Acquiring root access to your server holds greater significance than what may seem apparent. It endows you with complete control over your server, both via SSH and in WHM. However, it is essential to note that root access may not be necessary for routine tasks. This article assumes that you possess a VPS plan (unmanaged or cPanel VPS) or a Dedicated servers plan. To confirm if you have the appropriate plan, you can check the server details.

What is Root Access?

The server’s root user account is similar to an administrative or “superuser” account in Linux operating systems, but it is named “root” as it provides access to the server’s root directory (“/”) and all of its files and directories. The root user has the ability to perform tasks that regular users cannot, such as installing and configuring server-wide applications, as well as editing any file on the server.

It’s important to note that full root access is not automatically granted on VPS or dedicated hosting accounts. Because the root user can perform any task on the server, support options may vary slightly for accounts with root access. Therefore, users are required to accept a root access disclosure before being granted root privileges. However, with root access, a VPS can be fully customized to fit individual needs, provided that the user understands the principles of least privilege and does not share login credentials with anyone.

It’s crucial not to confuse root access with a rootkit, which is software designed to provide unauthorized root privileges to malicious users.

Should I Request Root Access?

Root permissions provide users with the ability to perform virtually any action on a server. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a single command executed as root could potentially cause significant problems, even resulting in the loss of all data on the server.

As such, we only recommend requesting root permissions if you have previous experience with it and feel comfortable using it. If you’re not familiar with root access or lack confidence in running commands with it, we advise against gaining root access to your server. If you require root access but aren’t ready to handle it yourself, please contact our support department for assistance. Our system administration team can help with many tasks that require root access.

Because of the potential risks associated with it, WHM root access should only be granted to those who genuinely need it. If a malicious user gained root access to your server, they could cause serious damage to your system. Even with trusted individuals, the possibility of human error exists. Therefore, it’s best to be cautious and only grant root access to those who absolutely require it.

Support and Root Access

If you have root access to your server, you can still contact our support team for assistance at any time. However, it’s important to note that if you’ve made changes to the server as the root user, we may not be able to quickly undo or fix any issues that arise. Additionally, our system administration team may charge extra fees to troubleshoot a server that you have root access to.

How to Request Root Access

  1. Log into your AMP.
  2. Find the icon for Request Root Access and click on it.

    Dedicated Hosting Root Access Request
  3. Read through the agreement prior to checking the box stating you understand the responsibilities of having root access. Click the button for your root password.

    Request Root Password for Dedicated Hosting Server
  4. After a few seconds you will see your new root password below where the buttons are.

    View of Root password on Dedicated Hosting

How to Reset Your Root Password

  1. Log into your AMP.
  2. Find the icon for Change Root password and click on it.
  3. Click Reset password and your new root password will be shown below the button.

Root Access Tasks

Below is a collection of our articles that demonstrates some of the things that you can accomplish when you already have root access on your server.

You should now have a good understanding of what you can do with your newly granted root access to your server.

Change To The Root User

As you may already know, you can log into your server’s command line with the default cPanel user. If you want to assume the root user role, provided you have already obtained root access, you can do so with the su command:

su root

You will be prompted to provide the root user password. If you entered the password correctly, you will see that your command prompt now reflects that you have assumed the root user. You can exit the root user by typing exit.

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Accessing the cPanel Root User

If you need root access to various cPanel features, you will want to check out the full guide on how to log into WebHost Manager (WHM).

As you can see, root access to your server comes with a lot of benefits but also some risks. It’s important that you are aware of these risks and take the necessary precautions to protect your data and system. And if you ever have any questions or concerns, our team of experts is here to help. We want to make sure that you have everything you need to get the most out of your hosting experience, so never hesitate to reach out for assistance. Thanks for reading!



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