sudo, sudoedit --- execute a command as another user


     sudo -h | -K | -k | -V
     sudo -v [-AknS] [-a type] [-g group] [-h host] [-p prompt] [-u user]
     sudo -l [-AknS] [-a type] [-g group] [-h host] [-p prompt] [-U user]
      [-u user] [command]
     sudo [-AbEHnPS] [-a type] [-C num] [-c class] [-g group] [-h host]
      [-p prompt] [-r role] [-t type] [-u user] [VAR=value] [-i | -s]
     sudoedit [-AknS] [-a type] [-C num] [-c class] [-g group] [-h host]
      [-p prompt] [-u user] file ...


     sudo allows a permitted user to execute a command as the superuser or
     another user, as specified by the security policy.  The invoking user's
     real (not effective) user ID is used to determine the user name with
     which to query the security policy.

     sudo supports a plugin architecture for security policies and
     input/output logging.  Third parties can develop and distribute their own
     policy and I/O logging plugins to work seamlessly with the sudo front
     end.  The default security policy is sudoers, which is configured via the
     file /etc/sudoers, or via LDAP.  See the Plugins section for more

     The security policy determines what privileges, if any, a user has to run
     sudo.  The policy may require that users authenticate themselves with a
     password or another authentication mechanism.  If authentication is
     required, sudo will exit if the user's password is not entered within a
     configurable time limit.  This limit is policy-specific; the default
     password prompt timeout for the sudoers security policy is unlimited.

     Security policies may support credential caching to allow the user to run
     sudo again for a period of time without requiring authentication.  The
     sudoers policy caches credentials for 15 minutes, unless overridden in
     sudoers(5).  By running sudo with the -v option, a user can update the
     cached credentials without running a command.

     When invoked as sudoedit, the -e option (described below), is implied.

     Security policies may log successful and failed attempts to use sudo.  If
     an I/O plugin is configured, the running command's input and output may
     be logged as well.

     The options are as follows:

     -A, --askpass
             Normally, if sudo requires a password, it will read it from
             the user's terminal.  If the -A (askpass) option is
             specified, a (possibly graphical) helper program is executed
             to read the user's password and output the password to the
             standard output.  If the SUDO_ASKPASS environment variable is
             set, it specifies the path to the helper program.  Otherwise,
             if sudo.conf(5) contains a line specifying the askpass
             program, that value will be used.  For example:

                 # Path to askpass helper program
                 Path askpass /usr/X11R6/bin/ssh-askpass

             If no askpass program is available, sudo will exit with an

     -b, --background
             Run the given command in the background.  Note that it is not
             possible to use shell job control to manipulate background
             processes started by sudo.  Most interactive commands will
             fail to work properly in background mode.

     -C num, --close-from=num
             Close all file descriptors greater than or equal to num
             before executing a command.  Values less than three are not
             permitted.  By default, sudo will close all open file
             descriptors other than standard input, standard output and
             standard error when executing a command.  The security policy
             may restrict the user's ability to use this option.  The
             sudoers policy only permits use of the -C option when the
             administrator has enabled the closefrom_override option.

     -E, --preserve-env
             Indicates to the security policy that the user wishes to
             preserve their existing environment variables.  The security
             policy may return an error if the user does not have
             permission to preserve the environment.

     -e, --edit  Edit one or more files instead of running a command.  In lieu
             of a path name, the string "sudoedit" is used when consulting
             the security policy.  If the user is authorized by the
             policy, the following steps are taken:

             1.   Temporary copies are made of the files to be edited with
                  the owner set to the invoking user.

             2.   The editor specified by the policy is run to edit the
                  temporary files.  The sudoers policy uses the
                  SUDO_EDITOR, VISUAL and EDITOR environment variables (in
                  that order).  If none of SUDO_EDITOR, VISUAL or EDITOR
                  are set, the first program listed in the editor
                  sudoers(5) option is used.

             3.   If they have been modified, the temporary files are
                  copied back to their original location and the temporary
                  versions are removed.

             To help prevent the editing of unauthorized files, the
             following restrictions are enforced unless explicitly allowed
             by the security policy:

             *   Symbolic links may not be edited (version 1.8.15 and

             *   Symbolic links along the path to be edited are not
                 followed when the parent directory is writable by the
                 invoking user unless that user is root (version 1.8.16
                 and higher).

