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I've gone through the Google searches, but the results always have an extra clue that I'm not seeing. The error:

[testuser@testhost] $ sudo -ll
sudo: no valid sudoers sources found, quitting
sudo: unable to initialize policy plugin

That's it. No parse errors in /etc/sudoers, nothing.

  • /etc/sudoers is owned by root:root and has 0440 permissions.
  • I ran visudo to uncomment the included %wheel group privilege.
  • My test user is a member of wheel.
  • I've even removed and reinstalled sudo-1.8.6p3-7.el6.x86_64 on this RHEL 6.4 test VM.

What else can I look at?

Answers to questions:

  • The VM I'm testing on is secure; I can't copy/paste to an outside site. (I'm asking this question from a different host outside the firewall.) stat /etc/sudoers shows a regular file of size 4000 and access 0440. The contents of the file are default (via the remove and reinstall) with the exception of the %wheel group being uncommented.
  • ls -ld /etc/sudo* shows
    • /etc/sudo.conf (0640, root:root)
    • /etc/sudoers (0440, root:root)
    • /etc/sudoers.d (0750, root:root, empty directory)
    • /etc/sudo-ldap.conf (0640, root:root)

The overall goal is privileges via ldap, which I've done before successfully.


[CORRECTION: The uncommented %wheel group is not password-free. The test user must enter a password for wheel privileges.]

[UPDATE 1011h: Modifying /etc/sudo-ldap.conf with the correct sudoers_base got me access to the LDAP database (anonymous bind during testing) and a successful result to sudo -ll. That's a workaround for me, but doesn't solve the initial problem of whatever is preventing sudoers from working locally.]

share|improve this question
What is the output of stat /etc/sudoers, and cat /etc/sudoers? – Chris Down Mar 25 '13 at 16:18
Is sudoers.d directory also owned by root:root? Just covering all bases first. – darnir Mar 25 '13 at 16:20
What do you have for sudoers: in /etc/nsswitch.conf? – Patrick Mar 25 '13 at 23:15
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Modifying /etc/sudo-ldap.conf with correct information got me a good result to sudo -ll for my test user. I count that is a workaround, though. It doesn't solve the problem of why sudo won't work with solely local information.

share|improve this answer
As an idea, you might check nsswitch.conf to see if "files" is one of the configured sources for sudo. – Bratchley Mar 25 '13 at 17:27
The sudoers setting in nsswitch.conf is "files ldap." Once I'm done proving LDAP's utility to my bosses, I'll switch those on all clients.... ;-) – dafydd Apr 1 '13 at 3:51

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