We'll frequently show you sample commands using one of two prompts, depending on whether they're being run by a regular user or by the root (superuser) account:
$ cat /etc/passwd run by regular user # cat /etc/shadow run by root
The fact that we show a command with a # root prompt does not necessarily mean that it can be run only by the superuser. It may be that that command is in the middle of a sequence of commands that are strictly root-level commands, and we're just trying to be consistent and not jump back and forth between the two prompts.
On the other hand, any command in this document that is shown with a user-level $ prompt should definitely be runnable by any regular user.