[lug] Mac unix root account and /etc/hosts

Lee Woodworth blug-mail at duboulder.com
Thu Jun 5 12:55:48 MDT 2008

dio2002 at indra.com wrote:
> any mac users out there?
> i'm trying to help somebody with a mac.  i need to change /etc/hosts.  i'm
> able to use terminal to get to the shell.  i can't save changes to
> /etc/hosts because i'm not root.  i've tried su but it wants a root
> password.
> the mac user doesn't know of any other 'admin' account other than the user
> they login as.  fwiw, as a test i tried to accomplish the same task with a
> more savvy mac user friend who's got a laptop. he had no idea that there
> is another account other than the user id he normally logs in as.
> so the question is / are.
> what is the mac account that gets you root access?
The root account exists. But be forewarned system configuration
isn't the usual *nix way of doing things. I don't remember exactly
how to enable the root account, but its in a dialog available to
the admin user. Search apple.com for enable root account.

> how do you access it or activate it if it's not enabled?
> how do you reset the password if noone knows what it is?
> hopefully some mac unix gurus out there.  my online searches have proved
> fruitless for what seems like a fairly common question / problem.
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