Sudo Configuration Manual
configuration for sudo front-end
sudo.conf file is used to configure
sudo front-end. It is used to configure sudo
plugins, plugin-agnostic path names, debug flags, and other settings.
sudo.conf file supports the following
directives, described in detail below.
- an approval, audit, I/O logging, or security policy plugin
- a plugin-agnostic path
- a front-end setting, such as disable_coredump or group_source
- debug flags to aid in debugging
visudo, and the
The pound sign (‘
#’) is used
to indicate a comment. Both the comment character and any text after it, up
to the end of the line, are ignored.
Long lines can be continued with a backslash
\’) as the last character on the
line. Leading white space is removed from the beginning of lines even when a
continuation character is used.
Non-comment lines that don't begin with
Set are silently
sudo.conf file is always parsed in the
sudo supports a plugin architecture for
security policies and input/output logging. Third parties can develop and
distribute their own policy and I/O logging plugins to work seamlessly with
sudo front-end. Plugins are dynamically loaded
based on the contents of
Plugin line consists of
Plugin keyword, followed by the
symbol_name and the path to the dynamic
shared object that contains the plugin. The symbol_name is
the name of the
policy_plugin struct contained in the plugin. If a
plugin implements multiple plugin types, there must be a
Plugin line for each unique symbol name. The
path may be fully qualified or relative. If not fully
qualified, it is relative to the directory specified by the
Path setting, which defaults to
/usr/local/libexec/sudo. In other words:
Plugin sudoers_policy sudoers.so
is equivalent to:
Plugin sudoers_policy /usr/local/libexec/sudo/sudoers.so
If the plugin was compiled statically into the
sudo binary instead of being installed as a dynamic
shared object, the path should be specified without a
leading directory, as it does not actually exist in the file system. For
Plugin sudoers_policy sudoers.so
sudo 1.8.5, any
additional parameters after the path are passed as
arguments to the plugin's
open function. For
example, to override the compile-time default sudoers file mode:
Plugin sudoers_policy sudoers.so sudoers_mode=0440
See the sudoers(5) manual for a list of supported arguments.
The same dynamic shared object may contain multiple plugins, each with a different symbol name. The file must be owned by user-ID 0 and only writable by its owner. Because of ambiguities that arise from composite policies, only a single policy plugin may be specified. This limitation does not apply to I/O plugins.
sudo.conf file is present, or if it
Plugin lines, the
sudoers plugin will be used as the default security
policy, for I/O logging (if enabled by the policy), and for auditing. This
is equivalent to the following:
Plugin sudoers_policy sudoers.so Plugin sudoers_io sudoers.so Plugin sudoers_audit sudoers.so
sudo version 1.9.1, some of
the logging functionality of the
sudoers plugin has
been moved from the policy plugin to an audit plugin. To maintain
sudo.conf files from older
sudo versions, if
configured as the security policy, it will be used as an audit plugin as
well. This guarantees that the logging behavior will be consistnet with that
sudo versions 1.9.0 and below.
For more information on the
architecture, see the sudo_plugin(5) manual.
Path line consists of the
Path keyword, followed by the name of the path to
set and its value. For example:
Path intercept /usr/local/libexec/sudo/sudo_intercept.so Path noexec /usr/local/libexec/sudo/sudo_noexec.so Path askpass /usr/X11R6/bin/ssh-askpass
If no path name is specified, features relying on the specified
setting will be disabled. Disabling
Path settings is
only supported in
sudo version 1.8.16 and
The following plugin-agnostic paths may be set in the /etc/sudo.conf file:
- The fully qualified path to a helper program used to read the user's
password when no terminal is available. This may be the case when
sudois executed from a graphical (as opposed to text-based) application. The program specified by askpass should display the argument passed to it as the prompt and write the user's password to the standard output. The value of askpass may be overridden by the
- An ordered, colon-separated search path of directories to look in for
device nodes. This is used when mapping the process's tty device number to
a device name on systems that do not provide such a mechanism. Sudo will
not recurse into
sub-directories. If terminal devices may be located in a sub-directory of
/dev, that path must be explicitly listed in
The default value is
- The fully-qualified path to a shared library containing a wrappers for the
system() library functions that intercepts attempts to run further commands and performs a policy check before allowing them to be executed. This is used to implement the intercept functionality on systems that support
LD_PRELOADor its equivalent. The default value is /usr/local/libexec/sudo/sudo_intercept.so.
