Running as root

Stephen Grant Brown
Tue Jun 20 22:44:00 GMT 2006

Hi All
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Igor Peshansky" <>
To: "Stephen Grant Brown" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2006 3:56 AM
Subject: Re: Running as root

> On Sat, 17 Jun 2006, Stephen Grant Brown wrote:
>> Hi There
>> I would like to run programs as root, which means the userid and group
>> need to be set to 0, and the name needs to = root.
>> I have looked through the ntsec.html document and I afraid it is too
>> complicated for me to understand.
>> Can somebody explain how to do this to me in a more simplified format
>> please?
> That depends on what you want to do.  If you are sure your login account
I want to run backup and restore programs, and also a program which will 
tell me which files have changed to make a program stop working.
> has enough privileges, and you simply have a program that non-portably
How do I determine if my login account has enoungh priverledges?
I know my default login account of stephen does not have a uid and gid of 0
I cannot login to administrator.
> checks whether you're running as root (and you don't have the ability to
> properly fix the program), you can read the following section of the above
> document: <>.  It

The third line of the above reference reads

 Both files may now contain SIDs of users and groups. They are saved in the 
last field of pw_gecos in /etc/passwd and in the gr_passwd field in 

What is a SID?
What is pw_gecos?

Typing "man -a passwd" does not tell the fields in the /etc/passwd

> also helps to know that it's ok to have multiple entries in the passwd
> file for the same user -- forward lookups by SID find the first entry with
> that SID, and reverse lookups by user will find any entry with that
> username/userid.  So you can simply add an entry for
> "root::0:513:YOURSID:...", and make sure it precedes the actual entry for

What is the rest of this "root::0:513:..." line?

> your account, and any program checking your effective userid (e.g., "id")
> will show you as "root" with UID of 0.
> If you really do need to do root'y stuff, e.g., switch user contexts, etc,
> then read <> and
> Google for "SYSTEM-owned bash shell" to see how to start processes as
> SYSTEM (sshd doesn't let you switch to SYSTEM, unfortunately, unless you
> use public key authentication, as you normally don't know and have no
> control over the password for SYSTEM).
> Igor

Thanks for your understanding. I am still finding a lot of this advice too 
complicated for my simple brain.
Yours Sincerely Stephen Grant Brown 

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