Doing administration tasks without administrative privileges.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

73
votes
6answers
29k 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.
36
votes
8answers
8k 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, ...
31
votes
3answers
23k 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?
24
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
6k 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?
18
votes
3answers
31k 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. ...
17
votes
2answers
22k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
5k 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
1answer
15k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
393 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
3answers
18k views

Installing a .deb package in home directory

Is it possible to install a .deb package completely under my home directory at debian?
10
votes
3answers
27k 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 \ ...
10
votes
3answers
16k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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
5answers
19k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k 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.
8
votes
1answer
11k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
3k 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?
7
votes
4answers
7k 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
2answers
7k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
486 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: ...
6
votes
6answers
5k 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
7answers
11k 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), ...
6
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
757 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
954 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)?
6
votes
1answer
293 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
2k 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
488 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
598 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
3answers
346 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
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
483 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 ...
5
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
256 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], ...
5
votes
2answers
286 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
2answers
795 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
878 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
42k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
755 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
832 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
319 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
2answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
892 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 ...