How do you create a new user with
sudo privileges on a Ubuntu 20.04 machine?
On Unix-like operating systems,
sudo allows users to run programs with the same security privileges given to the
superuser (also known as
supervisor). It originally meant "superuser do" because
sudo was invented to run commands only as the superuser on older versions of Linux.
By giving a user on your machine
sudo privileges, that user can execute commands and run programs with
administrative permissions. You must be careful with this because many of the commands and programs that require that level of permissions can have harmful and/or malicious side effects on your machine.
In this article, we'll walk you through how to create a new user on your Ubuntu 20.04 machine and configure the user to have
sudo privileges. And we'll also cover how to remove a user's
sudo permissions if you ever have the need.
Let's get started!
Table Of Contents
- Create a New User
- Add Your New User to the Sudo Group
- Test Your User's Sudo Access
- Remove Your User's Sudo Privileges
Create a New User
First, let's add a new user to your machine.
You can do that with this command (replace
bob with the username you want to use):
You'll be prompted to set the password for your new user and also confirm it by retyping the value:
New password: Retype new password: passwd: password updated successfully
Next, you'll be prompted to set some information for your new user. You can fill them out or just press
ENTER repeatedly to skip each one.
Changing the user information for bob Enter the new value, or press ENTER for the default Full Name : Room Number : Work Phone : Home Phone : Other : Is the information correct? [Y/n]
Your new user is now created!
Add Your New User to the Sudo Group
Now that you have a new user, you can add it to the
sudo group and, therefore, give it
Use this command to add your user to the
usermod -aG sudo bob
Your user is now part of the
Test Your User's Sudo Access
Let's run a quick test command to verify that your user's new
sudo permissions are working correctly.
First, switch from the
root user to your new user with this command:
su - bob
As your new user, you can run a
sudo privileged command by prepending
sudo to the command you wish to execute with superuser permission.
It would look something like this:
To serve as an example, let's list out the contents of the
/root directory. This directory is normally only accessible to the
sudo ls -la /root
Since this is the first time you've used the
sudo command in a session, you'll be prompted to enter the password for your sudo-enabled user:
[sudo] password for bob:
If you entered the correct password and your user is in the
sudo group, the
sudo command will be successfully run with
Remove Your User's Sudo Privileges
In the future, you may need to remove a user's
sudo privileges for one reason or another.
To do this, you can use this command:
deluser bob sudo
This will only take
sudo access away from the user profile and will not delete the user itself.
Let's test whether or not the user has been removed from the
First, switch over and use your user:
su - bob
And retry the same command from the last section that lists the contents of the
sudo ls -la /root
This command should fail and output something similar:
bob is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported.
If the command was successful, make sure you have removed the user from the
In this article, we went over how to create a new user, give it
sudo privileges by adding it to the
sudo group, and remove a user from the
sudo group if you ever need to do so.
Thanks for reading and happy coding!