BSD Today: Delegating superuser tasks with sudoJun 09, 2000, 02:15 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeremy C. Reed)
"Sharing root authority with less risk by using sudo for allowing only certain root-only commands, restricting other commands and logging command activity."
"Often you may need to give certain users the ability to use or access privileged commands or files. On most Unix-type systems, root has complete permission, all privilege and, in other words, total power. (Some trusted operating systems can limit root's privileges.)"
"Instead of just handing out your root password to various users or beginning sys-admins or changing numerous programs as set uid root (to run as root), you can use sudo (which stands for "superuser do") to allow them to run certain commands as the super user (or as another user). Using sudo is also an idea for running scripts as another user since setting the suid bit for scripts does not work."
"Running on a per-command basis, sudo offers a variety of features to help control or limit use for specified users by command and machine, plus it also logs activity for auditing purposes."