What is root's initial password?


I just installed OS X, set up my initial user as jeff, since root was already taken. Jeff is an admin, but root doesn't show up in the Sys Prefs GUI, nor am I able to su. So what is root's initial password, or how can I set it at install time?

I had the public beta before, and I did it, but I can't remember how.


the root accout is not initially enabled at all. You can enable in in NetInfo Manager, under Domain>Security. Think twice before you do though

Any administrator can run commands as root with <tt>sudo &lt;some command&gt;</tt>
You can get a root shell with <tt>sudo -s</tt>
Sudo asks you for your own account password to verify. You can edit a file called /etc/sudoers that sets precise limits on which users can run which commands with what privileges - su only lets you grant full root, or nothing at all.

Not having a root account slightly improves security, by all accounts (although OS X security would be laughable if it weren't installed on my own computer, so a slight improvement is not such a big deal...)
Thanks. In my impatience, I did run across sudo. I've used it in the past, but for some reason it just didn't occur to me at first.

I'm aware of the security risks, and am currently undergoing an internal struggle with convenience and power vs. security and paranoia.

While we're on the subject, and since you're here anyway, do you know of any good firewall software for OS X that's not too expensive?

Thanks again,


There is a firewall built into os X already. The only dificulty is configuring it. To help woth this I would recomend downlading Brick house, which you can get from www.versiontracker.com It is a graphical tool for configuring OS X's firewall.