Maintenance Commands                                       su(1M)


su - become super user or another user


su [ - ] [ username [ arg ... ] ]


The su command allows one to become another user without logging off or to assume a role. The default user name is root (super user). To use su, the appropriate password must be supplied (unless the invoker is already root). If the password is correct, su creates a new shell process that has the real and effective user ID, group IDs, and supplementary group list set to those of the specified username. The new shell will be the shell specified in the shell field of username's password file entry (see passwd(4)). If no shell is specified, /usr/bin/sh is used (see sh(1)). To return to normal user ID privileges, type an EOF character (<CTRL-D>) to exit the new shell. Any additional arguments given on the command line are passed to the new shell. When using programs such as sh, an arg of the form -c string executes string using the shell and an arg of -r gives the user a restricted shell. The following statements are true if the login shell is /usr/bin/sh or an empty string (which defaults to /usr/bin/sh) in the specific user's password file entry. If the first argument to su is a dash (-), the environment will be changed to what would be expected if the user actually logged in as the specified user. Otherwise, the environment is passed along, with the exception of $PATH, which is controlled by PATH and SUPATH in /etc/default/su. Addition- ally, the user's project ID is set if the dash argument is present. See settaskid(2). All attempts to become another user using su are logged in the log file /var/adm/sulog (see sulog(4)). SECURITY su uses pam(3PAM) for authentication, account management, and session management. The PAM configuration policy, listed through /etc/pam.conf, specifies the modules to be used for su. Here is a partial pam.conf file with entries for the su command using the UNIX authentication, account management, and session management module. su auth required /usr/lib/security/ su account required /usr/lib/security/ SunOS 5.8 Last change: 27 Jan 2000 1 Maintenance Commands su(1M) su session required /usr/lib/security/ If there are no entries for the su service, then the entries for the "other" service will be used. If multiple authenti- cation modules are listed, then the user may be prompted for multiple passwords. EXAMPLES Example 1: Becoming User bin While Retaining Your Previously Exported Environment To become user bin while retaining your previously exported environment, execute: example% su bin Example 2: Becoming User bin and Changing to bin's Login Environment To become user bin but change the environment to what would be expected if bin had originally logged in, execute: example% su - bin Example 3: Executing command with user bin's Environment and Permissions To execute command with the temporary environment and per- missions of user bin, type: example% su - bin -c "command args" ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES Variables with LD_ prefix are removed for security reasons. Thus, su bin will not retain previously exported variables with LD_ prefix while becoming user bin. If any of the LC_* variables ( LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, LC_TIME, LC_COLLATE, LC_NUMERIC, and LC_MONETARY) (see environ(5)) are not set in the environment, the operational behavior of su for each corresponding locale category is determined by the value of the LANG environment variable. If LC_ALL is set, its contents are used to override both the LANG and the other LC_* variables. If none of the above variables are set in the environment, the "C" (U.S. style) locale determines how su behaves. LC_CTYPE Determines how su handles characters. When LC_CTYPE is set to a valid value, su can display and handle text and filenames containing valid characters for that SunOS 5.8 Last change: 27 Jan 2000 2 Maintenance Commands su(1M) locale. su can display and handle Extended Unix Code (EUC) characters where any individual character can be 1, 2, or 3 bytes wide. su can also handle EUC charac- ters of 1, 2, or more column widths. In the "C" locale, only characters from ISO 8859-1 are valid. LC_MESSAGES Determines how diagnostic and informative messages are presented. This includes the language and style of the messages, and the correct form of affirmative and negative responses. In the "C" locale, the messages are presented in the default form found in the program itself (in most cases, U.S. English).


$HOME/.profile user's login commands for sh and ksh /etc/passwd" system's password file /etc/profile" system-wide sh and ksh login commands /var/adm/sulog log file /etc/default/su the default parameters in this file are: SULOG If defined, all attempts to su to another user are logged in the indicated file. CONSOLE If defined, all attempts to su to root are logged on the console. PATH Default path. (/usr/bin:) SUPATH Default path for a user invoking su to root. (/usr/sbin:/usr/bin) SYSLOG Determines whether the syslog(3C) LOG_AUTH facility should be used to log all su attempts. LOG_NOTICE messages are generated for su's to root, LOG_INFO messages are generated for su's to other users, and LOG_CRIT messages are gen- erated for failed su attempts. SLEEPTIME SunOS 5.8 Last change: 27 Jan 2000 3 Maintenance Commands su(1M) If present, sets the number of seconds to wait before login failure is printed to the screen and another login attempt is allowed. Default is 4 seconds. Minimum is 0 seconds. Maximum is 5 seconds.


See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attri- butes: ____________________________________________________________ | ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE | |_____________________________|_____________________________| | Availability | SUNWcsu | |_____________________________|_____________________________|


csh(1), env(1), ksh(1), login(1), roles(1), sh(1), syslogd(1M), settaskid(2), pam(3PAM), syslog(3C), pam.conf(4), passwd(4), profile(4), sulog(4), attributes(5), environ(5), pam_unix(5) SunOS 5.8 Last change: 27 Jan 2000 4