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SUDO(8)                                     MAINTENANCE COMMANDS                                     SUDO(8)



NAME
       sudo - execute a command as another user

SYNOPSIS
       sudo -h | -K | -k | -L | -V

       sudo -v [-AknS] [-g group name|#gid] [-p prompt] [-u username|#uid]

       sudo -l[l] [-AknS] [-g group name|#gid] [-p prompt] [-U user name] [-u user name|#uid] [command]

       sudo [-AbEHnPS] [-C fd] [-g group name|#gid] [-p prompt] [-u user name|#uid] [VAR=value] [-i | -s]
       [command]

       sudoedit [-AnS] [-C fd] [-g group name|#gid] [-p prompt] [-u user name|#uid] file ...

DESCRIPTION
       sudo allows a permitted user to execute a command as the superuser or another user, as specified in
       the sudoers file.  The real and effective uid and gid are set to match those of the target user as
       specified in the passwd file and the group vector is initialized based on the group file (unless the
       -P option was specified).  If the invoking user is root or if the target user is the same as the
       invoking user, no password is required.  Otherwise, sudo requires that users authenticate themselves
       with a password by default (NOTE: in the default configuration this is the user's password, not the
       root password).  Once a user has been authenticated, a time stamp is updated and the user may then
       use sudo without a password for a short period of time (5 minutes unless overridden in sudoers).

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

       sudo determines who is an authorized user by consulting the file /etc/sudoers.  By running sudo with
       the -v option, a user can update the time stamp without running a command.  If a password is
       required, sudo will exit if the user's password is not entered within a configurable time limit.  The
       default password prompt timeout is 5 minutes.

       If a user who is not listed in the sudoers file tries to run a command via sudo, mail is sent to the
       proper authorities, as defined at configure time or in the sudoers file (defaults to root).  Note
       that the mail will not be sent if an unauthorized user tries to run sudo with the -l or -v option.
       This allows users to determine for themselves whether or not they are allowed to use sudo.

       If sudo is run by root and the SUDO_USER environment variable is set, sudo will use this value to
       determine who the actual user is.  This can be used by a user to log commands through sudo even when
       a root shell has been invoked.  It also allows the -e option to remain useful even when being run via
       a sudo-run script or program.  Note however, that the sudoers lookup is still done for root, not the
       user specified by SUDO_USER.

       sudo can log both successful and unsuccessful attempts (as well as errors) to syslog(3), a log file,
       or both.  By default sudo will log via syslog(3) but this is changeable at configure time or via the
       sudoers file.

OPTIONS
       sudo accepts the following command line options:

       -A          Normally, if sudo requires a password, it will read it from the current 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, the value specified by the askpass option in sudoers(5) is used.

       -b          The -b (background) option tells sudo to run the given command in the background.  Note
                   that if you use the -b option you cannot use shell job control to manipulate the process.

       -C fd       Normally, sudo will close all open file descriptors other than standard input, standard
                   output and standard error.  The -C (close from) option allows the user to specify a
                   starting point above the standard error (file descriptor three).  Values less than three
                   are not permitted.  This option is only available if the administrator has enabled the
                   closefrom_override option in sudoers(5).

       -E          The -E (preserve environment) option will override the env_reset option in sudoers(5)).
                   It is only available when either the matching command has the SETENV tag or the setenv
                   option is set in sudoers(5).

       -e          The -e (edit) option indicates that, instead of running a command, the user wishes to
                   edit one or more files.  In lieu of a command, the string "sudoedit" is used when
                   consulting the sudoers file.  If the user is authorized by sudoers 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 SUDO_EDITOR, VISUAL or EDITOR environment variables is
                       run to edit the temporary files.  If none of SUDO_EDITOR, VISUAL or EDITOR are set,
                       the first program listed in the editor sudoers variable is used.

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

                   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    Normally, sudo sets the primary group to the one specified by the passwd database for the
                   user the command is being run as (by default, root).  The -g (group) option causes sudo
                   to run the specified command with the primary group set to group.  To specify a gid
                   instead of a group name, use #gid.  When running commands 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 (not root).  In either case, the primary group
                   will be set to group.

       -H          The -H (HOME) option sets the HOME environment variable to the homedir of the target user
                   (root by default) as specified in passwd(5).  The default handling of the HOME
                   environment variable depends on sudoers(5) settings.  By default, sudo will set HOME if
                   env_reset or always_set_home are set, or if set_home is set and the -s option is
                   specified on the command line.

       -h          The -h (help) option causes sudo to print a usage message and exit.

