Some versions of Linux offer a "superuser terminal" which, when run, automatically logs you in as root user so you can perform system
administration tasks unhindered (you'll need to enter your password when the terminal program is first run, of course). There's little doubt that, if you have a lot of tasks to do, this can be a useful thing.
To create your own superuser terminal shortcut, right-click the desktop and select Create Launcher. In the Name box of the dialog box that appears, type Terminal (superuser). In the Command box, type gksu gnome-terminal. A suitable desktop icon will be automatically added (a guy flashing an ID card!) but by clicking the icon preview you can choose your own. Leave the Comment field blank, and click the OK button. Then test your new shortcut by double-clicking it.
To add the shortcut to a menu, start the Main Menu program (System ^ Preferences). In the Main Menu program window, select which of the menus (Applications, Applications' submenus, System ^ Preferences or System ^ Administration) you'd like the new shortcut to appear on. Do this by selecting them in the Menus pane on the left-hand side. Then drag and drop your new launcher to the Items pane on the right. In my opinion, the new launcher is perhaps best stored on the System ^ Administration menu, along with other programs that are used to administer the system and require root powers. Once the menu entry has been created you can delete the desktop launcher if you wish.
If you use more than one user account under Ubuntu it can sometimes be confusing to remember who you are logged in as, and which user accounts are logged in at the current time (am I still logged in as user franko on virtual console two...?). To find out who you're currently logged in as, type whoami. To find out which user accounts are currently logged in, type users (bear in mind that your username might appear more than once because every virtual console login and open terminal window counts as a login). To find out which groups your user account belongs to, type groups.
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