windows guy take on linux root user and packages

Note: This post mentions Ubuntu root access but most of it is about Linux in general.

Linux and Windows differ when it comes to login accounts that have full access to the system.  In Windows,  when you add a user to the local “Administrators” group, that user has complete access to all files and settings.  For good or bad.  Linux doesn’t really do it that way.

In Linux there is a “Root” user.  This root user has full access to everything.  However, every Linux admin will yell that you shouldn’t log into a computer as “Root”.   Instead you login as your self, then run a program called “sudo”.  Sudo runs the next command as root.   If I run..
#sudo ls
I will first get a prompt for “Root” password.  I type that, hit enter and then ls runs.


Tangent: In Linux you run “Terminal” in Windows you run “Command” or “Command Line”.  Terminal command start with a pound sign, ie “#”.  So if you see… #sudo blahblahblah it means run “sudo blahblahblah” from the terminal/command line.

The next thing to note is that there are “packages” for a type of Linux called “Debian”.  Everything that gets installed in a “Debian Linux” is a package.  Ubuntu is built on top of Debian so software in Ubuntu is installed from packages.

Q: How do you install packages on Debian Linux?
A: You use APT (Advanced Package Tool)

APT, in simplest terms, lets you install, remove and update packages.

#sudo apt-get update

The above command runs “apt-get update” with “root” rights.
“apt-get update” downloads a list of all packages and updates the local lists.  So when you want to know what new packages are available or if there are updates to your existing packages, just run sudo apt-get update.

More examples of how to install packages to follow.

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