Doing administration tasks without administrative privileges.

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5
votes
2answers
322 views

What is an effective method for installing up-to-date software on an out-dated production machine?

Apologies if this has been asked already, but I'm such a beginner, I'm not even able phrase a search query for this. Background My company uses a small out-dated cluster (CentOS 5.4) to do number ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Alternative to iotop for non-root user without sudo privileges

I'm looking for an alternative to iotop. Here's my situation: I want to find out if a program is accessing the hard drive a lot while running. iotop requires root/sudo privileges. My account is on ...
5
votes
2answers
498 views

manage unix user settings across multiple machines

I have many different linux machines with similar "profiles". I want to keep my settings in sync. e.g vimrc, zshrc,. I have the problem that they are various distributions of Linux with various setups ...
4
votes
6answers
614 views

Use a shell not installed on remote machine

Given the scenario: Remote machine: SSH server; user does not have admin privileges; Local machine: SSH client; user has admin privileges. If user, logging in to remote from local, wishes to ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Shutting down from X without a desktop environment

I have recently given up my Desktop Environment and am now only using a Window Manager (i3) and X. It all works very well and I do not miss much. Except for one thing: the shutdown button. I can now ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Unable to mount NTFS partition from user account

I'm trying to mount a Windows ntfs partition on openSuse 11.4. When I mount it using the root account (either directly or via sudo) it mounts without problems. But when I try mounting it without any ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it possible to have X parse a per-user configuration file?

I am thinking that many of the options that one has to write in the traditional system Xorg.conf file, have to do with user preferences and thus should not IMHO be set by system administrators. In ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I configure `anybody` to run X in a one-liner?

The common solution posted is to run sudo dpkg-reconfigure x11-common which gives a graphical prompt, however, I'm wanting to use this non-interactively. Scenario is that I'm SSH'd into a machine as ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

How to execute as the logged-in user in a sudo script (OSX)?

Is there a way to switch contexts like that? The script in my specific case is an installer postinstall script, which requires sudo privileges only for some of the tasks and requires the logged-in ...
4
votes
1answer
395 views

Change owner of own directory

I am fully aware that a non-root user cannot change the owner of a folder to another user even if the user owns it unless they use sudo or have the CAP_CHOWN capability. Is there a way to grant a ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a linux vfs tool that allows bind a directory in different location (like mount --bind) in user space?

For a user process, I want to mount a directory in other location but in user space without root privilieges. Something like mount --bind /origin /dest, but with a vfs wrapper. Like a usermode ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to use libraries installed by nix at run-time?

I'm using nix in "single-user mode" in a system where I'm not the root (see below for a description of my nix setup). I wanted to quickly run one of my binaries which is dynamically linked with a ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

Package management without the need of root permission

Am looking for a way to install packages in home folder. This thread suggests using apt-get source ./configure --prefix=$HOME However, it doesn't provide a way to manage dependencies like apt-get ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Using startx on Fedora 17, a non-root user cannot join new wireless networks — how to fix?

I have Fedora 17 installed on a Lenovo X230, and if I leave it configured to boot into Gnome using systemd's runlevel5.target (or graphical.target), which is the default, networking seems to work just ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

umount an external ntfs drive as non-root

I have ntfs-3g installed, and use this udev rule to auto mount external drives automatically. When I try umount it as non-root, it says: umount: /media/umm is not in the fstab (and you are not root) ...
4
votes
2answers
716 views

Installing gcc without root?

I'm running OSX, and I don't have root, or an existing compiler. Is there any way I can install gcc? Are there official or trusted unofficial mach-o binaries that can be downloaded for a certain ...
4
votes
1answer
414 views

Completely disable GNOME for my user in Ubuntu

At the office we've been issued laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed. Unity is of course the OS default, but KDE is available. I prefer KDE and so have set KDM and KDE as my defaults. However some GNOME ...
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.
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Allow paswordless user to change to another passwordless user

I have two users dev and tomcat neither of them have a password. How can I allow dev 1 do su - tomcat without having him having to enter any credentials? 1 connects with ssh keyfile
3
votes
1answer
421 views

Route incoming network requests for a given port to different applications

I have an application that listens for connections on a port, but I occasionally take it down for updates and the like. I'd like a way to configure the system such that if that program is running, ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

How do I set up busybox to allow a non-root user to set the date?

I have an embedded system built with busy box. I allow a user named "app" to download a program/script to a directory and it will be run on boot. The program should be allowed to set the date. It ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How to determine if X server runs with root privileges

This is a one-liner: Is there a way/command to check if the X server is run as root or as user? This was supposed to be a one-liner but alas... I recently upgraded my Arch Linux box. After the ...
3
votes
1answer
488 views

How do I get tcpsvd to drop its root privileges?

