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  1. #1

    Unhappy Supposedly very simple question!

    I'm new to linux and all I want to do is to have root access in ssh so that I can install a program. I have googled, searched forums, asked questions, got the Linux Phrasebook to see if this would work... The thing is, with every single forum and even with this book I bought, is that they expect you to be able to log in and switch users to root automatically, and I even have the code to do this. But my MAIN problem is, is that when I log in with my user name and password, (which also works in ftp) and I run a command none of them are recognized... I can log in but nothing works! I am stuck at square one and would like to learn more about this, but I am stuck and I can't get past 1st base! Can someone really break it down for me how to get root access? I mean simple like 1+1=2, put the car in reverse and step lightly on the pedal, oh, I have a good one. To make cereal, put cereal into a bowl and pour milk on top of it. THat's how simple I would like someone to explain this to me... I mean, for some reason, I can't log in as root or su to root and it's driving me crazy! I logged into my control panel and changed the root password and everything!

  2. #2
    Try typing "su -" instead of just "su"

  3. #3


    Ok, I have another question: Do I use an ssh terminal to do all of my linux coding? That is what I have been doing so far. In my ssh terminal the first line says the last login time date, ect. Then the second line says:


    then anything I type it says bash: $: command not found

    If I try to login with root as the username and the password I assigned to root, it says password incorrect.

    Since I am new from the past week, do you think that I will be able to install a program by myself, which is ImageMagick, or that I should get someone else to do it? I have been trying to install this program for the past week every single day for hours and then I find I have to learn linux and install programs. I called godaddy, which my virtual dedicated server is on, and they said that they will not install the program, that I had to do it. So I have been going to forums and I bought a book and googling for hours and I am so new to this I am just getting frustrated. But I would like to do this! All of the forums and instructions give great tutorials and commands, but I can't follow them because I can't get to login as root, or switch users to be the root! WHat am I doing wrong???

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    First you can install programs without root access unless you want the program available for all users. In fact installing much of anything as root is discouraged for a variety of reasons unless it is administrative in nature which requires root access, Image Magik does not fall into that category. Second if the machine you are trying to install on is a hosted server by go daddy you cant get root access otherwise you could blow the thing up if you wanted to with root access. Also their virtual server is just a multinetted interface which has other users on it root would also give you access to their data.


  6. #5
    Oh that's right! Because I was reading that "dedicated" still means that I share server space with other users, but I didn't know that having root access meant that I might be able to access their space. So if I had root and messed something up I would mess their root settings up, too? This is probably why I can't log in this way. But I do have a file in my /ect folder called pswd which looks like I can change something, does this look familiar?

    ftpusername:10001:10001::/:/bin/bash (there is not supposed to be a smiley it is a colon followed by an "x")

    Also you said that I don't need root access to install ImageMagick? Can I just use ftp to put the files in the /bin folder and it would work that way? I'm not sure which folder I can put the files to but I know that it has to be installed and can't be in my httdocs folder. How would I do this without root access?

  7. #6
    There can be ONE root user per machine root also known as super user is allowed to do anything delete, move, files, create partitions, install programs, wipe out the hard drive etc and yes access all user data. You may be able to read files in /etc/passwd but unless you are root you cannot change this file. This file contains the user name and passwords for all users including root but only displays the user name the passwords are hashed. Besides you do not change passwords by changing this file it is created when the admin makes these changes again you must be root to do this.

    I am not familiar with the go daddy hosting, but I think you are trying to treat your Web server hosted by go daddy as your private Linux machine I don’t think it works that way. They are giving you access to the server only so you a can upload and download content so your web site has a presence on the Internet. As an example if you want to say edit images you have you need do to that on your private machine and then upload the images to your web site. I don’t think you can run programs FROM that server what you are calling your control panel is probably just a go daddy interface for you to “manage” your web site changing YOUR password getting web stats etc.

  8. #7
    I called godaddy and they said that imagemagick could be installed but that I had to do it. But I only want root access just so I can install ImageMagick, ( which can only be installed by ssh via their instructions. So that's all I need so I can run the install command and then I will be done. But you are right it doesn't seem to let me define a superuser from the control panel, so now that is what I am trying to do. Thanks for taking the time out to help!

  9. #8
    Linux Guru Cabhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Seattle, WA, USA

    The server that GoDaddy has provided you is not yours (obviously). Therefore, you cannot obtain root access.

    To install a program without root access, you can compile it from source, but not run 'make install'. Here's how to do this:

    1) Download the ImageMagick source that you want to install.

    2) Extract the source.

    3) Change into the directory with the source.

    4) Run the following commands:
    At this point, you have compiled the code. You will find all of the binaries somewhere within the tree: you just need to find them. Once you find them, you can copy them wherever you want (I recommend that you make a ~/bin directory for this purpose). You can then add the directory to your $PATH or just use the full pathname when calling the programs.

    Sound good?

  10. #9
    Thanks for responding to my post! All help is SINCERELY appreciated... In godaddy I have virtual dedicated, and this text:

    "Virtual dedicated servers offer many of the capabilities and features of dedicated servers, including admin (root) access and dedicated IP addresses, but at a much lower price. However, as a virtual dedicated server is, indeed, virtually dedicated, the customer in fact shares the server space with a small number of other customers. But because each virtual dedicated server is effectively isolated from other accounts on the server, the user has full control over the server space. As well, virtual dedicated server plans feature very high performance and available disk space and bandwidth."

    However, I would like to install as you just described. I am going to try this out now. But I have a few questions before I make a wrong turn:

    2) Extract the source
    Just to make sure I am on your page, extract it to my desktop, right? Or unzip to my desktop so that they are all folders? When I log in now to ssh I can't run ANY commands for some reason, but you said that I don't need root access to do this. The ssh client verifies that I am logged in, and I can use the same username and pass to log into ftp and upload files. Is this ok?

    3) Change into the directory with the source
    Do you mean with ssh when I login with my ftp username and password? I don't think you mean do this on the desktop, or wherever it was extracted, am I understanding right? I don't know exactly how to change into the directory with the source...

    4) Run the following commands
    Again, to be sure, I can do this logged in not as root but just with my regular username and pass? I am going to try this...

  11. #10

    side note...

    I know I keep referring to FTP username and pass, which I am saying because ftp is familiar to me, but I was told that it is my regular user and pass without root access. This is all new and exciting and also frustrating to me but I am looking forward to this working and now I am hooked! I really like a challenge and this is definitely challenging, and unexpected that I am trying to do this right now... But I have been doing my homework and I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, with the amazing support! I want to one day do the same for others when I get over this hurdle and get more into it...

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