- The fully-qualified path to a shared library containing wrappers for the
wordexp() library functions that prevent the execution of further commands. This is used to implement the noexec functionality on systems that support
LD_PRELOADor its equivalent. The default value is /usr/local/libexec/sudo/sudo_noexec.so.
- The default directory to use when searching for plugins that are specified without a fully qualified path name. The default value is /usr/local/libexec/sudo.
- The fully-qualified path to the
seshbinary. This setting is only used when
sudois built with SELinux support. The default value is /usr/local/libexec/sudo/sesh.
sudo.conf file also supports the
following front-end settings:
- Core dumps of
sudoitself are disabled by default to prevent the disclosure of potentially sensitive information. To aid in debugging
sudocrashes, you may wish to re-enable core dumps by setting “disable_coredump” to false in
Set disable_coredump false
All modern operating systems place restrictions on core dumps from set-user-ID processes like
sudoso this option can be enabled without compromising security. To actually get a
sudocore file you will likely need to enable core dumps for set-user-ID processes. On BSD and Linux systems this is accomplished in the sysctl(8) command. On Solaris, the coreadm(1m) command is used to configure core dump behavior.
This setting is only available in
sudoversion 1.8.4 and higher.
- By default
sudorefuses to load plugins which can be modified by other than the root user. The plugin should be owned by root and write access permissions should be disabled for “group” and “other”. To make development of a plugin easier, you can disable that by setting “developer_mode” option to true in
Set developer_mode true
This creates a security risk and is not recommended for production systems, it is intended to be used in a development environment (VM, container, etc). Before enabling developer mode, be sure that you understand the implications.
This setting is only available in
sudoversion 1.9.0 and higher.
sudopasses the invoking user's group list to the policy and I/O plugins. On most systems, there is an upper limit to the number of groups that a user may belong to simultaneously (typically 16 for compatibility with NFS). On systems with the getconf(1) utility, running:will return the maximum number of groups.
However, it is still possible to be a member of a larger number of groups--they simply won't be included in the group list returned by the kernel for the user. Starting with
sudoversion 1.8.7, if the user's kernel group list has the maximum number of entries,
sudowill consult the group database directly to determine the group list. This makes it possible for the security policy to perform matching by group name even when the user is a member of more than the maximum number of groups.
The group_source setting allows the administrator to change this default behavior. Supported values for group_source are:
- Use the static group list that the kernel returns. Retrieving the
group list this way is very fast but it is subject to an upper limit
as described above. It is “static” in that it does not
reflect changes to the group database made after the user logs in.
This was the default behavior prior to
- Always query the group database directly. It is
“dynamic” in that changes made to the group database
after the user logs in will be reflected in the group list. On some
systems, querying the group database for all of a user's groups can be
time consuming when querying a network-based group database. Most
operating systems provide an efficient method of performing such
sudosupports efficient group queries on AIX, BSD, HP-UX, Linux, macOS, and Solaris. This is the default behavior on macOS in
sudo1.9.6 and higher.
- Only query the group database if the static group list returned by the
kernel has the maximum number of entries. This is the default behavior
on systems other than macOS in
sudo1.8.7 and higher.
For example, to cause
sudoto only use the kernel's static list of groups for the user:
Set group_source static
This setting is only available in
sudoversion 1.8.7 and higher.
- The maximum number of user groups to retrieve from the group database.
