I'm using sudo 1.8.24 on arch linux (just the default version that comes with the OS), and running into problems where it prompts me for my password just to list that a command is valid. Here is my /etc/sudoers file:

Defaults rootpw
Defaults listpw=never
%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL
%wheel ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: /bin/false ""

I'm in the wheel group. The documentation leads me to believe that listpw=never means I should never be prompted for a password when running sudo -l, and that anyway the default should be to allow it if I don't require a password for /bin/false.

Unfortunately, when I run sudo -l /bin/false, it prompts me for my own password. Note that sudo /bin/false does not require a password, and sudo anything else prompts for the root password, but sudo -l anything prompts for my password. This is particularly annoying if I have already typed the root password to run something as root, as I still have to type my own password two seconds later when running sudo -l. (This is a pattern often used by scripts, that check if you have permission before running sudo, causing me to be prompted for a password even when sudo would succeed without requesting a password.)


When I run sudo -l, I get prompted for my password, then sudo prints:

Matching Defaults entries for user on machine:
    rootpw, listpw=never, timestamp_timeout=60, env_keep+=HOME

User user may run the following commands on machine:
    (ALL) ALL
    (ALL) NOPASSWD: /bin/false

Also I've since upgraded to sudo 1.8.25 and still see the problem, so I've basically given up and concluded that this is a bug in sudo.

  • Yes, I'm in the wheel group, and therefore can execute /bin/false with no password and anything else with the root password. Sep 2, 2018 at 3:45
  • I'm unable to reproduce this; if you run sudo -l as the user, are there other "Matching Defaults entries" that show up?
    – Jeff Schaller
    Nov 12, 2018 at 22:37
  • @JeffSchaller See my update. Nov 14, 2018 at 5:07

1 Answer 1


FWIW I can also reproduce this on 1.8.27, but it's fixed in 1.8.28

If you remove the listpw=never entry, your ALL ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/false line will trigger the acceptance rule and sudo -l will stop prompting for a password.

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