             *   Files located in a directory that is writable by the
                 invoking user may not be edited unless that user is root
                 (version 1.8.16 and higher).

             Users are never allowed to edit device special files.

             If the specified file does not exist, it will be created.
             Note that unlike most commands run by sudo, the editor is run
             with the invoking user's environment unmodified.  If, for
             some reason, sudo is unable to update a file with its edited
             version, the user will receive a warning and the edited copy
             will remain in a temporary file.

     -g group, --group=group
             Run the command with the primary group set to group instead
             of the primary group specified by the target user's password
             database entry.  The group may be either a group name or a
             numeric group ID (GID) prefixed with the '#' character (e.g.
             #0 for GID 0).  When running a command as a GID, many shells
             require that the '#' be escaped with a backslash ('\').  If
             no -u option is specified, the command will be run as the
             invoking user.  In either case, the primary group will be set
             to group.

     -H, --set-home
             Request that the security policy set the HOME environment
             variable to the home directory specified by the target user's
             password database entry.  Depending on the policy, this may
             be the default behavior.

     -h, --help  Display a short help message to the standard output and exit.

     -h host, --host=host
             Run the command on the specified host if the security policy
             plugin supports remote commands.  Note that the sudoers
             plugin does not currently support running remote commands.
             This may also be used in conjunction with the -l option to
             list a user's privileges for the remote host.

     -i, --login
             Run the shell specified by the target user's password
             database entry as a login shell.  This means that login-
             specific resource files such as .profile or .login will be
             read by the shell.  If a command is specified, it is passed
             to the shell for execution via the shell's -c option.  If no
             command is specified, an interactive shell is executed.  sudo
             attempts to change to that user's home directory before
             running the shell.  The command is run with an environment
             similar to the one a user would receive at log in.  The
             Command environment section in the sudoers(5) manual
             documents how the -i option affects the environment in which
             a command is run when the sudoers policy is in use.

     -K, --remove-timestamp
             Similar to the -k option, except that it removes the user's
             cached credentials entirely and may not be used in
             conjunction with a command or other option.  This option does
             not require a password.  Not all security policies support
             credential caching.

     -k, --reset-timestamp
             When used without a command, invalidates the user's cached
             credentials.  In other words, the next time sudo is run a
             password will be required.  This option does not require a
             password and was added to allow a user to revoke sudo
             permissions from a .logout file.

             When used in conjunction with a command or an option that may
             require a password, this option will cause sudo to ignore the
             user's cached credentials.  As a result, sudo will prompt for
             a password (if one is required by the security policy) and
             will not update the user's cached credentials.

             Not all security policies support credential caching.

     -l, --list  If no command is specified, list the allowed (and forbidden)
             commands for the invoking user (or the user specified by the
             -U option) on the current host.  A longer list format is used
             if this option is specified multiple times and the security
             policy supports a verbose output format.

             If a command is specified and is permitted by the security
             policy, the fully-qualified path to the command is displayed
             along with any command line arguments.  If command is
             specified but not allowed, sudo will exit with a status value
             of 1.

     -n, --non-interactive
             Avoid prompting the user for input of any kind.  If a
             password is required for the command to run, sudo will
             display an error message and exit.

     -P, --preserve-groups
             Preserve the invoking user's group vector unaltered.  By
             default, the sudoers policy will initialize the group vector
             to the list of groups the target user is a member of.  The
             real and effective group IDs, however, are still set to match
             the target user.

     -p prompt, --prompt=prompt
             Use a custom password prompt with optional escape sequences.
             The following percent ('%') escape sequences are supported by
             the sudoers policy:

             %H  expanded to the host name including the domain name (on
                 if the machine's host name is fully qualified or the fqdn
                 option is set in sudoers(5))

             %h  expanded to the local host name without the domain name

             %p  expanded to the name of the user whose password is being
                 requested (respects the rootpw, targetpw, and runaspw
                 flags in sudoers(5))

             %U  expanded to the login name of the user the command will
                 be run as (defaults to root unless the -u option is also

             %u  expanded to the invoking user's login name

             %%  two consecutive '%' characters are collapsed into a
                 single '%' character

             The custom prompt will override the system password prompt on
             systems that support PAM unless the passprompt_override flag
             is disabled in sudoers.

