Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard – Enable Root Access

Ok, maybe I am a real newb on Mac OSX, but I didn’t know this one. Took me some fooling around in the OS to get it working. A little background. I am getting into some iPhone development. I want to dig into the Native app dev, and using SDK.

Using the Native app stuff, I wanted to make some directories in /usr/local/ , but was getting permission denied errors.. ok.., its UNIX, lets SU… but what is the root password? hmmm..

Figured this out.. go to Application->Utilities->Directory Utility

Once that is open, go to the Edit menu, Enable Root User. You can then set a password up.

Now back in terminal, run “su” and you can put in the root password you just set up, now you have rights!

  • Michael

    Nice Post! I actually always wondered about this and never spent the time to figure it out. For some reason sudo would always work with my password. At least now i won’t have to put sudo in front of everything.

  • Mark B.

    Thanks for this! Much appreciated.

  • Joel

    Schhueeettt! thanks!

  • Randy

    Nice. Would sudo -s also do what you want? Regardless, it’s always good to learn new ways to do things…

  • Mike S.

    Hello, i’m trying to do the same but the option “Enable root user” in disk utility it’s sharpen and i can’t click it!!

  • John H.

    At first glance, it seems as though the “Enable Root User” is greyed out and unusable, but if you ckick the unlock icon in the lower left corner, you can access that menu item (We’re assuming, of course, that you are logged in as an admin in the first place.).

  • Arun

    Am new mac… Have mac OSX 10.5…. I cant find the edit menu in directory utility… wat to do??

  • Sgeerawor


    I followed all the instructions up to the point where we have to click Edit -> Enable Root User. However, after clicking on it nothing seem to happen. Everything is unlocked, everything is enabled. Any help would be much appreciated