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How do I wrestle ownership from root or get administrator privileges?

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http://askubuntu.com – I have been using Windows since Win 3.11 and have only been on Linux/Ubuntu for about three hours. I know things are done differently on Linux and I do not expect it to be as intuitive and user-friendly as Windows, so I am prepared for a few bumps on the road. The first thing I do when moving to a new Windows version is to install a disk imaging software, because I always manage to screw something up when familiarizing myself with a new OS and then it is nice to be able to reinstall the system in a matter of minutes rather than hours. That is also the reason why I am always very particular ab (HowTos)