Questions tagged [not-root-user]

Doing administration tasks without administrative privileges.

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206
votes
7answers
107k 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.
83
votes
3answers
72k 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?
83
votes
5answers
184k 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. ...
78
votes
2answers
51k 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 $...
72
votes
5answers
203k views

Creating a user without a password

I'm trying to create a user without password like this: sudo adduser \ --system \ --shell /bin/bash \ --gecos ‘User for managing of git version control’ \ --group \ --disabled-password ...
65
votes
4answers
93k views

How could we allow non-root users to control a systemd 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, with ...
52
votes
12answers
19k 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, ...
52
votes
8answers
137k views

How to 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 a ...
49
votes
7answers
31k 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 ...
48
votes
3answers
72k 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 ...
43
votes
1answer
18k 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 ...
37
votes
3answers
42k 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.
35
votes
4answers
74k 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 ...
31
votes
3answers
62k views

Installing a .deb package in home directory

Is it possible to install a .deb package completely under my home directory at debian?
30
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...
27
votes
5answers
12k 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?
24
votes
1answer
19k 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?
23
votes
1answer
31k 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 ...
21
votes
10answers
82k views

How to resolve 'No protocol specified' for su user

I am trying to use an alternate user (non-admin) to execute graphical software on my system. This alternate user has been named and given a UID and GID to match a remote system user of the same name. ...
21
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
41k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
62k views

I can't enable or disable a user service: Failed to execute operation: No such file or directory

I want to debug/test a program in eclipse that uses a Redis server so I decided to turn the server into a user service to have the privilege of running it. What bothers me is that I can start or stop ...
18
votes
3answers
32k 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 ...
17
votes
9answers
39k 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), ...
17
votes
2answers
19k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
96k views

Using “su - ” to change user given “No passwd entry for user”

Specifically, I am trying test something on my build server by switching to the "jenkins" user: sudo su - jenkins No passwd entry for user 'jenkins'
16
votes
3answers
8k views

What are benefits and downsides of unprivileged containers?

The technical explanation of what is unprivileged container is quite good. However, it is not for ordinary PC user. Is there a simple answer when and why people should use unpriviliged containers, and ...
16
votes
3answers
47k views

Getting the password expire time

Let me preface this with: I do NOT have root access available. I recently got locked out of my account because I did not know the password expiration was getting close, then elapsed. I want to add a ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

make all the processes of a given user killable by anyone

On a shared server, I would like to have some very low priority users such that whenever an other user (also without root privileges) needs the resources, they can kill any of the low priority users' ...
15
votes
7answers
16k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
28k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
6k 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, ...
14
votes
1answer
13k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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), ...
13
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Simulate chroot with unshare

I am trying to write a bootstrapper for a minimal, from-source linux distribution. I would like to build in a chroot-like environment. This should simplify packaging. I do not care about security at ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Does managing cgroups require root access?

I am trying to work with control groups on two different operating systems (Ubuntu and CentOS). There are few concerns that I would like to ask. I am trying to create a control group using the ...
12
votes
2answers
16k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
14k 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, ...
11
votes
2answers
24k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
99k 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 for ...
10
votes
1answer
14k views

How to enable user_namespaces in the kernel? (For unprivileged `unshare`.)

My Linux kernel must have been configured with user_namespaces when built, but their use is restricted after boot and has to be explicitly enabled. Which sysctl should I use? (If this was turned on, ...
10
votes
1answer
8k 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, ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Use a shell not installed on remote machine

Given the scenario: Remote machine: SSH server; user does not have admin privileges; Local machine: SSH client; user has admin privileges. If user, logging in to remote from local, wishes to ...
9
votes
1answer
5k 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 ----------------------------------------...
9
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
500 views

Why debootstrap can only run as root?

I want to download Debian system using debootstrap (creating chroot environment) and when I run debootstrap stable ./dir $debian_ftp, debootstrap says: E: debootstrap can only run as root Why can't ...
9
votes
1answer
12k views

How can I configure `anybody` to run X in a one-liner?

The common solution posted is to run sudo dpkg-reconfigure x11-common which gives a graphical prompt, however, I'm wanting to use this non-interactively. Scenario is that I'm SSH'd into a machine as ...
8
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...

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