plink => su: must be run from a terminal

Posted on 2013-06-05
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-06-06

I need to reboot a linux server from Windows.

My script doesn't work.

echo n | putty -ssh -t -noagent  %LOGIN%@%IP% -pw %PASSWORD% -m localshell.sh

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echo 123456 | su - reboot

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I can't change linux parameters.
PermitRootLogin No
My user isn't sudoers

i have root password & user password

Thanks for your help !
Question by:PepperRed
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LVL 68

Expert Comment

ID: 39225245

su -  -c reboot

ping ... in your script is useless, it will not be processed after "reboot"

What should these "echo n"  and "echo 123456" be good for?

Finally. I assume you meant to write "plink" instead of "putty" in the code you posted?
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 39225721
I don't think you can pass in plain text for password with su.

Any reason why you are not using sudoer? You can pass in a password argument with plink if you have sudoer setup. One line in batch. For example -

plink -pw bad user@server sudo /usr/bin/reboot
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 39227257
I assume that the "echo 123456" in localshell.sh is for the root password.  Couple of problems with that - su doesn't read the password from stdin, and it can't be run in a pipeline like that.

You need to use expect:
expect <<EOF
spawn su - -c reboot
expect sword
send "123456\r"
expect eof

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Author Comment

ID: 39227282
ping command is just to see the error "su: must be run from a terminal"

With plink or putty in my script, the error is the same.

Don't use sudoer is my company policy.

I try su - -c reboot but : "su: must be run from a terminal"

As Mazdajai say it, i think i can't pass in plain text for password with su.

Do you know an other method to reboot a linux from Windows with my constraints

LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 39227325
Passing plaintext password with su is the problem. I don't see this is possibile with your contriant.
LVL 35

Accepted Solution

Duncan Roe earned 600 total points
ID: 39227358
This is the classic problem that expect was designed to solve. There is a version of expect for Windows, but it's not free and I don't remember the URL - Google will find it.
However - and this is free - expect is supported under Cygwin.
So if you install Cygwin and be sure to include expect (not part of the minimal install) then you can write an expect script to do what you want. Post back if you need help in writing the script.
LVL 68

Expert Comment

ID: 39227395
Back to the original issue ("su: must be run from a terminal"):

The "-t" flag of plink (not putty!) should take care of allocating a pseudo tty.

Apart from all the other good suggestions above: "su - -c ..." should work and ask you for a password if you really used "plink" and its "-t" flag.
Try without "echo 123456 | "  (If you're still interested, that is).

Author Comment

ID: 39227803
I try yours differents solutions with no success and finally i have success with expect script.

My expect script which i launch from a batch :


expect <<EOF
spawn "C:\\Program Files\\PuTTY\\plink.exe" -ssh -t -noagent  test@ -pw password

expect sword
send "su -\r"
       expect {
           "Password: " {send "123456\r"}
expect sword
send "reboot\r"

expect eof

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Thanks all

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