Source Context Failing checks
[[!meta title="Administration password"]]
In Tails, an administration password (also called *root password* or *amnesia password*) is required to perform system administration tasks. For example:
To [[install additional software|doc/first_steps/additional_software]]
To [[access the internal hard disks of the computer|doc/encryption_and_privacy/your_data_wont_be_saved_unless_explicitly_asked]]
To execute commands with <span class="command">sudo</span>
[[!img password-prompt.png link="no" alt="Authentication required: amnesia password (also called *administration password* or *root password*)"]] <!-- Note for translators: the alt tag is useful for SEO. -->
Security implications of setting up an administration password
For better security, no administration password is set up by default.
When you set up an administration password, an attacker who learns your administration password could be able to break all the security measures built in Tails:
- Monitor all your activity - Reveal your IP address - Access all the data in your Persistent Storage - Write data to the internal hard disk of the computer - Install such vulnerabilities permanently on your Tails USB stick
To learn your administration password, an attacker could:
Watch your keyboard while you type your administration password, for example through a video surveillance camera, and then accessing physically your computer before you shut down Tails.
To prevent such an attack:
Hide your keyboard while typing your administration password in public spaces.
Never leave your computer unattended while running Tails.
Learn how to [[quickly shut down Tails|doc/first_steps/shutdown]].
Exploit a security vulnerability in an application in Tails before you type your administration password.
For example, an attacker could exploit a security vulnerability in
*Thunderbird* by sending you a [phishing
email]( that
could wait until you type your administration password and reveal it.
Such an attack is very unlikely but could be performed by a strong
attacker, such as a government or a hacking firm.
Only set up an administration password when you need it.
Always update to the latest version of Tails to fix known vulnerabilities as soon as possible.
We have plans to fix the root cause of this problem but it requires
[[!tails_ticket 12213 desc="important engineering work"]].
Set up an administration password
In order to perform administration tasks, you need to set up an administration password when starting Tails, using the [[Welcome Screen|welcome_screen]].
When the Welcome Screen appears, click on the **[[!img lib/list-add.png alt="Add Additional Setting" class="symbolic" link="no"]]** button.
[[!img additional.png link="no" alt=""]]
Choose **Administration Password** in the **Additional Settings** dialog.
Specify a password of your choice in both the <span class="guilabel">Administration Password</span> and <span class="guilabel">Confirm</span> text boxes then click <span class="button">Add</span>.
<a id="open_root_terminal"></a>
How to open a root terminal
To open a root terminal during your working session, you can do any of the following:
- Choose
<span class="menuchoice">
<span class="guimenu">Applications</span>&nbsp;▸
<span class="guisubmenu">System Tools</span>&nbsp;▸
<span class="guimenuitem">Root Terminal</span></span>.
Execute <span class="command">sudo -i</span> in a terminal.
When the <span class="guilabel">Additional Settings</span> dialog appears, click on <span class="guilabel">Administration Password</span>.