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bug#5820: user switching

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: bug#5820: user switching
Date: Sat, 3 Apr 2010 14:51:58 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

address@hidden wrote:
> Hi, I have a copy of suse sles9 with the images provided from novell
> for training.  When I am logged in as a user and in Konsole, I can
> not su to root, it asks for a password and will not take any input
> from the keyboard.

I am not familiar with SuSE but if they are similar to others then
they will not have set a default password set for the root user.  That
may explain the 'su' command behavior that you are seeing.  Because
you will need to set the root password before it can be used.  But
again, I don't know about SuSE in particular and I am talking about
many distros in general do this.

What many distros do is to set up 'sudo' so that you use your user
password.  This is often more convenient.  You only need to know your
own password and not two passwords.  Try sudo.  Here is an example
with output showing that I have become root for that one command.
Again, I don't know if this is the case for you but it likely is.

  $ sudo id
  uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=0(root)

See the 'sudo' docs for how to use sudo.  But in summary it executes
the command on the command line as root.  You can always use sudo to
get a full shell.

  $ sudo bash

(Although 'sudo -s' is preferred by some.)  Be careful when running
commands as root.  With great power comes great responsibility.

> When I went to the help files it said to write to you for
> issues, so I am writing to you. I will also be contacting Novell and
> see if there is an answer on their side.

The GNU Coreutils are the basic utilities of the GNU Operating
System.  You can learn more about GNU Coreutils here:


The GNU Coreutils are part of the GNU Operating System.  You can learn
more about the GNU Project here:


SuSE is a software distribution of these and other software projects.
When you looked at the 'su' man page you were looking at the GNU man
page and it referred you to report bugs in the su command here.  Thank
you for doing that.  However this isn't a bug in 'su' but is just a
specific configuration being distributed by Novell.  And I am sure
that it is a working one but just one that you don't have all of the
details about yet.  In order to get past your block you will need to
get help from the vendor, or in this case since it is a lab project
from other people in your lab who have already figured this out.
(Although I am pretty sure, not certain, but pretty sure, that it is
set up for sudo instead.)

> This little problem makes it impossible for me to complete on of the
> exercises for my lab in school.

Good luck!

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