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Pam Wheel or how to su sithout a password

The need

Well, you want to have a secure root password with many characters and specials symbols. Obviously, that will be painful to write it each time you su. You have two options :

  • Use a password manager like Keepass
  • Use pam with wheel option

Security Consideration

That seems to be quite stupid to say but having the ability to do su without a password is equivalent to have root access from your accounts, so take care of having a strong password for your user account.

Granting the wheel option

Granting wheel access can be done simply by editing /etc/pam.d/su and adding a wheel group.

Editing /etc/pam.d/su

# Uncomment the following line :
auth       sufficient pam_wheel.so trust

That's all for the file

Creating the wheel group

groupadd wheel

Assigning the user to the group

usermod -G wheel user_name

Now you can su without password