Defaults>user Syntax Error?

Aaron Spangler aaron at
Thu Jan 8 12:24:14 EST 2004

The local mac guru in my area said that TextEdit is notorius for silently
converting files to RTF (Rich Text Format) when writing them back.

You might want to check your /etc/sudoers and see if TextEdit is the

Try getting a freeware or shareware text editor that only does pure text.

Hope that helps!


> I've Googled my brains out trying to solve this one and can't figure out
> what I am doing wrong.
> I want to set the targetpw boolean, but only when a specific runas account
> is specified with the -u command line option. Editing sudoers, I added
> what
> I thought would be the obvious default:
> Defaults>theuser  targetpw
> Problem is, sudo is griping about a syntax error at that line. The sudoers
> manual shows the example of:
> Defaults>root   !set_logname
> That also generates a syntax error when sudo is executed.
> Defaults:auser  targetpw
> This works fine, but obviously doesn't do what I want.
> The version of sudo is 1.6.6 as part of OSX 10.2.8. I did not use visudo,
> I
> used TextEdit. TextEdit doesn't screw around with the permissions, so that
> is not an issue. I know it doesn't do syntax checking, but with OSX it
> would
> be really hard to get into a situation where I couldn't get back to the
> sudoers file to restore it to its default state. I've made other changes
> in
> the past, and they have worked fine. Currently, the only change I'm trying
> to make to the file, compared to the default state of the OSX sudoers
> file,
> is to add the line above.
> Any ideas what is going on here?
> Thanks,
> John Wolf
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