SUDO Examples

11 May, 2005 at 15:25 Leave a comment


You use “visudo” to edit the sudoers file. There are two reasons for that- it prevents two users from editing the file at the same time, and it also provides limited syntax checking. Even if you are the only root user, you need the syntax checking, so use “visudo”.

We’re going to start with the simplest setup of all: giving someone full root access. You might think there’s no reason to do this- it would make more sense just to give them the root password, wouldn’t it? Well, maybe, but then they can login as root also- with sudo they will have to use the sudo command and we can require a password that IS NOT root’s password. Sudo commands can be logged, so we can keep track of what the person did. We can turn their sudo capability on or off at will without affecting other sudo users- no need to change the root password back and forth. This is a great way to keep track of consultants and other support people who may need root power, but you want to keep tabs on what they do. Of course there’s a strong implication of honesty here- such a user could edit the sudo logs to hide any mischief.

So, here’s a simple /etc/sudoers file (remember, edit with “visudo”) to give “jim” access to root commands.

# sudoers file.
# This file MUST be edited with the 'visudo' command as root.

# User privilege specification
root    ALL=(ALL) ALL
jim     ALL=(ALL)       ALL

That’s it. With this in place, “jim” can use sudo to run any command with root privileges.


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