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Unix, Xenix and ODT General FAQ


Some material is very old and may be incorrect today

© December 2003 (various)

This article is from a FAQ concerning SCO operating systems. While some of the information may be applicable to any OS, or any Unix or Linux OS, it may be specific to SCO Xenix, Open There is lots of Linux, Mac OS X and general Unix info elsewhere on this site: Search this site is the best way to find anything.

How can I make a shell script setuid so that ordinary users may use root privilege commands? (Old Sco Unix)

You can't.

If you are using Linux or BSD, see Using sudo. The rest of this arrticle is about old SCO systems (which could use sudo but usually did not).

Setuid shell scripts are a major security hole, so that is not allowed by the kernel. However, there are methods to allow users to be given authorizations for certain tasks or even to run scripts as though they were root.

For example, you can give users the ability to cancel print jobs and manage printers simply by adding that authorization through the User Manager in Scoadmin. If the specific task you need isn't one of the available authorizations, you can use the "asroot" command to give any capability you need.

See the man pages for "asroot", "auth" and "authorize"

Some systems do allow setuid shell scripts. See (for example) ksh: $0 is different when setuid and How can I get setuid shell scripts to work?.


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Mon Jul 17 17:08:11 2006: 2270   anonymous


On Mac OS X (10.4.x and 10.3.y) which is a BSD Unix system over a Mach kernel, it was possible to have a setuid shell script run just like any other setuid binary. For that to happen, all that is necessary is to add the user who is to execute the script to group "wheel". That might practical in a very small installation such as one's own laptop, but would probably not be a good choice for installations with dozens or hundreds of users.

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