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What is root?

Root is the name of the most powerful account on a Debian installation. The root user account can do everything on the machine. Root is also known as supervisor and administrator. Root's home (~) folder is /root.

root has uid1 0 and gid2 0.


At installation time, you are asked whether you want to use the root account or not.

How to use root level access as a normal user

When you change from a normal user to root, your prompt will change from user@mypc:~$ to root@mypc:/home/user# .
To find out as which user you're operating now, execute the command whoami .

  1. uid is the user identifier, a number which identifies all user accounts. (1)

  2. gid is the group identifier. (2)