What is the Linux
sudo command in Linux is one of the most crucial commands, especially when you need to install programs or make changes to the system configuration. The term “sudo” stands for “superuser do,” and it allows authorized users to execute commands as other users, often used for tasks that require elevated privileges, like those of the root user. It is a fundamental tool present in most Linux distributions, such as Debian or Ubuntu, and should not be removed.
How does the
sudo Command Work?
The primary purpose of the
sudo command is to protect the system from potentially harmful actions. Users authorized to use
sudo can run specific commands with elevated privileges without being logged in as the root user. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide their own password, which is usually different from the root password. Additionally, the
sudo permission is typically valid for a limited time, commonly 15 minutes. The users allowed to use
sudo and the associated privileges are specified in the
What does the Linux
sudo Syntax Look Like?
The syntax of the
sudo command is simple, where it is placed before another command:
$ sudo [command]
This structure allows users to execute the specified command with elevated privileges.
What Options Does the
sudo Command Have?
sudo command comes with various options, some of the most important ones include:
-h: Displays syntax and available options for the
-k: Revokes all current
-l: Lists all available permissions.
-V: Shows the current
-v: Restarts the
sudopermission time, typically 15 minutes until the password needs to be re-entered.
Here are a few examples to illustrate how the
sudo command works, Update package lists using APT (Advanced Package Tool):
$ sudo apt-get update
sudo, the system might return an error, and entering the password allows the command to be executed.
Run a command on behalf of another user:
$ sudo -u [other_username] ls ./example
This command lists the directory
/example on behalf of another user.
When entering the
sudo password, it won’t be displayed on the screen for security reasons.
In summary, the
sudo command is a critical tool for executing privileged commands in Linux, enhancing security by allowing specific users to perform administrative tasks without granting them full root access.