Doing administration tasks without administrative privileges.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

103
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.
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, ...
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?
27
votes
3answers
51k 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. ...
26
votes
7answers
16k views

Can I create override dns similar to writing in /etc/hosts without root access

I want to set a dns record that my browser will use, but I don't have root access, so I can't modify /etc/hosts. I need to do this for testing vhosts with apache, whose dns hasn't yet been set up. I ...
24
votes
3answers
49k views

Creating an user without a password

I'm trying to create user without password like this: sudo adduser \ --system \ --shell /bin/bash \ --gecos ‘User for managing of git version control’ \ --group \ --disabled-password \ ...
22
votes
3answers
8k 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?
20
votes
2answers
31k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
9k 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 $...
15
votes
3answers
10k views

Install R in my own directory

How can I install a new version of R in my own directory, e.g., /local/data/project/behi.
15
votes
1answer
18k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
25k views

Installing a .deb package in home directory

Is it possible to install a .deb package completely under my home directory at debian?
14
votes
6answers
36k views

Allow non-superusers to mount any filesystem

Is it possible to allow some particular users (e.g. members of a group) to mount any filesystem without superuser privileges on Linux? (Another question might have been "in what ways a user can harm ...
14
votes
3answers
24k views

Read/Write to a Serial Port Without Root?

I'm writing an application to read/write to/from a serial port in Fedora14, and it works great when I run it as root. But when I run it as a normal user I'm unable to obtain the privileges required to ...
12
votes
2answers
653 views

How do I install syslinux/extlinux to a disk image file without requiring root privileges

I have built a home-grown Linux distribution, and I can make the complete disk image file as a non-root user with one exception -- installing the boot loader. I'm using syslinux (actually extlinux), ...
12
votes
2answers
18k views

How can I make this daemon/init run as a non root user?

I have an init script to kick off a daemon. The problem is it runs as root. I would like it to run as a user called "deploy". Ubuntu 12.04 #! /bin/sh # File: /etc/init.d/unicorn ### BEGIN INIT ...
10
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

How could we allow non-root users to control a system.d service?

With sysvinit, a sudoers entry like this would suffice: %webteam cms051=/sbin/service httpd * This would allow for commands such as: sudo service httpd status sudo service httpd restart Now, ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it possible to run a webdav fuse client with no root access?

I have seen examples showing how to use davfs2 under linux, but each has involved one of these things: Running mount as root Adding an entry to /etc/fstab Running mount.davfs setuid, which, alas, ...
9
votes
9answers
15k views

How to get dmidecode information without root privileges?

I'm writing a program that displays various system information (on a CentOS system). For example, the processor type and speed (from /proc/cpuinfo), the last boot time (calculated from /proc/uptime), ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

Do I need root (admin) permissions to run userspace 'perf' tool? (perf events are enabled in Linux kernel)

Do I need to have to run perf userspace tool as system administrator (root), or can I run it (or at least some subcommands) as an ordinary user?
8
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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)?
7
votes
2answers
185 views

Does managing cgroups require root access?

I am trying to work with control groups on two different operating systems (Ubuntu and CentoOS). There are few concerns that I would like to ask. I am trying to create a control group using the ...
6
votes
4answers
691 views

Listing all devices as non-superuser

I'm trying to mount external hard drive. As I know, to mount manually, I should use fdisk -l to determine which device refers to the drive. When I'm doing so without sudo I have next output: user@...
6
votes
6answers
7k views

Install virtual machine as non-root?

Is it possible to install any virtual machine software as non-root user and run it ? Which VM's are possible to be installed with out need of root access ? If it is not possible what would be the ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Where are userspace programs supposed to save their logs?

I am writing a script that I want to run without privileges. I want the errors that the script encounters to be logged to some log file. I do not not have privileges to write one to /var/log. And I do ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

update-alternatives just for one user

I'm using a shared server. On that server different versions of Java are installed: Selection Path Priority Status ----------------------------------------...
6
votes
1answer
651 views

No password to run command as root for fixed command? [duplicate]

Is it possible to define a rule in sudoers to allow one user to run one well defined command as root, without password or other authentication except being the right user? Are there alternatives to ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
351 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Logged on via ssh-key, can I reset my account password?

I am logged in on a server via sshkey (ssh -i /home/me/.ssh/ssh-key me@server). I got sudo rights on that server from the admin, but I can't exercise them, since I forgot my actual Unix password (or ...
6
votes
3answers
579 views

How can I build and install PL/R as a non-privileged user?

There is a postgres instance, and I have the ability to build my own instance. Using these instructions I ran: USE_PGXS=1 make which worked but then USE_PGXS=1 make install did not, with this ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

How do I allow non-root users to control a systemd service with instances?

I need to allow users in the dba group to control the database@ services. The answer to this related question is to just list all systemctl "verbs" that I want to allow in the sudoers file, however, ...
5
votes
4answers
681 views

Can I have my own version control system?

In the linux/unix machine I am using, I am just a normal user. However, I want a version control system to manage my files to prevent accidental delete/rename/lost/modification. Obviously I don't have ...
5
votes
2answers
10k views

How to change the user timezone?

I know that (for example in Debian) one could use dpkg-reconfigure tzdata to change the timezone of the system but I am wondering how one could change the user timezone (if Linux/Unix supports such an ...
5
votes
3answers
60k views

How to properly configure sudoers file, on debian wheezy?

I have seen many blog posts that say, it is enough to do aptitude install sudo su root adduser USERNAME sudo But that only protects aptitude, in other words: aptitude install sendmail will ask ...
5
votes
3answers
408 views

Preventing binary planting attacks in Linux

If a user account on a Linux machine is compromised, clearly, all files owned by that user are compromised. Unfortunately, if the compromised user also has sudo privileges, it seems that binary ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Admin user not showing directory path in console prompt, only $

I have an Ubuntu server that I administer through ssh. When I login as root I get a full path in the prompt, like /var/www. I created a user with sudo privileges for the purpose of administration. ...
5
votes
1answer
951 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

Don't require root to add printers

When a user wants to add a new printer it's asking for a root password. I have an LTSP environment and the system is asking for a root password all the time; it's not asking even for a sudo'ed user's ...
5
votes
1answer
315 views

How can a poor old non-root user get the core dumps systemd ate?

As we know, with systemd, core dumps don't just get written to the current directory but to some obscure journal. Now, I'm a poor old non-root user on some machine, and - I want my core dumps! I can't ...
5
votes
1answer
267 views

suid-root doesn't have effect

A program from apue. #include "apue.h" #include <fcntl.h> int main(int argc, char *argv[]) { if(argc!=2) err_quit("usage: a.out <pathname>"); if(access(argv[1], R_OK)<...