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No root on F28 : In Fedora, sudo is not the default method of gaining administrative permissions : Really ?

asked 2018-09-08 07:12:43 -0500

PALLUD gravatar image

updated 2018-09-08 07:37:09 -0500

No root on FEDORA 28 ???

According FEDORA wiki, Differences to Ubuntu :

1.1 The root account

The biggest difference for users coming from Ubuntu to Fedora is that the root account is the account for the system admin.

  • This account is disabled in Ubuntu. In Ubuntu, you perform actions that require root privileges using sudo,
    while in Fedora, sudo is not the default method of gaining administrative permissions.

In Fedora, root access can be gained with su.

Why Root is not proposed anymore by default in the FEDORA 28 ISO :

Root is needed :

As I'm Systems Engineer, I'm compelled to take care of 17 PCs, Laptop, Notebook, Netbook & Transformer Book of Family & Friends...

That is why :

  • I've forced everybody to pass to Linux or to forget my support ( since W8.1 & W10 PB of partial Updates & always asked for cracking forgotten password )
  • I need a root passwd which is always the same for all the 17 computers disregarding the Linux distributions,
  • I need a root to prevent people to install everything, everywhere .... and asking for Help ... after ... when issues happens,
  • FEDORA 27 + qt4wine,... ( for keeping windows games) + Cinnamon ( for user experience & to have wine 100% OK as desktop Icons needed ) was finally the perfect solution.

But ...

  • No root on new FEDORA 28 installation ( upgrade F27 -> F28 root still OK ) !
  • I've made 3 new installations this week : Each time I must create a su passswd & disable admin rights on the first user.... which is not really appreciated by the User.

To my opinion :

  • It reminds me of DEC who wanted to be as IBM as possible, who knows about DEC now ?
  • It reminds me of IBM who wanted to be as Windows-like as possible with OS/2, support was very nice but who knows about OS/2 now ?
  • It reminds me of Microsoft who wanted to be as Pseudo Apple-like as possible with is wonderful Windows 8.1 Personally, I really really loved soooo much Windows 8.1 ... because it allowed me to install Linux Distro on all Windows 8.1 computers and in a SINGLE boot mode as ex-fans which were 1'000'000% Windows' unconditional before W8 did not wanted to hear anymore about Windows...

The best thing that can do FEDORA is to be ... FEDORA... Not an Ubuntu like distro...(*)

(*) if ( FedoraDifferenceWithUbuntu == root && root == null ) Then FedoraDifferenceWithUbuntu = null


  1. Why this lack of safety in this new FEDORA first install ? As user can install everything without any ask for password when using Gnome-Software, then everything seems secure to him. Even Solus 3.9999 (which is 100% User oriented) always asks for password before updates & before new installation of any software...
  2. Is there a solution to have / create an FEDORA 28 ISO with User & root creation during installation as before ?
  3. Will Fedora take off the root option soon ( and will compel me sadly to look for another Distro ...
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Just create the root account after installation.

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2018-09-08 12:55:18 -0500 )edit

Yes, you can always do that. However, why should you have to? If you don't want to use it and prefer using sudo, it's not going to matter, especially if you never set a root password. I prefer using root for admin tasks because it's my machine, I know the root password and I know how to be careful with it. That doesn't mean that I insist that everybody work that way, so why can't Anaconda be set up to let you decide for yourself?

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2018-09-08 13:14:03 -0500 )edit

Rant!! -1!! As if Fedora would be shipped without root account.

gobigobi66 gravatar imagegobigobi66 ( 2018-09-11 12:55:35 -0500 )edit

6 Answers

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answered 2018-09-08 10:04:28 -0500

clnetbox gravatar image

updated 2018-09-08 10:30:20 -0500

Generally I agree with you here - I prefer to have a root account too.
Much of what you ask for can't be answered without some guessing.
Nobody of us volunteers can tell you how it may evolve in the future.
So - 100 % valid answers would have to come from the fedora team.

But from what I read in available official (meeting) documentations and also lately heard in an interview with Matthew Miller (fedora project lead), this can answer your first question : One approach and the goal of the Fedora Next Project is (beside many other things of course) to make the system more attractive for normal standard users.

Regarding your second question (which is the most important one) I fortunately can provide you with a solution : You still have the opportunity to install fedora the way you did before ... just use the Netinstall Image. This method is meant to be used by professionals, where Workstation Live is more meant to be used by normal users.

