How to Change User in Linux Command

How to Change User in Linux Command

Minh Vu

By Minh Vu

Updated Oct 10, 2023

The su command allows you to change to a specific user in Linux. Let's see some use cases you might need in the section below.

Change to Another User with su Command

To change to another user in Linux, type in su followed by the username of the user you want to switch to.

su <username>

For example, to switch to the user named "dminhvu" (which is my username), you would run:

su dminhvu

Enter the password of that user as it says, then you will be logged in as the user "dminhvu".

Change to Root User

To switch to the root user in Linux, you can simply run the su command without specifying a username:


You will be prompted to enter the root password. After entering the password, you will be logged in as the root user.

Run Command as Another User without Switching

You may want to run a command as a different user without switching to that user's shell. You can achieve this using the sudo command with the -u option, followed by the username.

For instance, to run the ls command as the user "dminhvu", you can run:

sudo -u dminhvu ls

You will be prompted to enter your own password, and the ls command will be executed as the "minhvu" user.

Create a New User in Linux

In case you do not have a user account yet, you can create a new user in Linux using the adduser command.

adduser <username>

For example, to create a new user named "dminhvu", you would run:

adduser dminhvu

Enter your password if prompted. Then you will be asked to enter some information about the user. You can leave them blank by pressing Enter to use the default values.

Adding user 'dminhvu' ... Adding new group 'dminhvu' (1001) ... Adding new user 'dminhvu' (1001) with group 'dminhvu' ... Creating home directory '/home/dminhvu' ... Copying files from '/etc/skel' ... New password: Retype new password: passwd: password updated successfully Changing the user information for dminhvu Enter the new value, or press ENTER for the default Full Name []: Minh Vu Room Number []: Work Phone []: Home Phone []: Other []: Is the information correct? [Y/n]


That's all. Good luck!

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Minh Vu

Minh Vu

Software Engineer

Hi guys, I'm the author of WiseCode Blog. I mainly work with the Elastic Stack and build AI & Python projects. I also love writing technical articles, hope you guys have good experience reading my blog!