     -r role, --role=role
             Run the command with an SELinux security context that
             includes the specified role.

     -S, --stdin
             Write the prompt to the standard error and read the password
             from the standard input instead of using the terminal device.
             The password must be followed by a newline character.

     -s, --shell
             Run the shell specified by the SHELL environment variable if
             it is set or the shell specified by the invoking user's
             password database entry.  If a command is specified, it is
             passed to the shell for execution via the shell's -c option.
             If no command is specified, an interactive shell is executed.

     -t type, --type=type
             Run the command with an SELinux security context that
             includes the specified type.  If no type is specified, the
             default type is derived from the role.

     -U user, --other-user=user
             Used in conjunction with the -l option to list the privileges
             for user instead of for the invoking user.  The security
             policy may restrict listing other users' privileges.  The
             sudoers policy only allows root or a user with the ALL
             privilege on the current host to use this option.

     -u user, --user=user
             Run the command as a user other than the default target user
             (usually root).  The user may be either a user name or a
             numeric user ID (UID) prefixed with the '#' character (e.g.
             #0 for UID 0).  When running commands as a UID, many shells
             require that the '#' be escaped with a backslash ('\').  Some
             security policies may restrict UIDs to those listed in the
             password database.  The sudoers policy allows UIDs that are
             not in the password database as long as the targetpw option
             is not set.  Other security policies may not support this.

     -V, --version
             Print the sudo version string as well as the version string
             of the security policy plugin and any I/O plugins.  If the
             invoking user is already root the -V option will display the
             arguments passed to configure when sudo was built and plugins
             may display more verbose information such as default options.

     -v, --validate
             Update the user's cached credentials, authenticating the user
             if necessary.  For the sudoers plugin, this extends the sudo
             timeout for another 15 minutes by default, but does not run a
             command.  Not all security policies support cached

     --          The -- option indicates that sudo should stop processing
             command line arguments.

     Environment variables to be set for the command may also be passed on the
     command line in the form of VAR=value, e.g.
     LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/pkg/lib.  Variables passed on the command line
     are subject to restrictions imposed by the security policy plugin.  The
     sudoers policy subjects variables passed on the command line to the same
     restrictions as normal environment variables with one important
     exception.  If the setenv option is set in sudoers, the command to be run
     has the SETENV tag set or the command matched is ALL, the user may set
     variables that would otherwise be forbidden.  See sudoers(5) for more


     When sudo executes a command, the security policy specifies the execution
     environment for the command.  Typically, the real and effective user and
     group and IDs are set to match those of the target user, as specified in
     the password database, and the group vector is initialized based on the
     group database (unless the -P option was specified).

     The following parameters may be specified by security policy:

     *   real and effective user ID

     *   real and effective group ID

     *   supplementary group IDs

     *   the environment list

     *   current working directory

     *   file creation mode mask (umask)

     *   SELinux role and type

     *   scheduling priority (aka nice value)

   Process model
     When sudo runs a command, it calls fork(2), sets up the execution
     environment as described above, and calls the execve system call in the
     child process.  The main sudo process waits until the command has
     completed, then passes the command's exit status to the security policy's
     close function and exits.  If an I/O logging plugin is configured or if
     the security policy explicitly requests it, a new  pseudo-terminal
     ("pty") is created and a second sudo process is used to relay job control
     signals between the user's existing pty and the new pty the command is
     being run in.  This extra process makes it possible to, for example,
     suspend and resume the command.  Without it, the command would be in what
     POSIX terms an "orphaned process group" and it would not receive any job
     control signals.  As a special case, if the policy plugin does not define
     a close function and no pty is required, sudo will execute the command
     directly instead of calling fork(2) first.  The sudoers policy plugin
     will only define a close function when I/O logging is enabled, a pty is
     required, or the pam_session or pam_setcred options are enabled.  Note
     that pam_session and pam_setcred are enabled by default on systems using

   Signal handling
     When the command is run as a child of the sudo process, sudo will relay
     signals it receives to the command.  The SIGINT and SIGQUIT signals are
     only relayed when the command is being run in a new pty or when the
     signal was sent by a user process, not the kernel.  This prevents the
     command from receiving SIGINT twice each time the user enters control-C.
     Some signals, such as SIGSTOP and SIGKILL, cannot be caught and thus will
     not be relayed to the command.  As a general rule, SIGTSTP should be used
     instead of SIGSTOP when you wish to suspend a command being run by sudo.

