How-To: Enable Root Password in Leopard

How-To: Enable Root Password in Leopard

You got a Mac running on Leopard (probably out of the box). You created your account, add in some personal info, and an admin password. Later in life (8 hours gap), you would open your terminal and simply type “su -” for purposes of i dunno, just root stuff. This reminds you, “Did i ever had one? I don’t recall any root password.” *did i mention this was me?*
Well to let you off the hook (the first 30 seconds in forgetfulness limbo and the next minute in regression), it’s not enabled by default. Here’s how to go about enabling root.
  1. Go to: Applications -> Utilities -> Directory Utility
  2. (Be sure to click the padlock to allow you to perform edits.)
  3. Click Edit -> Enable Root Password
  4. Type a new password and retype to confirm.
  • Omar Trejo

    Thank you for this great practical knowledge. It was very helpful to me, since I’m a native linux user, and now I’m trying to get used to my new Mac. One of the first things I had to do was to go into the terminal and start looking around, but I realized that I need root priviliges… and I was okay let’s ‘su’, but bam! I couldn’t, this a google search and this came up. Great! Thanks. 🙂

  • sudo passwd root doesn’t work ?

  • blubbush

    or why not just “sudo su -” and use your own password

  • EarlWray

    Thanks a million Man! Leopard was a huge step back. People coming from Linux and using X11 are really left alone by Apple, its a shame.

    • Paul

      Nonsense. Leopard is a very nice OS with a lot of improvements over Tiger, and the Mac OS X desktop puts Linux and X11 desktops to shame.

      Just because something is new and it is unfamiliar to you and forces you to learn and think and do a few things differently doesn’t make it ‘a huge step back’. So many improvements in Leopard I can’t count them all. So much integration that makes Linux look hokey by comparison for the average end user. And Leopard has very easy-to-configure NFS, an improvement over Tiger.

  • kc

    repeat- sudo passwd root does not work.

  • Paul McGiven

    I am having the same problem being an experienced UNIX administrator on HP-UX, IRIX, SUN, AIX and Linux when i got my ibook with Leopard pre installed from ebay the first thing i did was open a terminal and try to su to root and it asks for the password which i dont have.

    I have tried tried the above ie applications/utilities/directory utility and it opens a box with the user name and asks for the password which is not set i.e. its blank.

    Then nothing happens i dont see any edit or enable root password options unless i am missing something and i have unlocked the padlock.

    i know on UNIX workstations you could change the run state to single user and then you would be logged on as root and then you can change the password in a terminal.

    But i dont know how or if you can do the same on an apple ibook running leopard.
    Thanks anyone who can help.

    And i dont have the installation CD’s either.

  • kc

    I swear “sudo passwd root” did not work before. now it does.

    anyway, it appears apple wants it done through directory utility.app

    just unlock the application, and go to the edit menu.

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