Enabling Root MacOSX

General Information

This tutorial will explain how to enable the root user in OS X. It’s not recommended that you do this but some GNU/ported/custom software requires it. Please remember that enabling the root user can be a security risk if your machine is hooked up to the internet without some sort of protection like a router or a firewall. This has been tested on OS X v10.1.x and 10.2.x. It should work with 10.0.x and any future versions.


  • A Macintosh computer running OS X.


  • Logon to OS X with your normal username and password (must be setup as an “admin”).
  • Run the Netinfo Manager tool that’s found in the Utilities folder under Applications.
  • You’ll need to authenticate in order to do anything here since you can seriously screw up the system if you have no idea what you’re doing. Click on the Security text in the menu bar and hit Authenticate.
  • Enter your login/password information (just like installing a program) and hit OK.
  • Click on the Security menu again and select “Enable Root User”.
  • The system will tell you that you’ll need to re-authenticate to make any further changes so do step 3 and 4 again.
  • Since the root user currently doesn’t have a password, click on the Security menu and select “Change Root Password…”.
  • Enter the appropriate information and hit OK.
  • You have just enabled root on your system. You may close Netinfo Manager now and do whatever needs to be done.

As I mentioned before, enabling the root user can be a security risk (that’s why it’s disabled be default) if you’re on the internet without some sort of firewall or on a network. It’s recommended that you keep root disabled and only enable it when you need to install something.

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