Finally to your third question : I don't think that fedora will ever remove the option to create a root account, right because the project is the lab or (some call it) playground for what later becomes Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Can you imagine that a businesses oriented operating system doesn't offer a root account option ?
I can't ... :)

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I'm not sure if making Fedora more attractive to normal users is the right way to go. Fedora is, of course, a constantly changing distro and a testbed for new ideas. Most normal users won't like the idea of having to update their system almost daily or upgrading to a new version at least once a year; stability is more important to them than staying on the bleeding edge. Of course, this isn't the right place for that discussion, but I did think that it needed to be said.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2018-09-08 13:19:44 -0500 )edit

Fedora is not stripping the root account! You are just not setting up a password for root during install. That’s all.

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2018-09-08 22:30:17 -0500 )edit

answered 2018-09-09 15:03:38 -0500

cmurf gravatar image

updated 2018-09-09 15:07:25 -0500

The first created user following installation is in the wheel group, and therefore is implicitly included in sudoers. So the proper way any user in wheel can become root is sudo -i. I do this with some regularity for certain tasks where I think it's just tedious, not safe, and possibly even a bad habit, to always preface commands with sudo. And I prefer this practice in contrast to a persistently enabled real root user.

What I would like, is a way for all root issued (and this includes sudo -i) commands to be recorded in the journal as if they were issued with sudo. That's one nice thing about sudo is the command is recorded in the journal. This is a best practice for auditing a system as well as reverting mistakes.

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answered 2018-09-10 00:51:45 -0500

Thanks for your detailed explanations & for the solution Then I will try to use the Netinstall Image ... Thanks again !

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answered 2018-09-08 12:51:54 -0500

heliosstyx gravatar image

Geplinux: I can understand you very well, but if you want to use a professional, automated remote installations and service options like you, then I recommend you only one solution: Use RHEL with service contracts fees, there will be a wishlist too for system administrators like you. I am an native IBM System Z professional, there is no way to get free solutions for things you want. Professional companies like IBM, RHEL etc. have the duty to deliver high-security solutions for business clients and today no professional company can drive their business with unsecure and instable systems, where people can play with the system like consumer on the game-boy etc.

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answered 2018-09-09 14:31:40 -0500

PALLUD gravatar image

updated 2018-09-09 14:34:13 -0500


As said :

  • Each time I must create a su passswd & disable admin rights on the first user.... which is not really appreciated by the User.*

Of course I use sudo passwrd root from terminal but I must also need to go in User and Group to graphically remove the first User on the wheel Group to prevent the first User to perform installation with Gnome-Software without any need of password...

It is more difficult to explain to people why I need to remove their Admin Rights which have been given automatically by FEDORA 28 than just setting a root password during installation.

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If that's your concern, install Fedora, log in as the first user from a text CLI, set the root password and remove that user from wheel before letting the end user have access to the machine for the first time.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2018-09-09 16:22:12 -0500 )edit

answered 2018-09-08 15:02:56 -0500

PALLUD gravatar image

updated 2018-09-08 15:04:55 -0500

Hello everybody,

Thank you very much for all your replies...

As explained root is very important for me as I'm installing FEDORA on many computers who does not belong to me...

clnetbox : Thanks for your detailed explanations & for the solution Then I will try to use the Netinstall Image ... Thanks again !

I really 100% OK with sideburns concerning the fact that a solid stability of FEDORA does much more to final Users that anything else, I've installed many FEDORA 27 after the fact than Ubuntu 17.04 has issues with ACER computers... No final Users can accept that an LTS Version lived only for few months...

heliosstyx : I know perfectly what you mean ... But difficult to use High level service or to use a 960 kg CPU for Very Small System Users... :)

For info : Saturday 15.09.2018, I'm in charge of taking out from our Data Centrers our 2 IBM Z12 which have been definitively decommissioned ... and outsourced in a company working with CentOS servers ...

Very chocking specially for our Team : we started on ES/9000 with the famous IBM Blue on the panels :)

Best regards.

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Netinstall is very nice but not necessarily needed for what you want. There is still a root account in Fedora and it will always be. All that changed is the fact that you don’t define a password during install. So just run sudo su and thenpasswd and you can use root user.

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2018-09-08 21:58:55 -0500 )edit

Using sudo su isn't the same as simply using su because you're using your own password, not root's. That may be OK if you're the only user, but on a multi-user machine it gives any user with sudo full root access,unless you're very careful to limit them to the specific commands that they might actually need. Of course, that's always true, but this is an extreme example of what can happen.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2018-09-09 16:19:55 -0500 )edit

Fedora is, of course, a constantly changing distro and a testbed for new ideas. Most normal users won't like the idea of having to update their system almost daily or upgrading to a new version at least once a year

larsonreever gravatar imagelarsonreever ( 2018-09-10 00:50:06 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2018-09-08 07:12:43 -0500

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Last updated: Sep 09 '18