Enable root User in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Sep 28, 2009 - 4 Comments

There are two ways to enable the root super user account in Snow Leopard, the first is probably the quickest. Launch the Terminal and type the following command:

sudo passwd root

You’ll be asked for the admin password, then you’ll have to set a password for the root account. When you’re finished, the root account is now enabled.

The other way is through the GUI, which has changed for Snow Leopard because the “Directory Utility” application moved from the /Applications/Utilities folder to /System/Library/CoreServices

* Navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices
* Unlock the application by entering the admin password and clicking the padlock icon
* Go to the Edit menu and scroll down to “Enable root user”
* Now choose Edit and select “Change Root Password” , and set a password for the root user
* All done! root user is now enabled

Note that enabling the root account can potentially leave your Mac vulnerable to some security attacks, so it’s best to keep disabled unless you know what you’re doing.


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Posted by: Bill Ellis in Mac OS, Security, Tips & Tricks


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  1. urpwnd says:

    There is almost zero reason to enable the root account. Please be aware of the complete-system-hosing you can accomplish doing this.

    You can do almost anything without having to enable the root account, using just the built in tools and sudo.

    • BoD says:

      @urpwnd, An example of a place where you need root: If you want to move /Users (e.g. to a separate partition) you can’t be logged in as a user and you need to be able to access diskutils which aren’t available in single-user mode. You’re only reasonable option is enable root. Of course you should disable it when you’re done.

      Contrary to https://osxdaily.com/2015/02/19/enable-disable-root-command-line-mac/, `dsenableroot’ works just fine in Snow Leopard.

  2. Fábio Morbec says:

    But this work just while Terminal is open. After I read all the article I saw the purpose of the article.

  3. Fábio Morbec says:

    Another away is using the command: sudo -i

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