su alternative for Win2k

Jonathan Arnold
Fri Jan 28 21:14:00 GMT 2005

I was just installing postgreSQL and ran across the problem with
getting initdb to run as the postgres user. As expected, I could
neither su nor login to work. Searching the archives and the like
for a fix, the most often specified one was to use ssh.  But as I
don't run sshd, and it seems a shame to have to run this just to
get an su-like behaviour, that wouldn't work for me.

I finally hit upon the following solution.  Maybe its in the archives,
maybe not, but I thought I would post it (again?) to maybe save someone
the hour or so I spent thrashing around the problem.

1] Create a shortcut to bash on your desktop

2] Now right-click on it and select Properties

3] Select the Shortcut tab and append the '-l' (that's dash el) to the
Target: to make it be a login shell

4] a] Win2k : Select the "Run as different user" check box
    b] WinXP : click on the Advanced button and check "Run with
       different credentials"

Now when you click this shortcut, you will be prompted for the user to
run bash as.  Type in postgres and the password, and voila - you have a
bash shell running as the selected user. Make running initdb and, just
as importantly, createuser a piece of cake.  Assuming, of course, you have
the paths correct.

Jonathan Arnold     (
Amazing Developments

I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages. -
  William H. Mauldin

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