|SU(1)||General Commands Manual||SU(1)|
su — substitute
su utility allows a user to run a
shell with the user and group ID of another user without having to log out
and in as that other user.
By default, the environment is unmodified with the exception of
SHELL are set to
the target login's default values.
USER are set to the target login, unless the target
login has a user ID of 0 and the
-l flag was not
specified, in which case it is unmodified. The invoked shell is the target
login's. This is the traditional behavior of
The options are as follows:
-apasswd”, provided for backwards compatibility.
suwill prompt for the password even when invoked by root.
SHELLare modified as above.
USERare set to the target login.
PATHis set to the value specified by the “path” entry in login.conf(5).
TERMis imported from your current environment. The invoked shell is the target login's, and
suwill change directory to the target login's home directory.
-moption is specified.
options are mutually exclusive; the last one specified overrides any
If the optional shell arguments are provided
on the command line, they are passed to the login shell of the target login.
This allows it to pass arbitrary commands via the
option as understood by most shells. Note that
usually expects a single argument only; you have to quote it when passing
If group 0 (normally “wheel”) has users listed then
only those users can
su to “root”. It
is not sufficient to change a user's /etc/passwd
entry to add them to the “wheel” group; they must explicitly
be listed in /etc/group. If no one is in the
“wheel” group, it is ignored, and anyone who knows the root
password is permitted to
By default (unless the prompt is reset by a startup file) the superuser prompt is set to “#” to remind one of its awesome power.
suunless the user ID is 0 (root).
Run the command “makewhatis” as user “bin”. You will be asked for bin's password unless your real UID is 0.
$ su bin -c makewhatis
Same as above, but the target command consists of more than a single word:
$ su bin -c 'makewhatis /usr/local/man'
Same as above, but the target command is run with the resource
limits of the login class “staff”. Note that the first
-c option applies to
while the second is an argument to the shell.
$ su -c staff bin -c 'makewhatis /usr/local/man'
Pretend a login for user “foo”:
$ su -l foo
Same as above, but use S/Key for authentication:
$ su -a skey -l foo
su command appeared in
Version 7 AT&T UNIX.
The login name is not optional for root if there are shell arguments.
|July 30, 2015||OpenBSD-6.5|