Changing users in Linux is a critical operation for system administrators. This helps to achieve certain tasks using the privileges of different users without having to log out and log back into the system. Let’s explore how to change users in Linux using the terminal.
Using the ‘su’ Command
The su command, short for substitute user, is the most common way to switch users in Linux. This command allows you to change the current user to another user. If you run the su command without any options, it will switch to the root user.
su - [username]
In this command, replace [username] with the name of the user you want to switch to. After running this command, you’ll be prompted to enter the password for the specified user. If you run the su command without specifying a username, the system will assume that you want to switch to the root user and will prompt you for the root password.
Using the ‘sudo’ Command
The sudo command allows you to run programs with the security privileges of another user (by default, as the superuser). It’s a useful tool for system administrators, enabling them to delegate certain responsibilities to other users, or to carry out tasks that require superuser privileges.
sudo -u [username] command
In this command, replace [username] with the user that you want to switch to and command with the command that you want to run as that user. You’ll need to enter your password to use the sudo command, unless you’re the root user.
When managing users in a Linux environment, always remember that changing to different user accounts carries with it different permissions and access levels. Be sure to understand the implications of these changes to avoid unintended system modifications or security breaches.
In conclusion, the su and sudo commands are powerful tools for managing users and permissions on a Linux system. With them, you can efficiently perform tasks as different users without needing to log in and out of accounts.