How to Switch between Users in Linux


Using the Linux command su (switch user), you can execute a command as a different user. This is the quickest way to switch to the administrative account when logged in as the most recent session. To make the code safer, all Linux distributions—including Ubuntu—disable the root user account by default. This limitation, however, would prevent the user from carrying out intricate instructions. You can overcome this restriction can by briefly assuming root user status via su. If you’ve ever asked this question, how do I switch users in Linux? Then, you’re in the right place.

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Prerequisites to Switching Between Users in Linux

You will need terminal access and an account with sudo privileges on the Linux-based system.

Changing the Current User Using su

During a login session, the su command can be used to either change into a different user or to become the superuser. The command’s fundamental syntax is as follows:

su options username

Options refer to the many flags that can be applied to a command, and username denotes the name of the target account. Su will automatically switch to the root user if the username is left out of the command.


The system will automatically transfer the current login session to the chosen user by simply giving the username as an argument. Note: Switching between users on Linux is made a lot easier with these steps.

su username 

The the screenshot below, we switched to a user named rdgmh

how to switch between users in Linux- su
switching between users

Notice that we had to input our password. The password of the current user that you are logged into . We can verify the change with the command:

how to switch between users in Linux-rdgm

The output will display the name of the user you just switched to. In this case: rdgmh

You don’t need to switch to another user if you simply need to execute one command as that user. Instead, you may just use the -c switch to run the command as a different user.

su -c <command> <username>

When switching between users in Linux, the su command can establish a new environment by prefixing it with a hyphen (-).

how to switch between users in Linux-wooo
su -c

the user account is not for rdgmh, but we ran whoami and we were asked for rdgmh’s password instead of the logged in account and we were shown the result below.

how to switch between users in Linux-shell
-s flag

To switch to a different user in Linux while changing the shell, use the -s parameter with the command. Keep in mind that you must execute the command with the appropriate shell path:

Using the Desktop Environment to Switch Users in Linux

The graphical method is an alternative. The desktop environment that most Linux computers have installed gives you the graphical user interface you need to interact with the OS.

Switching between users in the GNOME desktop environment:

  1. The top-right corner of the screen has a downward-pointing arrow icon; click on it.
  2. Switch User from the dropdown menu by clicking Power Off/Log Out.
switching from gui

We have the option of chosing which ever user we want to use as GNOME will display a list of available users. Click on the username you want to log in as

how to switch users between in Linux=users
user options


It is possible to switch between different users when using Linux . You can follow the steps and the laid down approaches for whichever method you want to use.

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