How to Add a User and Grant Root Privileges on Ubuntu 15.04

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Pre-Flight Check

  • These instructions are intended specifically for adding a user on Ubuntu 15.04.
  • I’ll be working from a Liquid Web Self Managed Ubuntu 15.04 server, and I’ll be logged in as root.

Step 1: Add the User

It’s just one simple command to add a user. In this case, we’re adding a user called mynewuser:

adduser mynewuser

First you will be prompted to enter the user’s password (twice); do this step. Next you’ll be prompted to enter in the user’s information. This step is not required, and pressing enter fills the field with the default information:

Adding user `mynewuser' ...
Adding new group `mynewuser' (1001) ...
Adding new user `mynewuser' (1001) with group `mynewuser' ...
Creating home directory `/home/mynewuser' ...
Copying files from `/etc/skel' ...
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully
Changing the user information for mynewuser
Enter the new value, or press ENTER for the default
Full Name []:
Room Number []:
Work Phone []:
Home Phone []:
Other []:

When prompted with the following question, enter Y then hit enter to continue.

Is the information correct? [Y/n] Y

Step 2: Grant Root Privileges to the User

visudo

Find the following code:

# User privilege specification
root ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

In this case, we’re granting root privileges to the user mynewuser. Add the following below that code:

mynewuser ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

Then exit and save the file with the key commands Ctrl-x, Y, enter.

If you’ve followed the instruction above correctly, then you should now have a user setup by the name of mynewuser which can use sudo to run commands as root!

About the Author: J. Mays

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