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Adding a user to the root group

Posted on 2003-03-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
If I add a particular user to "root" group will that user have root previleges?

If not what are the previleges that user will have?
Question by:prasanna_senanayake

Accepted Solution

jimbb earned 200 total points
ID: 8069955
No, he won't have root privs; but what privs he _does_ gain are really system dependent.

For instance, some systems will allow you to run 'su' only if you're in group root (they still need to enter the root password), other users are unable to execute the binary.

Most systems seem to just grant you additional read permissions on some files/devices, and in some cases, write permissions.

As always, don't do it unless you really need to.  If you're thinking about doing it then I imagine you have some specific goal in mind?
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 8071074
To allow a non-root user the ability to run some or all commands that are currently only allowed for root, install and configure sudo for the commands you want.

Expert Comment

ID: 8177373
Or if you just wanna be ubercareless, just change their UID to 0

Expert Comment

ID: 8209042
If the user is in the group 'root' he will have all accesses granted by GROUP permission in the file system for files owned by the root group:

i.e. he will be able to read a file with those perm

-rw-r----- 1 root root thefile

the important part is the middle of the perms :

r-- for the GROUP

So if you want to see all file accessible in a way by someone in group 'root' :

find / -group root | xargs ls -l

and look at the permissions (group part)

Now to commplete others answers :

On some systems (BSD among others) there is a special 'root/admin'  group  called 'wheel' that you must belong to, before executing some commands like 'su'

The 'sudo' command is indeed, to my mind, the best solution
to allow non root users to execute commands with root rights (just take care to use visudo to configure, instead of editing /etc/sudoers.conf, on most systems it's a common pitfall)
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Expert Comment

ID: 10264127
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:

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