Mar 21

EeePC root password, what is it?

Category: Linux,Xandros / ASUS Eee PC   — Published by tengo on March 21, 2008 at 8:12 am

When you figured out how to go to console on an ASUS Eee PC

(btw it's pressing CTRL+ALT+T), the next question will be "how do I become root on the system, or what's the root password?".

At first, Xandros, the OS on the little machine, has root deactivated by default, so you can't become root or use su. All commands that need more than simple user privileges are executed using sudo. But you can enter the root-mode pseudo permanently by using

sudo -s -H


sudo -i

After that the shbang on the console will change to asus-XXX> and you can proceed like you were root.

EeePC root password... Now, is there any?

The answer is yes. Although most things should work with the above sudo trick, some things might not. For exampl, the CUPS printer management system will prompt you for a password and that is when you need to know it.

As it seems in reality there are two common scenarios:

  1. You were prompted to enter a password while you first started the machine and the OS asked you to type in a password, the root password
  2. The shop or the local ASUS distributor shipped a machine that seems to have a password already set, but you don't know it, it's not printed on the case and not in the manual

For case 1.) you should know your own password. If you forgot it you have bad luck and need to find a way to recover it. As unix/linux is quite secure in general, your best bet will be to re-install the system and this time *remember the password*!

BTW: if you need to do that: power on the PC and press F9 while booting. A selection screen will come up. Choose to "reload operating system" there. But remember that all your personal data will be lost after doing so, so make a backup before!

In case 2.) the answer is simpler: you need to actually set a new password, overwriting the preset one:

sudo passwd root

will prompt you for a new password
You can use this new password for example when CUPS prompts for a password: enter root and <your new password>. That's it.