Doing administration tasks without administrative privileges.

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26
votes
7answers
4k 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, ...
21
votes
3answers
11k 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?
46
votes
6answers
15k 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.
8
votes
2answers
13k views

How to install program locally without sudo privileges?

Assume I have ssh access to some Ubuntu server as user and I need some not system tools to be installed for convenience (mc, rtorrent, mcedit). I do not want to bother admins for these small programs. ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Where should a local executable be placed?

I have an executable for the perforce version control client (p4). I can't place it in /opt/local because I don't have root privileges. Is there a standard location where it needs to be placed under ...
12
votes
2answers
12k views

How to create a user with limited RAM usage?

So I have 4 GB RAM + 4GB swap. I want to create a user with limited ram and swap: 3 GB RAM and 1 GB swap. Is such thing possible? Is it possible to start applications with limited RAM and swap ...
7
votes
1answer
483 views

How to autostart a background program by a non-root user?

As a non-root user, I want to run a background job when the system boots. It's sort of a service which doesn't require root privilege. Is there a way to do it? One way is to put sudo -u user command ...
11
votes
1answer
11k views

Installing Chrome on Linux without needing to be root

How can I install Chrome on Linux without needing to log in as root? Note that I want to use Chrome, not Chromium. If I go to the official download page, I get the choice between: Please select ...
9
votes
3answers
10k views

Installing a .deb package in home directory

Is it possible to install a .deb package completely under my home directory at debian?
5
votes
2answers
231 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
883 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Samba mount with password prompt as non-root user

I want to mount a password-protected SMB share (served by a Windows machine). The share is protected by a user name and password, and I may not write the password in a file, I want to be prompted for ...
2
votes
1answer
725 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 / ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

How to “jail” a process without being root?

Were I root, I could simply create a dummy user/group, set file permissions accordingly and execute the process as that user. However I am not, so is there any way to achieve this without being root?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Installing a package locally to a user - best practices?

I want to install Git locally to a user on a RHEL server (I don't have root access) What would be your cleanest/ most organized way of installing software to a local user account? Installing ...
6
votes
1answer
230 views

How do DE's call ACPI functions?

Okay, first off, this is not a problem I am facing, but I would like to understand this better. If I wish to shutdown / reboot my machine from the command line I need to call: $ sudo poweroff $ sudo ...
5
votes
1answer
546 views

Installing Gentoo packages as an ordinary user (non-root)

Is it possible to install Gentoo packages (ebuild-enabled programs, programs with support for portage) as an ordinary user (non-root) to one's own home directory (--prefix=$HOME or sth. like that)?
5
votes
2answers
292 views

How can I allow a user to prioritize a process to negative niceness?

I want a user to run a specific process on the system with a negative nice value. I can't simply fork the process to background as this specific program is a minecraft server and I rely on the command ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Allow a user to view the home directory of other users via sudo

I am new to system administration. We have a lab set up where we have a server and client machines. The client machines have LDAP users which has the work area for all the users in the centralized ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Installing software as user

I need to install some software as user on a machine where I don't have root access. So far I've been using gentoo-prefix, but ain't really fine with it: I need GCC 4.6 and gentoo only ships 4.5, I ...