How to switch users on Linux/Ubuntu

To switch users in one terminal session, you could use the su command :

$ whoami
firstuser

This shows the current user.

$ su – seconduser
Password:

Switching to the second user.

$ whoami
seconduser

This shows the second user as the current user.

You do not need to specify a username, If you want to login as root :

$ whoami
firstuser

Current user is firstuser.

$ su –
Password:

Switching to root.

$ whoami
root

root is currently the active user.

Read: How to use sudo without having to enter a password in Ubuntu

In general, you can rely on sudo to start a new shell as the user you like.The -u option allows you to specify your desired username:

$ whoami
firstuser

$ sudo -u seconduser zsh

$ whoami
seconduser

If you do not have sudo access, there are some other alternative ways, like ssh username@localhost. The sudo command is rather simple to use as long as it is installed and you have the required permission to use it.

amin nahdy

Amin Nahdy, an aspiring software engineer and a computer geek by nature as well as an avid Ubuntu and open source user. He is interested in information technology especially Linux based ecosystem as well as Windows and MacOS. He loves to share and disseminate knowledge to others in a transparent and responsible way.

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