When working with Ubuntu, you may encounter a situation where you try to execute a command with sudo, only to be greeted with an error message saying, “Username is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported.” This error prevents you from running commands with administrative privileges, causing inconvenience and frustration. However, this issue can be resolved by following a few straightforward steps. In this blog post, we will discuss various methods to fix this problem in Ubuntu.

Method 1: Adding the User to the sudo Group

1. Open a terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T or by searching for “Terminal” in the applications.

2. Enter the following command to edit the sudoers file:

sudo visudo

3. This command opens the sudoers file in the terminal using the text editor. Be cautious when editing this file.
4. Look for the line that begins with %sudo or %admin. These lines define the groups with sudo privileges.
5. Add your username after the group name, separated by a comma. For example, if your username is “john,” the line should look like this:

%sudo ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL, manoj

6. Press Ctrl+O to save the changes and Ctrl+X to exit the text editor.
7. Now, try running a command with sudo. It should work without displaying the error message.


Method 2: Modifying the sudoers File

1. Open a terminal and enter the following command to edit the sudoers file:

sudo visudo

2. Locate the line that reads:


3. Add the following line below it, replacing “username” with your actual username:

username ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

4. Save the changes by pressing Ctrl+O and exit the text editor by pressing Ctrl+X.
5. You should now be able to use sudo without encountering the error message.

Method 3: Granting sudo Privileges via Recovery Mode

Restart your Ubuntu machine and hold the Shift key during boot to enter the GRUB menu.
Select the “Advanced options for Ubuntu” entry and choose the recovery mode option.
In the recovery menu, select “root – Drop to root shell prompt” or a similar option.
You will be dropped into a root shell prompt. Enter the following command:

mount -o rw,remount /

5. Next, enter the command to add your username to the sudo group:

adduser username sudo

6. Restart your system by entering:


7.After rebooting, your username should have sudo privileges, and the error should be resolved.

Encountering the “Username is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported” error in Ubuntu can be frustrating, but thankfully, it can be resolved using the methods mentioned above. By either adding your username to the sudo group, modifying the sudoers file, or granting sudo privileges via recovery mode, you can regain administrative access and execute commands with ease. Remember to exercise caution when editing system files and follow the steps carefully. With these solutions, you can overcome this error and continue working smoothly in your Ubuntu environment.

Categorized in: