Setting up a root account and password is one of the most important
steps during your installation. Your root account is similar to the
administrator account used on Windows NT machines. The root account is used
to install packages, upgrade RPMs, and perform most system
maintenance. Logging in as root gives you complete control over your system.
The root user (also known as the superuser) has
complete access to the entire system; for this reason, logging in as the
root user is best done only to perform system
maintenance or administration.
Figure 4-21. Root Password
Use the root account only for system administration. Create a non-root
account for your general use and su - to root when you
need to fix something quickly. These basic rules minimize the chances
of a typo or an incorrect command doing damage to your system.
To become root, type su - at
the shell prompt in a terminal window and then press
[Enter]. Then, enter the root password and press
The installation program prompts you to set a root password for your
system. You cannot proceed to the next stage of the installation
process without entering a root password.
The root password must be at least six characters long; the password
you type is not echoed to the screen. You must enter the password twice;
if the two passwords do not match, the installation program asks you
to enter them again.
You should make the root password something you can remember, but not
something that is easy for someone else to guess. Your name, your phone
number, qwerty, password,
root, 123456, and
anteater are all examples of bad passwords. Good
passwords mix numerals with upper and lower case letters and do not
contain dictionary words: Aard387vark or
420BMttNT, for example. Remember that the password
is case-sensitive. If you write down your password, keep it in a secure
place. However, it is recommended that you do not write down this or any
password you create.
Do not use one of the example passwords offered
in this manual. Using one of these passwords could be considered a
To change your root password after you have
completed the installation, use the
Root Password Tool.
Type the system-config-rootpassword command in a
shell prompt to launch the
Root Password Tool. If you are not root, it
prompts you for the root password to continue.