Values less than one or larger than 1024 will be ignored. This setting is
only used when querying the group database directly. It is intended to be
used on systems where it is not possible to detect when the array to be
populated with group entries is not sufficiently large. By default,
sudowill allocate four times the system's maximum number of groups (see above) and retry with double that number if the group database query fails.
This setting is only available in
sudoversion 1.8.7 and higher. It should not be required in
sudoversions 1.8.24 and higher and may be removed in a later release.
- By default,
sudowill probe the system's network interfaces and pass the IP address of each enabled interface to the policy plugin. This makes it possible for the plugin to match rules based on the IP address without having to query DNS. On Linux systems with a large number of virtual interfaces, this may take a non-negligible amount of time. If IP-based matching is not required, network interface probing can be disabled as follows:
Set probe_interfaces false
This setting is only available in
sudoversion 1.8.10 and higher.
sudo versions 1.8.4 and higher support a
flexible debugging framework that can log what
is doing internally if there is a problem.
Debug line consists of
Debug keyword, followed by the name of the
program, plugin, or shared object to debug, the debug file name, and a
comma-separated list of debug flags. The debug flag syntax used by
along with its associated programs and shared objects is
but a third-party plugin is free to use a different format so long as it
does not include a comma (‘
Debug sudo /var/log/sudo_debug all@warn,plugin@info
would log all debugging statements at the warn level and higher in addition to those at the info level for the plugin subsystem.
Debug sudo_intercept.so /var/log/intercept_debug all@debug
would log all debugging statements, regardless of level, for the
sudo_intercept.so shared library that implements
sudo's intercept functionality on some systems.
sudo 1.8.12, multiple
Debug entries may be specified per program. Older
sudo only support a single
Debug entry per program. Plugin-specific
Debug entries are also supported starting with
sudo 1.8.12 and are matched by either the base name
of the plugin that was loaded (for example
sudoers.so) or by the plugin's fully-qualified path
name. Previously, the
sudoers plugin shared the same
Debug entry as the
front-end and could not be configured separately.
The following priorities are supported, in order of decreasing severity: crit, err, warn, notice, diag, info, trace, and debug. Each priority, when specified, also includes all priorities higher than it. For example, a priority of notice would include debug messages logged at notice and higher.
The priorities trace and
debug also include function call tracing which logs when a
function is entered and when it returns. For example, the following trace is
function located in src/sudo.c:
sudo -> get_user_groups @ src/sudo.c:385 sudo <- get_user_groups @ src/sudo.c:429 := groups=10,0,5
When the function is entered, indicated by a right arrow
->’, the program, process ID,
function, source file, and line number are logged. When the function
returns, indicated by a left arrow
<-’, the same information is
logged along with the return value. In this case, the return value is a
The following subsystems are used by the
- matches every subsystem
- command line argument processing
- user conversation
- event subsystem
- command execution
- network interface handling
- communication with the plugin
- plugin configuration
- pseudo-terminal related code
- SELinux-specific handling
- utility functions
- utmp handling
The sudoers(5) plugin includes support for additional subsystems.
