su is a utility to run a shell or other command as another user (root by default).

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5
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2answers
93 views

Permissions depending on how you login: ssh/su/sudo

As user I have access to a remote linux machine where I can: sudo su - other_user Among other things, this allows me to add my own public key to authorized_keys for other_user, which effectively ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

su - -c 'll' other_user results in error, how can I run this other user's alias?

In current bash session, I just want to change to another user for some bash command. The command is aliased to some script defined in another user's .bashrc or .profile. Am I able to make it ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

Some commands does not work in su envirorment

I have logged in to CentOS 5 machine with normal user and then I used su command to login as root user. Now commands like ifconfig, useradd, userdel are not working on machine and it gives command not ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Unable to pass the password to su in a script

I am writing a build script. This script has to copy a file in the end. This file will be placed in another users home directory and it is also necessary that the file belongs to this second user. My ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What mechanism prevents any user from accessing any other user's files via root?

On a multi-user system, what protects against any user accessing any other users files via root? As context, the question is based on my understanding as follows: There are two commands related to ...
3
votes
3answers
64 views

Understanding a couple of points regarding root privileges

I just wanted to confirm my understanding of a couple of things related to root privileges. Is it correct that: The user name "administrator" is not a reserved name with implied privileges, it is ...
0
votes
1answer
256 views

Is it possible to set the users .gitconfig (for git config --global) dynamically?

I have the problem, that we login to the systems as our own users johndoe and then have to do a sudo su - root to be able to do administrative tasks. We have the system config files in a git ...
1
vote
2answers
572 views

How can I sudo su and change directory just after?

I would like to create an alias that does something like this: alias userYYY='sudo su userYYY; cd /a/path/that/only/userYYY/has/access' So then from my command line, I am logged in with a sudoer ...
2
votes
2answers
421 views

how to write a script that will run commands after su, without using -c

I'm trying to automate a standard activity on a system I do not have root access on. The administrator of the systems have given me authority to run sudo su - 'user' command, and only that command. ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Why can't I login in as the ftp user?

After installing vsftpd I have the user ftp on my system. I assigned a password to this account. However, I still cannot login as the ftp user (on the command line, without any ftp-protocol involved). ...
1
vote
1answer
406 views

Permission denied when trying to run script as other user

I'm trying to run a script as another user that starts a piece of software (Etherpad), which is run like so (from root): su -c "/var/www/etherpad-lite/bin/run.sh" -s /bin/bash etherpad but I'm ...
6
votes
1answer
479 views

Getting the process-id out of command launched with “su -c”

I am running a java program inside a shell and writing the process-id to a text file. So when I do this: nohup java app.Main > /dev/null 2>&1 & echo $! > /var/run/app.pid It works. ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is the 'sudo' password different than the 'su root' password

On my personal machine, I often type sudo in front of certain commands in order to accomplish administrative tasks. I had hoped to avoid doing this throughout the day, by typing su root and providing ...
5
votes
1answer
984 views

What does su - `whoami` command do?

I am running a script in my project and I see this command su - `whoami` I am having a few basic questions: What does this command do ? What is the significance of `` quotes outside the whoami ...
0
votes
4answers
16k views

Is there a difference between sudo su - root and sudo -u root -H /bin/bash?

Like title says, is there a difference between these two commands : sudo su - root sudo -u root -H /bin/bash I'm using GNU/Linux, if that makes a difference.
3
votes
1answer
116 views

Difference between sudo -s and sudo su -

It might be a duplicate and I'm pretty sure I already show an answer to that somewhere, but I wondered what are the difference in term of right and variable and other stuff between sudo -s and sudo su ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

What do I need in my script to be able to change ownership of a directory structure that belongs to root to the current user running the bash script?

My bash script has the following section: su root -c chown -R smithb:other /export/home/smithb/workspace/rootownsit/ exit The directory rootownsit and its two sub directories were created and is ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

Use non-root user configuration for root account

When I work with the terminal and use su or sudo to execute a command with the root user's permissions, is it possible to apply the configuration of my "non-root user" (from which I am invoking su or ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

Switching users without the - symbol

I had to switch to a different user earlier for something that I was working on. I have originally done: su support While I was successfully able to switch to support, I found I was unable to make ...
15
votes
3answers
11k views

.bash_profile not sourced when running su

I have a user, say user1, which has modifications to its .bash_profile, one of them changing the PATH, e.g.: export PATH=/some/place:$PATH. This change works fine if I log on as user1 or do a su - ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Does root not require a password to log in as a user?

Does root not require a password to log in as a user even though a password has been set for that user? When I am logged in as "root", su user logs me in as "user". There is no prompt for a password. ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Running GUI application as another (non-root) user

Let's say I have 2 user accounts user1 and user2. When I login as user1, and then switch to user2 using su, I can execute command-line programs, but GUI programs fail. Example: user1@laptop:~$ su - ...
0
votes
2answers
882 views

Error when running X11 application as root

I get this wierd error when I run applications as root. **(gedit:630): WARNING **: could not open X display No protocol specified Unable to init server (gedit:630): Gtk-WARNING **: Cannot open ...
2
votes
1answer
469 views

su not asking for password

My su does not ask for password. When I run su it simply logs me in to root. I tried su - root then it asks for password. Now, because of this kdesu runs applications with root rights without ...
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vote
2answers
209 views

Problem executing command as differetn user with sudo -u

I have the following problem When I'm trying to execute ls as user abc with the following command I get an error: xyz@host:~/temp$ sudo -u abc ls [sudo] password for xyz: Sorry, user xyz is not ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Making su ask for password multiple times

Is there some way to make su ask for the password again in case of a wrong password (just as sudo does)? Initially I thought of this: while ! su -c foo; do read -n 1 -p "Retry(y/n)?" ch if [[ ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

How do I switch user without any references to the old one?

