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10.3 How to get root access?
A common question among hosting providers is whether it’s possible to get root access to the host using the application installer? The short answer is yes! There are two main ways to get root access.
10.3.1 As the root user You can easily gain root access by editing the file /etc/sudoers on the host. This file, the /etc/sudoers file, is a configuration file that describes the order in which users can run commands as root or sudo.
As root, you can access a range of activities, including starting and stopping the firewall, changing the default user and running other tasks. Once you have control of the sudoers file, you can modify this file to your own needs.
Note: If you do not have access to edit the sudoers file, you can use shellshock to set the password for your sudo account.
You will also be able to test whether your web server is running correctly and update the configuration files as necessary.
10.3.2 When the root user on the host is changed To quickly be able to gain root access on a Windows host, you can easily change your current user to root by editing the file /etc/sudoers. You do this by creating a new file called /etc/sudoers.old, where “old” is the name you want for the new file. You then copy this file into the current /etc/sudoers file and close the old file. A new file will be created with your new user’s password and permissions set to a group you specified in the sudoers file.
Note: In order to find the user information in your existing sudoers file, you can use the command:
grep ‘User is’sudoers
You can create a new file named /etc/sudoers.old by running:
sudo nano /etc/sudoers.old
Make sure that you use “root” as the new sudoers file’s user name, if you’re using a new host. Also, if the user name is being used, change “sudo” to “su”, or to your own username. You can also comment the beginning of the sudoers file to add another user to the group to which the root user belongs.
Here is a screenshot of the /etc/sudoers.old file that I modified and copied into the new /etc/sudoers file.
Now, to re-enable the sudo account for your root user, use sudo su to switch back to your user.
10.4 Setting your default sudo password A common problem with Windows hosts is to have the username set to root on the host’s bootloader (usually the GRUB menu entry). Often, the default sudo password is the same as the host’s default login password.