Privilege separation is one of the fundamental security paradigms implemented in Linux and Unix-like operating systems. Regular users operate with limited privileges in order to reduce the scope of their influence to their own environment, and not the wider operating system.
A special user, called
root, has “super-user” privileges. This is an administrative account without the restrictions that are present on normal users. Users can execute commands with “super-user” or “root” privileges in a number of different ways.
In this article, we will discuss how to correctly and securely obtain root privileges, with a special focus on editing the
We will be completing these steps on an Ubuntu 12.04 VPS, but most modern Linux distributions should operate in a similar manner.
This guide assumes that you have already completed the initial server setup discussed here. Log into your VPS as regular, non-root user.