       -i [command]
                   The -i (simulate initial login) option runs the shell specified in the passwd(5) entry of
                   the target user 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.  Otherwise, an interactive shell is executed.  sudo attempts to
                   change to that user's home directory before running the shell.  It also initializes the
                   environment, leaving DISPLAY and TERM unchanged, setting HOME, MAIL, SHELL, USER,
                   LOGNAME, and PATH, as well as the contents of /etc/environment on Linux and AIX systems.
                   All other environment variables are removed.

       -K          The -K (sure kill) option is like -k except that it removes the user's time stamp
                   entirely and may not be used in conjunction with a command or other option.  This option
                   does not require a password.

       -k          When used by itself, the -k (kill) option to sudo invalidates the user's time stamp by
                   setting the time on it to the Epoch.  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, the -k
                   option will cause sudo to ignore the user's time stamp file.  As a result, sudo will
                   prompt for a password (if one is required by sudoers) and will not update the user's time
                   stamp file.

       -L          The -L (list defaults) option will list the parameters that may be set in a Defaults line
                   along with a short description for each.  This option will be removed from a future
                   version of sudo.

       -l[l] [command]
                   If no command is specified, the -l (list) option will list the allowed (and forbidden)
                   commands for the invoking user (or the user specified by the -U option) on the current
                   host.  If a command is specified and is permitted by sudoers, 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.  If the -l option is specified
                   with an l argument (i.e. -ll), or if -l is specified multiple times, a longer list format
                   is used.

       -n          The -n (non-interactive) option prevents sudo from prompting the user for a password.  If
                   a password is required for the command to run, sudo will display an error messages and
                   exit.

       -P          The -P (preserve group vector) option causes sudo to preserve the invoking user's group
                   vector unaltered.  By default, sudo will initialize the group vector to the list of
                   groups the target user is in.  The real and effective group IDs, however, are still set
                   to match the target user.

       -p prompt   The -p (prompt) option allows you to override the default password prompt and use a
                   custom one.  The following percent (`%') escapes are supported:

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

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

                   %p  expanded to the user whose password is being asked for (respects the rootpw, targetpw
                       and runaspw flags in sudoers)

                   %U  expanded to the login name of the user the command will be run as (defaults to root)

                   %u  expanded to the invoking user's login name

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

                   The prompt specified by the -p option will override the system password prompt on systems
                   that support PAM unless the passprompt_override flag is disabled in sudoers.

       -S          The -S (stdin) option causes sudo to read the password from the standard input instead of
                   the terminal device.  The password must be followed by a newline character.

       -s [command]
                   The -s (shell) option runs the shell specified by the SHELL environment variable if it is
                   set or the shell as specified in passwd(5).  If a command is specified, it is passed to
                   the shell for execution.  Otherwise, an interactive shell is executed.

       -U user     The -U (other user) option is used in conjunction with the -l option to specify the user
                   whose privileges should be listed.  Only root or a user with sudo ALL on the current host
                   may use this option.

       -u user     The -u (user) option causes sudo to run the specified command as a user other than root.
                   To specify a uid instead of a user name, use #uid.  When running commands as a uid, many
                   shells require that the '#' be escaped with a backslash ('\').  Note that if the targetpw
                   Defaults option is set (see sudoers(5)) it is not possible to run commands with a uid not
                   listed in the password database.

       -V          The -V (version) option causes sudo to print the version number and exit.  If the
                   invoking user is already root the -V option will print out a list of the defaults sudo
                   was compiled with as well as the machine's local network addresses.

       -v          If given the -v (validate) option, sudo will update the user's time stamp, prompting for
                   the user's password if necessary.  This extends the sudo timeout for another 5 minutes
                   (or whatever the timeout is set to in sudoers) but does not run a command.

       --          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 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 overwise be forbidden.  See sudoers(5) for more
       information.

RETURN VALUES
       Upon successful execution of a program, the exit status from sudo will simply be the exit status of
       the program that was executed.

       Otherwise, sudo quits with an exit 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 stderr.  If
       sudo cannot stat(2) one or more entries in the user's PATH an error is printed on stderr.  (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.

SECURITY NOTES
       sudo tries to be safe when executing external commands.

       There are two distinct ways to deal with environment variables.  By default, the env_reset sudoers
       option is enabled.  This causes commands to be executed with a minimal environment containing TERM,
       PATH, HOME, SHELL, LOGNAME, USER and USERNAME in addition to variables from the invoking process
       permitted by the env_check and env_keep sudoers options.  There is effectively a whitelist for
       environment variables.

       If, however, the env_reset option is disabled in sudoers, any variables not explicitly denied by the
       env_check and env_delete options are inherited from the invoking process.  In this case, env_check
       and env_delete behave like a blacklist.  Since it is not possible to blacklist all potentially
       dangerous environment variables, use of the default env_reset behavior is encouraged.