Assume a script runs on boot as root. From this script I want to start tcpsvd -E 0 515 lpd. I want tcpsvd to run as an unprivileged user. But it requires root privileges to bind to the port 515. How ...
3
votes
2answers
538 views

How to open a program as another user inside a logged display?

I'm trying to open netbeans as a different user, but isn't working. I'm running a Kubuntu 12.04 LTS with KDE. And I tried the following: Open a terminal, type su - myotheruser, type the myotheruser ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

I shouldn't use root on my new ubuntu cloud instance, right?

I am playing with ubuntu on my new Rackspace cloud instance. However, the information they give me is for root access -- that doesn't seem like a best practice for doing development on this thing. ...
3
votes
1answer
22 views

Can custom locale spec live under ~/?

I understand that one can put custom locale specs under a system-wide directory (e.g. /usr/share/i18n/locales), but is there a way to configure one's locale to use a spec that lives under ~/? ...
3
votes
1answer
187 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
47 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
2answers
303 views

Securely allowing users to create accounts

1) I'm struggling to find a secure way to allow new users to create accounts without granting them admin rights to do so. If you already have an account on my system and can work UNIX command line, ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

'Distribution' to install in home directory (on older Linux) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Non-Root Package Managers I'm stuck with a pretty old Linux distribution at work (Centos 5.4 from the end of 2009), and also don't have root access. If I want to use ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Disable Address space layout randomization (ASLR) for my processes

I want to run some programs in Linux where I want to disable Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR). I know to disable it at system level, which is by setting /proc/sys/kernel/randomize_va_space to ...
3
votes
2answers
48 views

Bash completion for user without access to /etc

I'm using a Chromebook (with a developer mode enabled), and as someone of you may know, there is no write access to the system directories (including /etc/). I'd like to enable the bash-completion ...
3
votes
1answer
57 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
3answers
3k views

Encrypting loopback images without using a loopback device

I'm trying to design a firmware update system for an embedded Linux system. My plan is to send an image that can be mounted on the target system, so I don't need to unpack the entire file. I also want ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

How can a user restrict their own group rights without being root?

How can I change my user rights from rwx to r-x at the group level? I'm trying to ensure that I cannot touch any data belonging to other users when I am developing and debugging my scripts. Once I've ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Installation on debian 5 32-bit without being a root

I am new to Linux and I am trying to install Skype and Google Chrome on my desktop. It runs Debian 5 32-bit. I downloaded the packages from the web but I have no idea how to install them. I have ...
3
votes
1answer
458 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 ...
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
1answer
880 views

Installing Chrome on 64bit Gentoo without Superuser Access

For a bit of background, I am trying to install Chrome (or Chromium) on to a gentoo user account at my university. We are allowed to install software as we like, however we lack superuser access ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

How to get number of opened file descriptors for user

I know about lsof and ls /proc/*/fd but none of them are atomic AFAIK. Because in the latter case I would need to get all pids for user and then filter by them and by that time some of the file ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Mount a windows share without having root credentials

I am trying to mount a Windows shared folder in my home folder. I am able to execute the following command from a Linux (i.e., CentOS) machine which I have sudo access. The command that I am using ...
3
votes
1answer
537 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
272 views

Fedora16, ekiga just works in superuser mode

I've got a fedora16 running and I'd like to use ekiga as a softphone. Now I'm running into some problems. Starting ekiga as a normal user gives me could not register (globally not acceptable) ...
2
votes
1answer
363 views

Compile a program without sudo access

I am connected to a linux system with SSH in my college. I found that ctorrent is a console alternative of bitorrent. I have downloaded the tar.gz source but to compile/install it needs sudo access ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Unpack, modify and pack initrd as a user

I've got a problem with rebuilding the initrd image as a user. Firstly, when I try to "unpack" the original initrd image: cpio -idm < initrd-base cpio: dev/tty8: Cannot mknod: Operation not ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I restart apache as non-root (using a git-hook)?

For one specific user I want to be able to restart Apache. This user does have sudo privileges and I could run sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 reload, but I want to include this restart script in a git ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

Let users create their own daemons

How do I let server's users create their own daemons? They should auto-start on boot and otherwise behave just like regular daemons but with lower privileges overall. I remember I saw a tool that ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to achieve the effect of chroot in userspace in Linux (without being root)?

The goal is to install and run programs in a displaced (relocated) distro (whose / must not coincide with the global /) inside a host Linux system. The programs are not adapted for using a different / ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

dhclient for normal (non-root) users

Calling dhclient as root works beautifully on my debian machine. However, I would like to allow some users to execute dhclient, too. So far, I have tried these two examples: Example 1: When a normal ...