[sudo-users] Giving access to one app for all users

Bob Proulx bob at proulx.com
Sat May 20 13:33:58 EDT 2006

Paul Thompson wrote:
> Bob Proulx wrote:
> >> Pirates-Cove:~ paul$ strings /usr/bin/sudo | grep sudoers
> >> ...
> >> /private/etc/sudoers
> >> ...
> >
> > Looks to me like your sudo command is compiled to use
> > /private/etc/sudoers and not /etc/sudoers.  Don't you agree?
>    Okay, here's the part where I show my limited knowledge, but I  
> thought that the etc folder lived in the /private directory.  Is it  
> possible that it is different on your system?  Or my system might  
> have a problem.

There is no /private in general use on any system of which I am aware.
I assume this /private is some local convention on your site.  When
the person who compiled sudo at your site configured it they must have
configured that path into the binary.

I can't think of any reason /etc and /private/etc might be related
just from a question out-of-the-blue.  Do you see any symbolic links
pointing one to the other?  If so then the symlink would of course
need to be known.  If not then I would say that those are two
completely separate and independent directories.  There is no
connection between them.  Editing one would have no effect on the

I assume that if 'sudo' had /private/etc/sudoers compiled in then the
'visudo' would have the same path.  This is one reason why simply
using 'visudo' without arguments and having it find the configured
file is useful.  Update the /private/etc/sudoers file and it should
have effects.  You could run strings on visudo the same as on sudo and
see what the compiled in defaults are for your visudo.

Note that if this is your only root access then you should be careful
or a mistake there might accidentally prevent your access from
working.  I always keep two root windows open in that case, the second
being the backup access so that I can fix any problems that I
introduce in the other.  :-)


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