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I've got an admin user phil with password orange, and the root user is enabled with password banana:

  • If I type sudo ls, and enter the password orange, I get Sorry, try again.
  • If I type sudo ls, and enter the password banana, it works.

If I disable the root user, sudo doesn't accept either password.

What the heck is going on?

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If your user is an admin, they should (by default) be able to use sudo (based on the contents of the sudoers file).

If you re-enable the root user, and examine the contents of the file at /etc/sudoers, you should find this line (which specifies that the admin group has the ability to use sudo):

%admin  ALL=(ALL) ALL

It may be a good idea to confirm that "phil" is in the admin users group. You can perfom this check on the command line using this command (after you've re-enabled root, of course):

sudo dseditgroup -o checkmember -m phil admin

It's also possible that the rootpw flag may be set in the /etc/sudoers file (this should be off by default). If you find the following line in that file, see if deleting it will help:

Defaults rootpw
  • "yes phil is a member of admin", and that line is present in /etc/sudoers. – bonh Oct 24 '13 at 3:20
  • @bonh - I've added an additional suggestion to the answer above (rootpw) – Eddie Kelley Oct 24 '13 at 3:49
  • that did it! I found Defaults rootpw in /etc/sudoers and deleted it, and now I can sudo with my user password, as expected. Thanks! – bonh Oct 24 '13 at 12:35

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