A while back, when playing with unprivileged LXC, I discovered that the command to create a container failed if I used su to switch to the user, but it worked if I used ssh user@localhost to login. ...
3
votes
1answer
529 views

Why can I only use apt-get when I use “su”?

Not sure what info you need here, if any. Just let me know. I have a proxy that bypasses the corporate net set in my profile file for both su and normal user. When I do a sudo or regular apt-get ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Command : must be run from a terminal

I have a shared hosting account, I logged using ssh. when I type for example su I had this output : su: must be run from a terminal Is this error relative to the fact that I don't have sufficient ...
2
votes
3answers
206 views

Can sudo replace su?

There is much duplication of functionality on Linux-based systems, for example these do the same thing: sudo --login --user <user> sudo su - <user> The sudo-only approach looks more ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Difference between sudo -i and sudo su [duplicate]

I was wondering what the difference is between sudo -i and sudo su?
0
votes
1answer
313 views

How do you keep the password hidden when invoked during the su command?

This is the first time it has happened to me where I am using the su command and it actually displays the password on the terminal and doesn't stay hidden. Here is my code snippet: sshpass -p ...
96
votes
6answers
30k views

Where did the “wheel” group get its name?

The wheel group on *nix computers typically refers to the group with some sort of root-like access. I've heard that on some *nixes it's the group of users with the right to run su, but on Linux that ...
2
votes
1answer
258 views

How to create an executable bash script for these commands?

I wish to create an executable bash script that will run the following commands as root, that is, using sudo su iptables-save | awk '/^[*]/ { print $1 } /^:[A-Z]+ [^-]/ { print ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Wrong Permission to /etc folder [duplicate]

I have given the wrong permission to the /etc folder chmod -R 777 /etc When I want to login as root it gives me an error and the following output. How can I correct the permissions? ...
1
vote
2answers
8k views

How can i run a part of a script as a different user?

#!/bin/ksh (some code) Log=~/my.log chown USER1 filename su - USER1 -c " date | tee -a ${Log} 2>&1; cd /blah/blah if [ SOMECONDITION ] then sh ./somescript.ksh > logfile fi exit" | tee -a ...
1
vote
3answers
972 views

How to return from root log-in to my user log-in?

I'm using SuSE Linux Enterprise and I know that there is a command su root for changing to root log-in. But what about the other way around? If I prefer to return to my user account, how to do it? ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

`$XAUTHORITY` appears from 'nowhere' on su+tmux

When I switched from su+bash to su+tmux+zsh I noticed that I get $XAUTHORITY variable defined as /root/.xauthXXXXXX where XXXXXX are 6 random alphanumeric characters. With previous configuration X ...
1
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1answer
376 views

su to another user using ssh keys?

Assuming that user_A and user_B set up and exchange public ssh keys with each other, is it possible for user_A to su into user_B on the same machine?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Automate login with sudo and su

I know the security risks, but I am performing this experiment/exercise on an old, seldom used *nix machine I have laying around the house. So doing this exercise will not bring any security risk to ...
2
votes
1answer
803 views

root login silently fails

After some months of not touching it I wanted to login to one of our virtual servers to update OpenSSL, because of the heartbleed thing. The server is running Debian 7, sudo is not installed. I ...
8
votes
2answers
374 views

How do I elevate privileges in the middle of pipeline?

My guess was as follows: echo "Generating some text" | su - -c cat >/output/file But su says: su: must be run from a terminal What would you do?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Passing arguments to su-provided shell

man su says: You can use the -- argument to separate su options from the arguments supplied to the shell. man bash says: -- A -- signals the end of options and disables further option ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Why would we su without -? [duplicate]

When we do su John I switch as user John. When we do su - John I switch as user John having user John's environment. As far as I can see the first option is useless. What is the use of switching to ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

How do I emulate su's behavior with sudo?

I'm trying to make sudo ask for target password, except when run by root. Here's what I do: Defaults:!root targetpw This way it asks for my password, and if I make it like this: Defaults:yuri ...
1
vote
2answers
167 views

How to log out of su and another user

So when I am logged in as a standard user in an ssh session and then su to root, how can I log out of both accounts with a single command? Rather than: root@host:/exit user@host:/exit something ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Changing the PATH variable for a process running as a user on Linux

I have a server application which I start using an init.d script and run as a user: su $USER -c "${PLAY} start ${APPLICATION_PATH} --%prod-test >/dev/null" The application needs ffmpeg, which is ...
2
votes
1answer
181 views

Impossible to execute a command by using su for another (system) user

I've created my user like this: sudo adduser --disabled-password --system --home /var/lib/deluge --gecos "Deluge server" --group deluge The content of /etc/passwd: deluge:x:110:114:Deluge ...
0
votes
3answers
691 views

Can sudo to user but 'run command as' is denied?

I was wondering how to run a command as another user from a script without password. sudo -l return: (root) NOPASSWD: /bin/su - someuser There is no problem to sudo as someuser. Command sudo su - ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

super user group or user?

I am using the following command in Oracle Exadata: sudo su - odiadmin As sudo prompts for my own password, I am wondering if I upgrade myself to super user or do I switch to superuser ...