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.
At installation time, you are asked whether you want to use the root account or not.
If you want to (the default), you'll be asked to provide a complex password for root. Use a strong one!
- If not, no root account is enabled and the password of the first user created will be used for administration tasks.
If you forgot your root password, you first need to reset the password, then log as root (now accessible without password) and run passwd to set a new password.
How to use root level access as a normal user
Under MATE : in MATE Application Menu/Accessories/Root Terminal
From console : read Debian Reference's Login to a shell prompt as root
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.