I have only just installed Ubuntu on a Wintel PC. I want to install some downloaded software package, namely Google Chrome, but I have not been successful gaining root privilege. I have seen several questions being answered with the advice to use sudo in Ubuntu, but this doesn't seem to work for me. I always get unable to change to root gid, Operation not permitted.

What steps must I take to allow sudo to work for admin tasks?


Firstly, I am assuming that the motivation of your question is to install packages, so correct me if I'm wrong.

To run commands a root, you can either execute the commands as the root user, or you can append sudo to the beginning of the command. For most applications, using sudo is safer that being root because, among other things, it will force you to make sure that you know what you're doing.

To become root, you can use sudo -i as Michael has commented below, but that shouldn't be necessary to install Google Chrome. To do this, you can simply enter

sudo apt-get install google-chrome

into the command line, but if I understand correctly, you either don't have the password or something is messed up that prevents you from using sudo.

Since you just got Ubuntu, and presumably haven't made any significant changes, you could try reinstalling from the live CD/USB. During the process, there is a prompt to set a password for the account, which you should definitely do -- this will be the password that you will use when using sudo. No doubt, this will be the easiest way to set up an admin account.

If that doesn't work for some reason, or if you are don't want to reinstall, you will probably have to provide more information to get decent answers. You should be able to see what type of account you have (admin or not), and that will tell you if you have sudo permission in the first place.

  • Just type sudo -i
    – Michael
    Jul 17 '15 at 16:35

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