How to Add a User to Sudoers in Ubuntu 24.04

Ubuntu, a popular Linux distribution, is widely used for its stability, security, and user-friendly interface. As you manage users on your Ubuntu 24.04 system, you might encounter situations where you need to grant administrative privileges to certain users. This guide focuses on how to add a user to the sudoers list in Ubuntu 24.04, a crucial step in managing user permissions and system security.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to add a user to the sudo group
  • How to verify the user’s group membership
  • How to directly edit the sudoers file for specific permissions
How to Add a User to Sudoers in Ubuntu 24.04
How to Add a User to Sudoers in Ubuntu 24.04

Understanding Sudo Privileges in Ubuntu 24.04

Before proceeding with the steps, it’s important to understand what sudo privileges entail. In Ubuntu, ‘sudo’ stands for ‘superuser do’, allowing a permitted user to execute commands with the security privileges of another user, by default the superuser or root. This is essential for performing tasks requiring higher permissions, like system updates or configuration changes.

  1. Adding a User to the Sudo Group: The simplest method to grant sudo privileges is by adding the user to the sudo group. Members of this group are automatically granted sudo privileges. To do this, open your terminal and use the following command:
    $ sudo usermod -aG sudo <username>

    Replace <username> with the actual username of the user. This command appends the user to the sudo group without modifying their existing group memberships.

  2. Verifying User’s sudo Group Memberships: After adding the user to the sudo group, it’s a good practice to verify that the change has been applied successfully. Use this command to list the user’s current group memberships:
    $ id <username>
    $ groups <username>

    Verifying User's sudo Group Memberships
    Verifying User’s sudo Group Memberships

    Look for ‘sudo’ in the output. This confirms that the user is now a member of the sudo group and has administrative privileges.

  3. Editing the Sudoers File Directly: For more control over user permissions, you can directly edit the sudoers file. This method is more complex and should be handled with care. Use the visudo command to edit the file safely:
    $ sudo visudo

    Add the following line at the end of the file to grant sudo privileges to a specific user:

    <username> ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

    Replace <username> with the actual username. Save and exit the editor. This method is particularly useful for granting privileges to users without adding them to the sudo group.


Adding a user to the sudoers list in Ubuntu 24.04 is a straightforward process but carries significant implications for system security. Always ensure that only trusted users are granted these privileges. By following the steps in this tutorial, you can safely manage sudo permissions and maintain the integrity of your system.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Adding a User to Sudoers in Ubuntu 24.04

  1. What is the sudo group in Ubuntu 24.04?

    The sudo group is a user group in Ubuntu that grants its members administrative privileges to execute commands as the superuser or another user. This is crucial for tasks requiring higher permissions.

  2. How do I add a user to the sudo group?

    To add a user to the sudo group, use the command: ‘sudo usermod -aG sudo <username>’, replacing <username> with the user’s name.

  3. Is it necessary to restart the computer after adding a user to the sudo group?

    It’s not mandatory to restart the computer, but the user should log out and log back in for the changes to take effect.

  4. How can I verify if a user is in the sudo group?

    Use the command ‘groups <username>’ to list the groups the user belongs to. The ‘sudo’ group should be listed if they have sudo privileges.

  5. Can I give sudo privileges without adding a user to the sudo group?

    Yes, you can directly edit the sudoers file using ‘sudo visudo’ and add a line for the specific user.

  6. Is editing the sudoers file safe?

    Editing the sudoers file should be done with caution. Always use ‘visudo’ for editing to avoid syntax errors, which can compromise system security.

  7. What happens if I make a syntax error in the sudoers file?

    A syntax error in the sudoers file can prevent sudo from functioning correctly. Always double-check the syntax and use ‘visudo’ for editing.

  8. Why is it important to manage sudo privileges carefully?

    Sudo privileges allow users to execute powerful commands that can affect the system’s security and stability. They should only be granted to trusted users who understand the risks.

  9. Can a user with sudo privileges perform any action on the system?

    Yes, a user with sudo privileges can execute almost any command, including those that can alter system settings, install software, and access all files.