       In all cases, environment variables with a value beginning with () are removed as they could be
       interpreted as bash functions.  The list of environment variables that sudo allows or denies is
       contained in the output of sudo -V when run as root.  This list reflects the built-in defaults, which
       may be overridden in sudoers.

       On Mac OS X, sudoers has been configured to only whitelist a small set of environment variables by
       default.  See the sudoers file for more information.

       Note that the dynamic linker on most operating systems will remove variables that can control dynamic
       linking from the environment of setuid executables, including sudo.  Depending on the operating
       system this may include _RLD*, DYLD_*, LD_*, LDR_*, LIBPATH, SHLIB_PATH, and others.  These type of
       variables are removed from the environment before sudo even begins execution and, as such, it is not
       possible for sudo to preserve them.

       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.

       sudo will check the ownership of its time stamp directory (/var/db/sudo by default) and ignore the
       directory's contents if it is not owned by root or if it is writable by a user other than root.  On
       systems that allow non-root users to give away files via chown(2), if the time stamp directory is
       located in a directory writable by anyone (e.g., /tmp), it is possible for a user to create the time
       stamp directory before sudo is run.  However, because sudo checks the ownership and mode of the
       directory and its contents, the only damage that can be done is to "hide" files by putting them in
       the time stamp dir.  This is unlikely to happen since once the time stamp dir is owned by root and
       inaccessible by any other user, the user placing files there would be unable to get them back out.
       To get around this issue you can use a directory that is not world-writable for the time stamps
       (/var/adm/sudo for instance) or create /var/db/sudo with the appropriate owner (root) and permissions
       (0700) in the system startup files.

       sudo will not honor time stamps set far in the future.  Timestamps with a date greater than
       current_time + 2 * TIMEOUT will be ignored and sudo will log and complain.  This is done to keep a
       user from creating his/her own time stamp with a bogus date on systems that allow users to give away
       files.

       On systems where the boot time is available, sudo will also not honor time stamps from before the
       machine booted.

       Since time stamp files live in the file system, they can outlive a user's login session.  As a
       result, a user may be able to login, run a command with sudo after authenticating, logout, login
       again, and run sudo without authenticating so long as the time stamp file's modification time is
       within 5 minutes (or whatever the timeout is set to in sudoers).  When the tty_tickets option is
       enabled in sudoers, the time stamp has per-tty granularity but still may outlive the user's session.
       On Linux systems where the devpts filesystem is used, Solaris systems with the devices filesystem, as
       well as other systems that utilize a devfs filesystem that monotonically increase the inode number of
       devices as they are created (such as Mac OS X), sudo is able to determine when a tty-based time stamp
       file is stale and will ignore it.  Administrators should not rely on this feature as it is not
       universally available.

       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 will not be logged, nor
       will sudo's access control affect them.  The same is true for commands that offer shell escapes
       (including most editors).  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 sudoers(5).

ENVIRONMENT
       sudo utilizes the following environment variables:

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

       MAIL            In -i mode or when env_reset is enabled in sudoers, set to the mail spool of the
                       target user

       HOME            Set to the home directory of the target user if -i or -H are specified, env_reset or
                       always_set_home are set in sudoers, or when the -s option is specified and set_home
                       is set in sudoers

       PATH            Set to a sane value if the secure_path sudoers option is set.

       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 of the user who invoked sudo

       USER            Set to the target user (root unless the -u option is specified)

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

FILES
       /etc/sudoers            List of who can run what

       /var/db/sudo            Directory containing time stamps

       /etc/environment        Initial environment for -i mode on Linux and AIX

EXAMPLES
       Note: the following examples assume suitable sudoers(5) entries.

       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 shutdown 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"

SEE ALSO
       grep(1), su(1), stat(2), passwd(5), sudoers(5), visudo(8)

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

               Todd C. Miller

       See the HISTORY file in the sudo distribution or visit http://www.sudo.ws/sudo/history.html for a
       short history of sudo.

CAVEATS
       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 sudo's noexec functionality.  See the sudoers(5) manual for details.

       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.

       If users have sudo ALL there is nothing to prevent them from creating their own program that gives
       them a root shell regardless of any '!' elements in the user specification.

       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).

BUGS
       If you feel you have found a bug in sudo, please submit a bug report at http://www.sudo.ws/sudo/bugs/

SUPPORT
       Limited free support is available via the sudo-users mailing list, see
       http://www.sudo.ws/mailman/listinfo/sudo-users to subscribe or search the archives.

DISCLAIMER
       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 http://www.sudo.ws/sudo/license.html for complete details.



1.7.4                                           July 19, 2010                                        SUDO(8)

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