Superuser password lost

Bill Moran wmoran at
Wed Mar 12 15:27:38 UTC 2008

In response to Jerry McAllister <jerrymc at>:

> On Wed, Mar 12, 2008 at 09:52:38AM -0400, Bill Moran wrote:
> > In response to Luigi <bsd.luigi at>:
> > 
> > > Hi all,
> > > 
> > > Maybe it's a simple question but i'm a newbie lost in my new BSDworld.
> > > 
> > > I've installed PC-BSD but when I want to install a software, It ask me a 
> > > superuser password.
> > > I think I lost this password. How can I retrieve this superuser password ?
> > 
> > This is a PC-BSD-specific question.  There is no such thing as "the
> > superuser" ... it's a colloquialism frequently used by folks to make
> > things sound cooler (or for some other reason I don't understand)
> I don't understand this response.   Superuser is just another
> name for the root user which is any user id with a UID of 0.

No.  The term "superuser" is a made-up term for any way of gaining
root privs.  In my experience it's confusing as there are two
commonly used methods for doing this, the su command and sudo, and
they require different passwords.

Frankly, I don't know whether PC-BSD is asking for the root password
or asking for him to confirm _his_ password for use in a sudo-like
operation.  I don't know of anywhere in the FreeBSD base system
that the term "superuser" is used, so I assume he'll get a more
direct answer from the PC-BSD folks.

> I haven't used PC-BSD flavor, but in general, with BSDs you force
> them to boot - by killing power if necessary, but a clean shutdown
> is better (but that usually requires root).

The instructions you give are only correct if it's the root
password he lost.  It's likely you're right and this will get him
up and running again, but I didn't know that for sure and didn't want
to lead him down a bunch of steps only to find out that it was asking
for something different.

I was curious about the PC-BSD community and checked their web site.
Based on what I saw, the best advice to me seemed to be to direct him
to them.

Bill Moran

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list