Doing administration tasks without administrative privileges.

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102
votes
6answers
42k views

Can I create a user-specific hosts file to complement /etc/hosts?

Is it possible to add a list of hosts that are only specific to a certain user? Perhaps a user-specific hosts file? This mechanism should also complement the entries in the /etc/hosts file.
5
votes
1answer
929 views

Why doesn't my systemd user unit start at boot?

I'm trying to create a systemd user unit and have it start when the system boots. The service does start manually, however it does not start at boot. From searching the Internet I learned that in ...
1
vote
2answers
360 views

Cannot access the hardware clock as a non-root user

I try to use the hwclock but I get this output: [arkadi@arkadi-linux /home/arkadi $]hwclock hwclock: Cannot access the Hardware Clock via any known method. hwclock: Use the --debug option to see the ...
4
votes
2answers
111 views

What programs can I *not* install when I have a standard account?

I'm an undergrad in the astrophysics department and I have access to the Red Hat Linux computers, but only from an undergrad account I tried installing matplotlib once, but it was a massive pain (and ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Can I allow a non-root user to log in when /etc/nologin exists?

Suppose a non-root user with sudo privileges executes a delayed shutdown (shutdown +10 or whatever) and logs out. Then, before the shutdown occurs, he wants to log back in and cancel the shutdown. The ...
41
votes
3answers
33k views

Why can't a normal user `chown` a file?

Why is the chown command root-only? Why can't non-root users use chown to give away files they own?
42
votes
10answers
11k views

Non-Root Package Managers

From my research, I seem to notice that all package managers insist on being used as a privileged user and must be installed into /. Typically, what I like to do is create a throwaway account, ...
0
votes
0answers
204 views

Mounting an FTP drive without curlftpfs

I need to access the FTP drive of a client, of a server to which I do not have SSH access, and since my laptop is being repaired I'm working on a computer that I don't have root rights of. Curlftpfs ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

How to change the host file after login

Was wondering whether in a Nix environment I can change the content of the host file, mainly to prevent one or two site being accessed from that particular user, and only for his account (not with ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Use XFCE4 Whisker Menu without root privileges

We have XFCE 4.10 on our workstations. I don't really like the built-in menu so I'd like to install the Whisker Menu. I don't have any root privileges, though. I tried building the plugin and ...
1
vote
1answer
174 views

“No more PTYs” when starting screen as non root-user

Whenever I try to start a screen-session as a non-root-user I get "No more PTYs." as a response. Same command in the same directory as root works properly. I tried the solution from this post but it ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

directory size in conky

Conky is a system monitor software. I want to display the directory size of /usr and /var. Unfortunately I did not found any conky command so i made my own. /usr $alignr${exec du -sch /usr | head -n1 ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

mount through fuseiso9660 appending ;1 to filenames

I want to mount iso9660 files without root permissions through some program and I have chosen fuseiso9660 for this purpose. But whenever I use the command fuseiso9660 /path/to/iso /mountpoint/under/...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Permanently switching to zsh in a script, without being root and without being asked for the password

Is there any way to run chsh -s /bin/zsh without being root and without being asked for the password? I want to put it into a non-interactive script that isn't called by root.
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Is an unprivileged LXC where the host user itself is mapped to 0 less secure of one where one of its subids is mapped to 0, and why?

Instead of creating "common" LXC unprivileged containers where all the users are mapped to (unprivileged) subuid/gid of my host user, I'm considering a mapping where my host user itself will be mapped ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Where can I/should I place files outside my home directory?

I'm using a Linux system on which I don't have root. My home directory is remote-mounted and backed up (and there's a quota on that filesystem). Now, I would like to work on some files on this machine ...
1
vote
1answer
209 views

Bash root to user. Best in same or separate script?

I'm working on a Linux Bash script that needs to start as root. At the end of the script, it builds a list of packages. This requires running as user. Then it will move the packages, which needs to ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Install Git offline without sudo

I have a corporate Linux server which does not have internet connection, and sudo access needs to be approved through many levels of hierachy. I've tried install git but I soon realized this needs a ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Install userspace programs on server without root access

I would like to install some programs on my work development server because it is missing some programs I need for my day to day job. I don't have root access. What I did up to now is compiling the ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Organize local builds

A common thing for people who work on machines without having root rights is to locally build your own little suit of your favorite tools. The workflow goes a little something like this: tar xvzf ...
0
votes
0answers
113 views

Installing libx11-devel from source, error in string.h

I'm running Linux version 2.6.32-504.8.1.el6.x86_64 (mockbuild@c6b9.bsys.dev.centos.org) (gcc version 4.4.7 20120313 (Red Hat 4.4.7-11) (GCC) and trying to install libX11-devel from source on a ...
3
votes
1answer
215 views

Installing Nix or Guix without root permissions?

This answer to the question Non-Root Package Managers suggests Nix as a solution. However, the installation documentation says: The script will invoke sudo to create /nix if it doesn’t already ...
0
votes
2answers
358 views

How to login as superuser\administrator in Scientific Linux 6 LiveCD?

I have a LiveCD started as a default user. How to login as root? Here it is said that there are boot parameters. How and when to set them?
0
votes
0answers
290 views

allow non-root user to run programs compiled by root in /root/bin

I just finished and installed ffmpeg installation on a centOS box via the guide made by ffmpeg themselves https://trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/CompilationGuide/Centos As it turns out, ffmpeg was installed at /...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

How do I circumvent or gain root priviliges for pacman with PyDev?

