vi and sudo

Allan.Marillier at Allan.Marillier at
Wed Jun 5 12:52:27 EDT 2002

Yes - if you compile vim for any platform and set up your sudoers so that
the user can access rvim but not vi, they can not get any shell access. Any
access attempt e.g.
Esc :ls
Esc :sh
etc results in an error message  "E145: Shell commands not allowed in rvim"

                      "Jeff Kennedy"                                                                                
                      <jlkennedy at amcc.         To:      Allan.Marillier at                                    
                      com>                     cc:      tom.robinson at, sudo-users at,                 
                                               gsaoutine at                                                  
                      06/05/02 09:17           Subject: Re: vi and sudo                                             

I know this is an old post but I have a question on this.  Is Allan
saying that vim compiled for Solaris will allow file editing as root
*without* allowing a shell escape?  So in essence I can allow interns to
add jumpstart clients by editing the RCS host file without worrying
about them breaking out and munging something else?



Allan.Marillier at wrote:
> vi on Linux is very often vim, which gives you the rvi
> You can go to and download the latest source
> for vim and compile it for any platform. I've built it with no trouble
> on HP-UX and AIX, and also use precompiled vim executables on
> my PC under Windows. (Adding some class and power to the OS!)
> vim also gives you a GUI environment if you want it (gvim) and has a
> version as well, to give a restricted GUI vi.
> vim has a number of benefits over stock vi, including providing simple
> file locking - ensuring that two people don't vi the same file at the
> time
> and trash each other's changes.
> (No - I have nothing to do with the vim project - I just believe it's a
> very good
> vi implentation.)
>                     "Thomas
>                     Robinson"             To:     <sudo-users at>
>                     <tom.robinson@        cc:
>           >            Subject:     RE: vi and sudo
>                     Sent by:
>                     sudo-users-adm
>                     in at
>                     04/23/02 04:46
>                     AM
> > dear list,
> >
> > i am new to sudo and recently installed it on sun
> > solaris 2.6. when i open vi while acting in the sudo
> > context, vi still seems lets me execute shell commands
> > as root.
> I'm not sure about Solaris, but linux has /bin/rvi and /bin/rview which
> restrict the use of such things as executing shells from within an
> editing session.
> Tom
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Jeff Kennedy
Unix Administrator
jlkennedy at

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