Fix `Username Is Not In The Sudoer File. This Incident Will Be Reported` On Debian
This article explains how to “fix” sudo not working on Linux, resulting in this message when trying to use it: “your-username is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported.” on Debian (and Debian-based Linux distributions like Ubuntu). sudo allows system admins to execute commands as root (administrator) or another user.
Example from a fresh Debian 10 (10.1) Buster installation on which sudo doesn’t work:
$ sudo apt update [sudo] password for logix: logix is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported.
sudo doesn’t work by default on a Fresh Debian installation because your username is not automatically added to the sudo group (it does work on Ubuntu by default). But you may also see this if you created a new user but you forgot to add it to the sudo group, or if another user from your system removed the username from the sudo group.
You can check if the currently logged in user belongs to the sudo group by using the
groups command. If the
groups command does not return
sudo on Debian-based Linux distributions, then that username can’t run commands with
sudo. Example with output of a Debian user that’s not in the sudo group:
$ groups logix cdrom floppy audio dip video pugdev netdev scanner lpadmin
The solution to this is to add that user to the sudo group. But how do you get root in that case, since you can’t modify or add users as a regular user? Use
su - (or
sudo su -), then add the user to the sudo group.
So to get root, then add your user to the
sudo group, use:
su - usermod -aG sudo YOUR_USERNAME exit
suswitches to the root user, while
-runs a login shell so things like
.bashrc, and so on are executed (this way commands like
usermodwill be in your
$PATH, so you don’t have to type the full path to the executable). You may also use
sudo su -instead of
- You need to replace
YOUR_USERNAMEwith the username that you want to add to the sudo group.
- I have used
usermodeto add a group to an existing user because it should work on any Linux distribution.
useraddcan also be used for this (
adduser USERNAME -G sudo) but they may not work across all Linux distributions. Even though this article is for Debian, I wanted to make it possible to use this on other Linux distributions as well (I noticed that
adduserdoesn’t work on Solus OS for example).
exitexists the root shell, so you can run commands as a regular user again.
After this, sudo still won’t work! You will need to logout from that user, then relogin, and sudo will work.
This fixes the “Username is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported” issue on your Debian machine, but you may run into another problem in some cases – sudo might not be installed at all by default. This is the case for example on a minimal Debian installation. In that case you’ll see an error like this when trying to run a command with sudo:
$ sudo apt update bash: sudo: command not found
In that case, install
sudo on Debian like this:
Julian's | 184 views
su - #or 'sudo su -' apt install sudo exit