Unix / Linux Commands: sudo

By: Dusty Arlia
Published on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 06:21 PM
Last Updated on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 4:59 PM
Total Updates: 4

sudo is a software program for Unix-like computer operating systems that allows users to run programs with the security privileges of another user (normally the superuser, or root). Its name is a concatenation of "su" (substitute user) and "do", or take action. It is run from the command-line or GUI.

Unlike the su command, users typically supply their own password to sudo rather than the root password. After authentication, and if the /usr/local/etc/sudoers (sometimes found at /etc/sudoers) configuration file permits the user access, then the system will invoke the requested command. The sudoers configuration file enables a huge amount of configurability, including but not limited to: enabling root commands only from the invoking terminal; not requiring a password for certain commands; requiring a password per user or group; requiring re-entry of a password every time or never requiring a password at all for a particular command line. It can also be configured to permit passing arguments or multiple commands, and even supports commands with regular expressions.