[sudo-users] Understanding why processes launched by sudo do not inherit the controlling terminal

Jon Seymour jon.seymour at gmail.com
Thu Jun 18 03:29:39 EDT 2009

On most of the Linux systems I am using (RHEL4, Ubuntu 9.0.4, SUSE
10?) the process launched by sudo inherits the controlling terminal of
the launching process.

However, on a particular RHEL5 server I am using, the launched process
becomes detached from the controlling terminal

For example (on the working system):

$  tty; sudo su - admin -c 'ps -u $(whoami)'
  PID TTY          TIME CMD
14993 pts/0    00:00:00 su
15000 pts/0    00:00:00 ps

On the broken system:

$ tty; sudo su - admin -c 'ps -u $(whoami)'
  PID TTY          TIME CMD
 1883 ?        00:00:00 ps

Can anyone explain why the behaviour w.r.t. controlling terminals
would be different on each system?

The working system has sudo version 1.6.8p12, the broken system has
sudo version 1.6.9p17

jon seymour.

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