I have downloaded and forked a project that I like to tinker with in Eclipse using PyDev. However, this project makes use of the package manager pacman that installs and uninstalls packages and needs ...
2
votes
2answers
647 views

Hiding an encrypted folder in a shared system without root access (unshare -m)

I'm a graduate student trying to use a cluster at my university. These machines are shared, so I want to protect the source code I use (I signed a NDA, so I'm scared about publishing the code by ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Why don't most common Linux package managers allow package installation for normal users? [duplicate]

I tend to install quite a lot of packages with ./configure --prefix=$HOME && make && make install. Why can't I do this as easily with dpkg or yum? Or if I somehow can, what is the way ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Change password through linux PAM without running application as root

An application I'm writing will have some password change functionality. However I'm wondering if it is possible to not run the account management part of it as root. Right now I'm running into the ...
-3
votes
2answers
59 views

How can I give the user sufficient permission to access '/' directory?

How can I get the following to work? user@host:~$ cd .. user@host:/home$ cd .. user@host:/$ echo " " > txt.txt bash: txt.txt: Permission denied user@host:/$
0
votes
1answer
209 views

Run ircd-hybrid server as non-root user

I have installed ircd-hybrid on my new CentOS 7 box, and I can run it fine via my normal user, but I want to run it as its own user with reduced permissions (ie, no write access outside /etc/ircd). ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

Non-root privileged user to find all files with SUID & SGID bit…Permission Required?

I'm writing an audit script to find all files with SUID & SGID bit set on the system, using the below command: find / perm /u=s,g=s The script will run with a non-root user. Will this user be ...
8
votes
4answers
9k views

Apt-get autocompletion

I am currently running 64-bit Debian Wheezy. I am having some trouble with auto completion for apt-get. I have bash-completion installed. If I am logged in as root in a shell, I can use auto ...
1
vote
2answers
337 views

How do users mount .bin/.cue or .iso with loopback device as read only?

Can users mount any of the following image files as read-only using a loopback device? If it is possible then can anyone give me examples?
1
vote
1answer
324 views

What regulates user privileges for the `mount` command?

My installation of CentOS 6.5 has stopped auto-mounting DVDs in KDE (default) X Window desktop environment (e.g. with all the KDE helper functions). Trying to troubleshoot this unexpected change in DE ...
0
votes
1answer
177 views

create a linux user with create files and write permissions without sudo access

I want to create a user in such a way that it can create a file and update the contents of the file. useradd username Now for sudo, we can create username and linking to sudo like below: useradd ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Permissions for new user

I have created a user in my Centos VPS. But with the new user I can not create, modify files in any folder (for example /var/www/ or /etc/nginx/conf.d/), even though I have added the new user to the ...
1
vote
0answers
169 views

Unlock LUKS volume without root access - how does that work?

It seems I am trying to do the same as the user who asked this question: Unlock LUKS partition using keyfile without root access? The answer from frostschutz explains that this is impossible. I am ...
1
vote
2answers
473 views

rtmpdump compile without root, librtmp.so.1 => not found

So I have successfully compiled it to ~/.local by editing the prefix option in the makefile to prefix=~/.local the program compiles fine, and I did the same with librtmp. When running ldd on the ...
6
votes
2answers
11k views

Call sudo from Jenkins

I have one build machine which has a user abc which is has limited sudo access. When I check out the source code and run my build script, it works fine. The build script contains sudo calls for which ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Retrieve device manufacturer without sudo

I need to retrieve the manufacturer model of a linux device (laptop or desktop). I saw that you could use dmidecode | grep -A3 '^System Information' but it needs admin rights. There is any way to do ...
1
vote
4answers
55 views

Can administrating task of 'root' be divided to the several of “more powerful” users?

Unlike root (which is able to do everything) is it possible to have multiple administrators assigned to manage only part of a system? For example, one system could have 3 administrators: ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I start a 'screen' session as non-root user

Is there a way I can open a new 'screen' session on my RHEL box as a non-root user? When I try to open a new screen using the 'screen' command as a non-root user, it fails and I get the following ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

exclude commands from user's sudo permissions

Consider the following line in a /etc/sudoers file: username ALL=(ALL) ALL, !/usr/bin/passwd as far as I know, this allows user username to use sudo, unless he not uses /usr/bin/passwd. But ...
0
votes
1answer
402 views

How to run privileged bash script as non-root? [duplicate]

I created a simple bash script which contains the command ifconfig. In general I want to execute such a privileged script to run as non-root user. I have tried hown root:users ./path/to/script.sh ...
1
vote
1answer
200 views

How to run smartctl as root without switching to root?

I have this C code that runs smartctl command and takes its output: #include <iostream> #include <cstdio> #include <cstdlib> using namespace std; int main() { cout << "...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I maintain a separate (newer) glibc / gcc / … stack as non-root on Linux

Our computation cluster runs a very old version of CentOS, with an old Kernel (2.6.18) and, of course, old libs and binaries. Because updating the whole thing requires a lot of work on all the nodes, ...
3
votes
1answer
486 views

Unlock LUKS partition using keyfile without root access?

Is there any way to unlock LUKS partition using keyfile while not having root priviliges? (using sudo is not an option) I know that udisksctl can open LUKS partition, however it can do it only with a ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Bluetooth LE scan as non root?

To perform a scan for bluetooth LE devices hcitool apparently requires root privileges. For normal users the output is following: $ hcitool lescan Set scan parameters failed: Operation not permitted ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Are there any user guaranteed to exist on the system

Beside the root (which I guess IS guaranteed), is there any other username guaranteed to exist on Unix system? Linux system? Fixed UIDs for those users? If not guaraneed, are there at least any ...
3
votes
1answer
543 views

How to create rootfs for user mode Linux on Fedora 18?

I want to create a rootfs to be used with an UML kernel and be able to use the internet. I was using febootstrap with packages: bash, coreutils, net-tools, iputils. After using febootstrap-supermin-...