     As a special case, sudo will not relay signals that were sent by the
     command it is running.  This prevents the command from accidentally
     killing itself.  On some systems, the reboot(8) command sends SIGTERM to
     all non-system processes other than itself before rebooting the system.
     This prevents sudo from relaying the SIGTERM signal it received back to
     reboot(8), which might then exit before the system was actually rebooted,
     leaving it in a half-dead state similar to single user mode.  Note,
     however, that this check only applies to the command run by sudo and not
     any other processes that the command may create.  As a result, running a
     script that calls reboot(8) or shutdown(8) via sudo may cause the system
     to end up in this undefined state unless the reboot(8) or shutdown(8) are
     run using the exec() family of functions instead of system() (which
     interposes a shell between the command and the calling process).

     If no I/O logging plugins are loaded and the policy plugin has not
     defined a close() function, set a command timeout or required that the
     command be run in a new pty, sudo may execute the command directly
     instead of running it as a child process.

     Plugins may be specified via Plugin directives in the sudo.conf(5) file.
     They may be loaded as dynamic shared objects (on systems that support
     them), or compiled directly into the sudo binary.  If no sudo.conf(5)
     file is present, or it contains no Plugin lines, sudo will use the
     traditional sudoers security policy and I/O logging.  See the
     sudo.conf(5) manual for details of the /etc/sudo.conf file and the
     sudo_plugin(8) manual for more information about the sudo plugin


     Upon successful execution of a command, the exit status from sudo will be
     the exit status of the program that was executed.  If the command
     terminated due to receipt of a signal, sudo will send itself the signal
     that terminated the command.

     Otherwise, sudo exits with a value of 1 if there is a
     configuration/permission problem or if sudo cannot execute the given
     command.  In the latter case, the error string is printed to the standard
     error.  If sudo cannot stat(2) one or more entries in the user's PATH, an
     error is printed to the standard error.  (If the directory does not exist
     or if it is not really a directory, the entry is ignored and no error is
     printed.)  This should not happen under normal circumstances.  The most
     common reason for stat(2) to return "permission denied" is if you are
     running an automounter and one of the directories in your PATH is on a
     machine that is currently unreachable.


     sudo tries to be safe when executing external commands.

     To prevent command spoofing, sudo checks "." and "" (both denoting
     current directory) last when searching for a command in the user's PATH
     (if one or both are in the PATH).  Note, however, that the actual PATH
     environment variable is not modified and is passed unchanged to the
     program that sudo executes.

     Users should never be granted sudo privileges to execute files that are
     writable by the user or that reside in a directory that is writable by
     the user.  If the user can modify or replace the command there is no way
     to limit what additional commands they can run.

     Please note that sudo will normally only log the command it explicitly
     runs.  If a user runs a command such as sudo su or sudo sh, subsequent
     commands run from that shell are not subject to sudo's security policy.
     The same is true for commands that offer shell escapes (including most
     editors).  If I/O logging is enabled, subsequent commands will have their
     input and/or output logged, but there will not be traditional logs for
     those commands.  Because of this, care must be taken when giving users
     access to commands via sudo to verify that the command does not
     inadvertently give the user an effective root shell.  For more
     information, please see the Preventing shell escapes section in

     To prevent the disclosure of potentially sensitive information, sudo
     disables core dumps by default while it is executing (they are re-enabled
     for the command that is run).  This historical practice dates from a time
     when most operating systems allowed setuid processes to dump core by
     default.  To aid in debugging sudo crashes, you may wish to re-enable
     core dumps by setting "disable_coredump" to false in the sudo.conf(5)
     file as follows:

       Set disable_coredump false

     See the sudo.conf(5) manual for more information.


     sudo utilizes the following environment variables.  The security policy
     has control over the actual content of the command's environment.

