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Since a few days I've a new laptop running Ubuntu Linux. During the installation I had to create my own user account. After rebooting, I saw, that the manufacture created a second user called oem (original equipment manufacturer) which has admin rights.

Is there any reason to keep the second account since I'm using only my own.

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  • 1
    Wait, you've bought the laptop with Ubuntu preinstalled ? or did you install Ubuntu yourself ? Jun 7, 2015 at 15:55
  • It was shipped with linux out of the box. Jun 7, 2015 at 16:04
  • Which manufacturer installed ubuntu on the laptop?
    – Wilf
    Jun 7, 2015 at 16:17
  • The manufacture was Dell. Jun 7, 2015 at 16:25

2 Answers 2

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TL;DR Yes, delete the OEM account.


Before you delete the OEM account, check if you are in the sudo group

groups

Sample output:

% groups
a_user_name daemon adm cdrom sudo dip plugdev fuse lpadmin sambashare docker sbuild
  • If you are in the sudo group, remove the OEM account

    sudo userdel --remove --selinux-user oem
    
  • If not, follow these steps

    1. Boot into the GRUB menu

      Press and hold the left Shift key during boot.

    2. Start the recovery mode

      Select the entry recovery mode

    3. Open the root console

      Select the entry root

    4. Remount the root partition

      mount -o rw,remount /
      
    5. Add your user in the group sudo

      usermod -a -G sudo <your_user>
      
    6. Continue the boot process

      Press Ctrl+C

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For security reasons, I suggest you delete the OEM's account and change the root password. You can delete the OEM's account with sudo userdel accountlogin and change the root password with sudo passwd

To consider the possibility that the OEM may have enabled the root account, perhaps a better alternative is to disable the root account altogether with sudo passwd -ld root More info here

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    Ubuntu (for weird reasons) doesn't have a root account (with password) by default, so if a password is set you can disable it
    – Wilf
    Jun 7, 2015 at 16:16
  • I also thought about security, since the account isn't password protected by default and the laptop is booting everytime in this account which requires me to logout and login to my custom account. But the oem's account is usually not connected to any interal processes of the operating system, right? Jun 7, 2015 at 16:17
  • @Wilf there's root account on every *nix system ! In Ubuntu the password is simply hidden from the user upon installation for security reasons. Jun 7, 2015 at 16:22
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    @Serg - I know :D - "...doesn't have a root account (with password) by default". Disabling/Changing the root account should work, but you may want to check for authorized SSH keys in ~/.ssh as well (or remove the installed server package), as those don't need password authentication.
    – Wilf
    Jun 7, 2015 at 18:02
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    @Serg (in reply to an earlier comment) Do mistrust the OEM's reliability! I've heard the Emperor Linux sets up their machines with the root account and then leaves it enabled. Install an ssh server and bam, you'll have people brute forcing the root account (iirc PermitRootLogin is by default set to yes in the config). Don't trust that just because they are an OEM that they do things the right way™.
    – Seth
    Jun 8, 2015 at 1:59

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