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How you can Add or Create a New Superuser on Linux – Guide
Granting administrator privileges to a new user can be tricky for beginners. See how you can easily create a new superuser on Linux. On Linux, the sudo command offers the privilege final to perform various administrative functions despite its non-root access. But to use sudo, you need to have a superuser account on your system.
As there are several Linux operating systems, better known as distros, there are several ways to add a sudo user. Read on to learn more about how you can use Linux commands in different distros to accomplish this simple but essential task.
Add a superuser on Ubuntu and Debian
In Ubuntu and other Debian-based distros, there are two prominent ways to add a sudo user. You can do this through the terminal or take a graphical approach using System Settings.
1. The command line approach
To add a sudo user via the command line, you must first start the terminal. Then type the following command:
sudo adduser username
… Where username is the name of the new user you want to create.
This command will create a new user that you can add to the sudoers group. Again, there are several ways to add a user to the sudo group. The first way is using the usermod command.
sudo usermod -aG sudo username
… Where -a refers to the Append function and G stands for Group.
After adding the user to the sudo group, you need to verify that the mentioned command worked correctly. To verify, type the following:
In case you are an advanced user, who prefers to avoid multiple commands, you can create a new superuser directly using a single command:
sudo adduser sudo username
The verification process remains the same as before.
2. Using the graphical interface
Before adding the user to the sudo group using System Settings, you will have to create a new user first via the command line. Then follow the steps provided below to proceed:
- Access the Applications menu and click on the Users option. You will see a list of users including the newly created user(s).
- Click on the Unlock option, followed by the root password. You can switch to another user account simply by clicking on it.
- Once you select it, you will see an option to convert the newly created user account to an administrator account. toggle the button next to the Administrator label, and the account will be added as a sudo account.
Creating a new superuser in Arch Linux
On Arch Linux, since the system does not create a sudo account by default, the user must create one manually. The first step is to get root access using the su command.
Enter the password of the root user followed by the command below:
pacman -Sy sudo
Once sudo is installed, create a new user.
useradd -create-home username
To define up a password for the new user using the passwd command.
Now, it’s time to add the newly created username to the sudoers list. Use the usermod command to do this.
usermod –append –groups wheel username
You can check the sudoers file using the following command:
Once the /etc/sudoers file is opened, you will need to edit some user privilege specifications, located at the bottom of the sudoers file. Locate the following line in the text file:
#% wheel ALL = (ALL) ALL
Remove the # symbol before the % wheel line and save your changes. Press Ctrl + O on your keyboard to save the file.
To verify that the user was successfully added, you need to run the following command:
The bash prompt will change to reflect the new user’s name. To verify, type:
Who am I
It should display the current username. To verify that the new user has sudo privileges, type:
If the output displays root, the current user has administrative access.
Adding a sudo account on CentOS
Considering the popularity of CentOS, it would be a shame to miss the process of adding a sudo account to this distro. The process for adding a sudo account in CentOS is quite similar to the process specified above for Arch Linux, but with some basic changes.
Before creating a new user, you must log in as root. To do this, use the su command:
After logging in as root user, it’s time to create a new user, which we will then add to the sudoers list.
useradd -G wheel username
Set the password for this new user using the passwd command.
Now log in as the new user to verify that you have sudo access. To do this, type the following commands one by one:
As soon as you press Enter after entering the first command, the system will ask for the password. Enter the new password to continue. The output of the above command will display root, which means the current user has root privileges.
How to Add a superuser in Fedora
Last but not least, if you are using Fedora as your main operating system, you can assign superuser privileges to a new user in a few easy steps.
To create a new user, use the adduser command as follows:
Now set a password for the new user.
Add this newly created user to the wheel group using the usermod command.
usermod -aG wheel username
usermod command in fedora
Open the sudoers file using the following command:
Now you need to edit some user privilege specifications. Locate the following line in the text file and uncomment the % wheel ALL = (ALL) line by removing the pound character (#) that precedes it.
## Uncomment to allow group wheel members to execute any command
% wheel ALL = (ALL) ALL
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