# # Default /etc/sudo.conf file # # Sudo plugins: # Plugin plugin_name plugin_path plugin_options ... # # The plugin_path is relative to /usr/local/libexec/sudo unless # fully qualified. # The plugin_name corresponds to a global symbol in the plugin # that contains the plugin interface structure. # The plugin_options are optional. # # The sudoers plugin is used by default if no Plugin lines are present. #Plugin sudoers_policy sudoers.so #Plugin sudoers_io sudoers.so #Plugin sudoers_audit sudoers.so
# # Sudo askpass: # Path askpass /path/to/askpass # # An askpass helper program may be specified to provide a graphical # password prompt for "sudo -A" support. Sudo does not ship with its # own askpass program but can use the OpenSSH askpass. # # Use the OpenSSH askpass #Path askpass /usr/X11R6/bin/ssh-askpass # # Use the Gnome OpenSSH askpass #Path askpass /usr/libexec/openssh/gnome-ssh-askpass
# # Sudo device search path: # Path devsearch /dev/path1:/dev/path2:/dev # # A colon-separated list of paths to check when searching for a user’s # terminal device. # #Path devsearch /dev/pts:/dev/vt:/dev/term:/dev/zcons:/dev/pty:/dev
# # Sudo command interception: # Path intercept /path/to/sudo_intercept.so # # Path to a shared library containing replacements for the execv() # and execve() library functions that perform a policy check to verify # the command is allowed and simply return an error if not. This is # used to implement the "intercept" functionality on systems that # support LD_PRELOAD or its equivalent. # # The compiled-in value is usually sufficient and should only be changed # if you rename or move the sudo_intercept.so file. # #Path intercept /usr/local/libexec/sudo/sudo_intercept.so
# # Sudo noexec: # Path noexec /path/to/sudo_noexec.so # # Path to a shared library containing replacements for the execv() # family of library functions that just return an error. This is # used to implement the "noexec" functionality on systems that support # LD_PRELOAD or its equivalent. # # The compiled-in value is usually sufficient and should only be changed # if you rename or move the sudo_noexec.so file. # #Path noexec /usr/local/libexec/sudo/sudo_noexec.so
# # Sudo plugin directory: # Path plugin_dir /path/to/plugins # # The default directory to use when searching for plugins that are # specified without a fully qualified path name. # #Path plugin_dir /usr/local/libexec/sudo
# # Sudo developer mode: # Set developer_mode true|false # # Allow loading of plugins that are owned by non-root or are writable # by "group" or "other". Should only be used during plugin development. #Set developer_mode true
# # Core dumps: # Set disable_coredump true|false # # By default, sudo disables core dumps while it is executing (they # are re-enabled for the command that is run). # To aid in debugging sudo problems, you may wish to enable core # dumps by setting "disable_coredump" to false. # #Set disable_coredump false
# # User groups: # Set group_source static|dynamic|adaptive # # Sudo passes the user’s group list to the policy plugin. # If the user is a member of the maximum number of groups (usually 16), # sudo will query the group database directly to be sure to include # the full list of groups. # # On some systems, this can be expensive so the behavior is configurable. # The "group_source" setting has three possible values: # static - use the user’s list of groups returned by the kernel. # dynamic - query the group database to find the list of groups. # adaptive - if user is in less than the maximum number of groups. # use the kernel list, else query the group database. # #Set group_source static
# # Sudo interface probing: # Set probe_interfaces true|false # # By default, sudo will probe the system’s network interfaces and # pass the IP address of each enabled interface to the policy plugin. # On systems with a large number of virtual interfaces this may take # a noticeable amount of time. # #Set probe_interfaces false
# # Sudo debug files: # Debug program /path/to/debug_log subsystem@priority[,subsyste@priority] # # Sudo and related programs support logging debug information to a file. # The program is typically sudo, sudoers.so, sudoreplay, or visudo. # # Subsystems vary based on the program; "all" matches all subsystems. # Priority may be crit, err, warn, notice, diag, info, trace, or debug. # Multiple subsystem@priority may be specified, separated by a comma. # #Debug sudo /var/log/sudo_debug all@debug #Debug sudoers.so /var/log/sudoers_debug all@debug
Many people have worked on
sudo over the
years; this version consists of code written primarily by:
See the CONTRIBUTORS.md file in the
distribution (https://www.sudo.ws/about/contributors/) for an exhaustive
list of people who have contributed to
If you believe you have found a bug in
sudo, you can submit a bug report at
Limited free support is available via the sudo-users mailing list, see https://www.sudo.ws/mailman/listinfo/sudo-users to subscribe or search the archives.
sudo is provided “AS IS” and
any express or implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the
implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose
are disclaimed. See the LICENSE.md file distributed with
sudo or https://www.sudo.ws/about/license/ for