18 responses

  1. TD
    February 4, 2015

    Other programmers deal with the issue of number of characters by inserting a random number of asterisks for each key pressed. Then at least you know its accepting keyboard input.

  2. Gomrl
    February 4, 2015

    The other question is why you cannot sudo in Terminal as a standard user but need to be logged in as an admin user.

    • rpk
      February 4, 2015

      Users with permissions to ‘sudo’ are stored in /etc/sudoers – which will generally contain a line allowing ‘admin’ users to run sudo.

      The permissions on /etc/sudoers is root read-only, so you’ll need to be in an ‘admin’ group to view it – but then only if you have permissions to run ‘sudo’.


      cat /etc/sudoers

      and you’ll get:

      cat: /etc/sudoers: Permission denied

      Now if you’re in the ‘admin’ group, type:

      sudo cat /etc/sudoers

      ps. don’t be daft and try to edit /etc/sudoers with something like ‘nano’.

      You need to use ‘visudo’ – which locks the file against multiple simultaneous edits and opens up the file in the ‘vi’ or ‘vim’ editor.

      You can totally screw your system up if bugger up this file, which is highly likely if you’re unfamiliar with using ‘vi’ or the correct syntax the file requires.

    • Daniel Ebeck
      February 5, 2015

      There is a way around this, as long as you know the credentials for an admin user. Just use the “login” command from the standard account to switch to an admin user in the Terminal. Then you can use sudo as much as you like. Use “exit” to get back to your standard user.

  3. Avenged110
    February 4, 2015

    This is so annoying. That and the fact that I can’t enter a blank password. I get so sick of having to go make a password just to enter a command.

    What I don’t understand is if its hidden/can’t enter a blank password “in the name of security,” who cares, I’m sitting in front of the computer. Who/what are they keeping it secure from? The guy looking over my shoulder?

    • Not Torvalds
      February 4, 2015

      Yes actually, it may sound weird but this actually is designed to prevent password snooping from ‘the guy looking over’ your shoulder. The invisible password thing has been part of BSD and Unix since the 70’s, a very long relic. Nowadays, if you have a secure and reasonably long password, it may not be as important, but imagine an unscrupulous individual discovering someone had a 1 to 6 digit password? That would be easy to set that as a parameter and guess and/or run a dictionary file against the digit match, thus, this security measure exists. This is from AT&T and Unix, it’s in all Linux distros too, it’s not just Mac OS X or Apple.

    • Raven
      February 7, 2015

      Why on Earth would you want a blank password? Don’t be lazy.

      • bernard cleyet
        February 7, 2015

        “Why on Earth would you want a blank password? Don’t be lazy.”

        Because I’m very tired of having to look up a password for every little thing. The only important (for me) password is my bank’s. I’ve stopped using face book and other (likedin, etc.), because of passwords. So I use enter (CRLF) whenever permitted.

        Unfortunately, I thought my question [How does one find the password for sudo?] was being answered. Not incidentally, all the ones I’ve tried result in “try again”.


      • Gin
        February 7, 2015

        The sudo password is the same as the admin / root password

        Try using an easy mnemonic to remember passwords. Even something like “IHatePasswords321” would be better than nothing.

  4. KarolaM
    August 17, 2015

    Thank you for your posting, good explanation; it worked for me even though I am not a techie. Appreciate your time spent on detailed narrative.

  5. DanD
    October 7, 2015

    Unfortunately for me my password does not seem to work under OSX 10.11. I know I am typing it right but it still says “su: Sorry”.

    • Sophie Lazar
      April 28, 2016

      SO, if this helps anybody… First i had the admin password on my 10.8.5 mac set for the admin, so I would enter it, (wihtout seeing it as explained above) and it would still say sorry no..
      Then I changed it to no passoword and tried that. I went back to the system preferences/user/groups/ and under the column for the list of users and admin, where there is a + and a – symbol, next to that is a little settings wheel. I had done a fresh install of my OS, and there was no MASTER PASSWORD set, even though there was an admin password set. I set the master password, and VOILA! bingo, sudo password joy>>. it took a second to think about it, and then ran my command. booya

  6. Edoardo
    November 18, 2015

    I’m trying to delete stuff from my mac with the sudo command but when i reach the point where i need to enter the password in the terminal instead of the usual grey rectangle there is a key inside that won’t let me type anything even if i type the password (btw i know that nothing should appear) and then press enter it would say ‘sorry try again’
    Have you got any idea what my problem is????

  7. rick
    May 14, 2016

    I attempted to set new root password but I failed.When I set new root password in comand line word won’t show up.Keyboard was certainly worked.I can not understand this cause.

  8. anthony
    June 23, 2016

    my terminal wont let me install a photoshop plugin, it keeps giving me error reports Failed to get extension handle by extension name, status = -406!
    Failed to install, status = -403!

  9. Korrilius
    August 4, 2016

    See my problem is that when I press enter, the Teminal just exits all together, anyway I can fix this?

  10. James Bigglesworth
    September 17, 2017

    I did what you suggested but the computer told me my password could not be found and it printed my refused password

  11. Lyle
    February 5, 2018

    Best thing I read today…
    Been trying to figure this out for hours now.

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