not suggest you allow login as root with a password. Use a key ;) – Panther Mar 21 '15 at 18:07

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