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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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9.2.4 Working more safely – sudo

My usage of sudo is mostly a protection from my own stupidity. Personally, I consider using sudo a better alternative to always using the system as root.

Install sudo and activate it by setting options in /etc/sudoers. Also check out the sudo group feature in /usr/share/doc/sudo/OPTIONS.

The sample configuration provides "staff" group members access to any commands run as root under sudo and also gives "src" members access to selected commands run as root under sudo.

The advantage of sudo is that it only requires an ordinary user's password to log in, and activity is monitored. This is a nice way to give some authority to a junior administrator. For example:

     $ sudo chown -R myself:mygrp .

Of course if you know the root password (as most home users do), any command can be run under root from a user account:

     $ su -c "shutdown -h now"
     Password:

(I know I should tighten the admin account's sudo privileges. But since this is my home server, I have not bothered yet.)

For a different program that allows ordinary users to run commands with root privileges, see the super package.


Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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