How to Fix the Error User is Not in the Sudoers File CentOS 8

Linux is a multi-user operating system. Here, the root user holds the ultimate power over the entire system. For security reasons, it’s mandatory to have it password protected. In some cases, the root user is even disabled. CentOS has root user enabled by default.

Besides security concerns, access to root privilege is necessary when it’s required to perform system maintenance. The sudo command does exactly that. It grants a command/script root privilege as long as it is executed. Users having access to the sudo command are managed by the sudoers file.

In this guide, check out how to fix CentOS 8 error “User is not in the sudoers file”.

The Error

The sudoers file manages user permission for the sudo command. Whenever a user with no sudo permission tries to run a sudo command, this error will appear.

Here, the user “blade” doesn’t have permission to the sudo command.

Fixing the Error

The solution is to add the user to the sudoers file. However, it’s up to the system administrator to decide whether the user should be granted access to the sudo command.

There are multiple ways of approaching this solution. However, all of them require having prior sudo privilege. It’s an action reserved for the system administrator only.

If you’re running a local system, you need access to the root account to perform these steps:

Login to root.

$ su - root

The root account is password protected. What happens when you forget the root password? It sounds like doomsday, but it’s possible to recover even the root password. Check out how to recover root password on CentOS.

Adding the User to the Wheel Group

This is the most efficient way of granting a user access to sudo privilege.

By default, Linux comes with the user group wheel. The wheel group has permission to perform any action on the system with sudo privilege. Instead of adding individual users, adding them to the wheel group allows an easier way of granting access to sudo privilege.

You can check the status of the wheel group in the sudoers file.

$ sudo vim /etc/sudoers

Here, we’ll be adding the user “blade” to the wheel group.

$ sudo usermod -a -G wheel blade

How to verify the result? Run the following command. It’ll print the users registered under the user group “wheel”.

$ getent group wheel

Alternatively, try running a sudo command as the user.

$ sudo dnf check-update

Manually Adding a User to Sudoers

Instead of using the “wheel” group, we can directly declare the user in the sudoers file to have sudo privilege.

However, it’s not the optimal way to achieve it. If more than a couple of users are to be added, then managing all the users can be tricky. Going through the sudoers file repeatedly can be tedious.

Run the following command to open up the sudoers file. Here, the “EDITOR” environment variable determines the text editor that the visudo command will use. It’s the recommended and secure way of tinkering with the sudoers file.

$ sudo EDITOR=vim visudo

Add the following line. Here, we’ll be granting the user “blade” access to all parts of the system with sudo privilege.

$ blade ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

Save the file and close the editor. The user “blade” now has the same privilege as the root user.

Sudoers File Permission

In Linux, file permission is one of the fundamental properties of a file. It describes which user has read, write, and execute permission to the file or directory. Corrupted file permission may lead to unexpected behavior, leading to this error. Learn more about file permissions.

The following command will reset the file permission of the sudoers file.

$ chmod 0440 /etc/sudoers

Reboot the system to implement the change.


It’s a simple error with a simple solution. These methods should work just fine as long as there’s access to an administrative user account. If you’re working in a corporate environment, ask the system administrator to grant sudo privilege to the desired user account.

Do you need to manage multiple users?

Then check out how to create and delete users on CentOS 8.


About the author

Sidratul Muntaha

Student of CSE. I love Linux and playing with tech and gadgets. I use both Ubuntu and Linux Mint.