Is it possible at all to login to elementary os as root. I enabled root account by setting a password. To make root appear as one of the login accounts on the GUI login screen, what are the next steps?
Is there a file that I need to edit to let root appear in the login screen? E.g., Ubuntu has it in /etc/gdm3 directory. something similar in elementary ? Thanks for your time. Jung

  • Is there some problem you're trying to fix, or do you just want to be able to login as root?
    – KGIII
    Jan 30, 2021 at 16:05

2 Answers 2


When you say "root" do you mean a user named "root" (the default sudo username) or do you just mean logging in with root privileges?

What do you need to do with a root login?

Thanks, Col


Logging in through a graphical user interface as root is considered a security risk, so most display managers aren't going to cater to this. You should almost always use sudo to execute commands as root. If you would like a root shell, then on Debian-based systems such as elementaryOS, log in as your normal user and run sudo su from the terminal. If you need to avoid logging in as a normal user, either boot in to emergency / single-user mode by selecting the option from the Grub menu or switch to a different, non-graphical TTY with Ctrl-Alt-F2, for example, and login that way as root. You can switch back to the display manager with Ctrl-Alt-F7.

  • Thanks JWillikers. I suppose all I needed was a test env without having to have a user login. I thought elementary OS would be very similar to Ubuntu in terms of security FS. Any how, it is not a deal breaker :)
    – Jung
    Feb 1, 2021 at 22:39

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