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How to add users to /etc/sudoers

Jan 07, 2010, 06:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Wallen)

"If you’ve worked with a Linux long enough, you will have come in contact with the sudo utility. What is sudo? Sudo has been brilliantly described by the XKCD comic here. What sudo does is allow a user to run commands and applications with the security privileges of another user. Most often this is used in distributions where the root user has been locked out and then gives the standard user the privileges to do things like install applications or run applications that would normally require administrative rights. For example: When you want to restart networking you would normally run the command /etc/init.d/networking restart as the administrative user. But without being able to log in as the administrative user, you would instead issue that same command like: sudo /etc/initi.d/networking restart. You would be asked for your users’ password and networking would restart.

"But what if, as a system administrator, you add a new user and want to give them similar sudo rights? How do you go about doing this? Could you just open the /etc/sudoers file in your favorite text editor and make some changes? No. There is another tool that you must use called visudo. The reason for this is that the visudo command ensures that only one person can edit the /etc/sudoers file at a time..."

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