4 Ways to Disable Root Account in Linux

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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9 Responses

  1. ROMSAT says:

    In my opinion it is bad practice to edit /etc/passwd, /etc/group or /etc/shadow directly; either use appropriate utilities such as usermod, or use the vipw special editor to do so as it is careful about file locking, data corruption, etc.

    Therefore, in the first method I recommend to do it so:

    # usermod -s /sbin/nologin root

    And I have a question: Where is the /etc/nologin.txt file in Ubuntu?… I can’t find it anywhere? Have I to create it?

    Thanks for all,

    • Aaron Kili says:


      Thanks for sharing your concern. This is true, it’s much better to use the mentioned utility for editing the files in question. And if the /etc/nologin.txt file doesn’t exist in Ubuntu, you can create it. Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Darren says:

    Looks like copy and paste error ( that to me = the same file + command)

    $ sudo vim /etc/pam.d/login
    $ sudo vim /etc/pam.d/login
  3. Jonix says:

    The file /etc/nologin.txt will also disable network logins, maybe not desirable.

    • Aaron Kili says:


      It’s in fact the nologin program used to disable user login. The /etc/nologin.txt file if exists, stores a message which nologin displays to a user instead of the default message.

  4. JIm says:

    Most Linux OS’s today come with sudo rights installed and the root account already locked. A better tutorial would be how to unlock and relock the root account, if you need to do that.

  5. Bouzeghoub Redouane says:

    Thank you so much for this excellent article, it is really useful for those who want to disable root login in Linux.

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