Here's some great information for you on how to do this and many other things in command line: http://www.linuxcommand.org/
- In this case, check out Learning the Shell, Chapt. 7.
The real problem with using Root is that it affects all users and if you mess up, you may have to completely reinstall your programs and lose important data. Personally, I leave the privileges alone and go into the terminal ('shell', 'command line', etc.) to make my changes as 'su' or sometimes 'su -'. It's an extra step and it's not gui-friendly, but once you become familiar with the commands you'll find out that you'll be saving time and are really getting to know all about the guts of linux. Besides, most of the answers to problems on this and other forums involve using the terminal.