On the whole, there are two types of users that will access a Linux system: normal day-today users and the root user or super user. At large organizations, a few people might be granted access rights to the root or super-user account in order to complete necessary system administration tasks. Normal users will not normally need to have root access.

However, if you have Linux installed on your machine as a standalone PC, you will automatically have access to the root account. This is so that you can complete necessary configuration and other tasks that require interacting with the system.

Ubuntu is actually slightly different to the rest of the Linux distros in that the root account is disabled by default, and root/super-user access rights are granted to the first user that is set up on the system. Whenever Ubuntu needs to make system-wide changes it will ask for the users password before doing so, giving you the option of backing off before committing any potentially destructive changes. To access system administrator powers you need to add a sudo command before any commands you want to run as root. You will be prompted for your password before you continue.


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