     EDITOR           Default editor to use in -e (sudoedit) mode if neither
                  SUDO_EDITOR nor VISUAL is set.

     MAIL             Set to the mail spool of the target user when the -i
                  option is specified or when env_reset is enabled in
                  sudoers (unless MAIL is present in the env_keep list).

     HOME             Set to the home directory of the target user when the -i
                  or -H options are specified, when the -s option is
                  specified and set_home is set in sudoers, when
                  always_set_home is enabled in sudoers, or when env_reset
                  is enabled in sudoers and HOME is not present in the
                  env_keep list.

     LOGNAME          Set to the login name of the target user when the -i
                  option is specified, when the set_logname option is
                  enabled in sudoers or when the env_reset option is
                  enabled in sudoers (unless LOGNAME is present in the
                  env_keep list).

     PATH             May be overridden by the security policy.

     SHELL            Used to determine shell to run with -s option.

     SUDO_ASKPASS     Specifies the path to a helper program used to read the
                  password if no terminal is available or if the -A option
                  is specified.

     SUDO_COMMAND     Set to the command run by sudo.

     SUDO_EDITOR      Default editor to use in -e (sudoedit) mode.

     SUDO_GID         Set to the group ID of the user who invoked sudo.

     SUDO_PROMPT      Used as the default password prompt.

     SUDO_PS1         If set, PS1 will be set to its value for the program
                  being run.

     SUDO_UID         Set to the user ID of the user who invoked sudo.

     SUDO_USER        Set to the login name of the user who invoked sudo.

     USER             Set to the same value as LOGNAME, described above.

     USERNAME         Same as USER.

     VISUAL           Default editor to use in -e (sudoedit) mode if
                  SUDO_EDITOR is not set.


     /etc/sudo.conf            sudo front end configuration


     Note: the following examples assume a properly configured security

     To get a file listing of an unreadable directory:

       $ sudo ls /usr/local/protected

     To list the home directory of user yaz on a machine where the file system
     holding ~yaz is not exported as root:

       $ sudo -u yaz ls ~yaz

     To edit the index.html file as user www:

       $ sudo -u www vi ~www/htdocs/index.html

     To view system logs only accessible to root and users in the adm group:

       $ sudo -g adm view /var/log/syslog

     To run an editor as jim with a different primary group:

       $ sudo -u jim -g audio vi ~jim/sound.txt

     To shut down a machine:

       $ sudo shutdown -r +15 "quick reboot"

     To make a usage listing of the directories in the /home partition.  Note
     that this runs the commands in a sub-shell to make the cd and file
     redirection work.

       $ sudo sh -c "cd /home ; du -s * | sort -rn > USAGE"


     su(1), stat(2), passwd(5), sudo.conf(5), sudoers(5), sudo_plugin(8),
     sudoreplay(8), visudo(8)


     See the HISTORY file in the sudo distribution
     ( for a brief history of sudo.


     Many people have worked on sudo over the years; this version consists of
     code written primarily by:

       Todd C. Miller

     See the CONTRIBUTORS file in the sudo distribution
     ( for an exhaustive list of people
     who have contributed to sudo.


     There is no easy way to prevent a user from gaining a root shell if that
     user is allowed to run arbitrary commands via sudo.  Also, many programs
     (such as editors) allow the user to run commands via shell escapes, thus
     avoiding sudo's checks.  However, on most systems it is possible to
     prevent shell escapes with the sudoers(5) plugin's noexec functionality.

     It is not meaningful to run the cd command directly via sudo, e.g.,

       $ sudo cd /usr/local/protected

     since when the command exits the parent process (your shell) will still
     be the same.  Please see the EXAMPLES section for more information.

     Running shell scripts via sudo can expose the same kernel bugs that make
     setuid shell scripts unsafe on some operating systems (if your OS has a
     /dev/fd/ directory, setuid shell scripts are generally safe).


     If you feel you have found a bug in sudo, please submit a bug report at


     Limited free support is available via the sudo-users mailing list, see to subscribe or search
     the archives.


     sudo is provided "AS IS" and any express or implied warranties,
     including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability
     and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed.  See the LICENSE
     file distributed with sudo or for
     complete details.


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