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17. Fun with Terminal > Enabling the Root Account

Enabling the Root Account

Only one person is allowed to clomp through any Mac OS X directory, unfettered and unrestricted: whoever holds the root (superuser) account. There are two ways to turn on this usually hidden account: the NetInfo way (see The Root Account) and the Unix way.

To enable the root account in Terminal, all you have to do is make up a password for the dormant account using the passwd command.

Normal account holders can use passwd to change their own passwords (although the Accounts pane of System Preferences strikes most people as a more direct way to do so). To change your own password, for example, just type passwd and press Enter. You’re asked to type your old password, and then the new one twice.

Note

As you type your old and new password, no typing appears onscreen. That’s a safeguard against people peeking over your shoulder as you type.


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