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SU(1)                      OpenBSD Reference Manual                      SU(1)

NAME
     su - substitute user identity

SYNOPSIS
     su [-fKlm] [-a auth-type] [-c login-class] [login [shell arguments]]

DESCRIPTION
     su requests the Kerberos password for login (or for ``login.root'', if no
     login is provided), and switches to that user and group ID after obtain-
     ing a Kerberos ticket granting access.  A shell is then executed, and any
     additional shell arguments after the login name are passed to the shell.
     su will resort to the local password file to find the password for login
     if there is a Kerberos error or if Kerberos is not installed.  If su is
     executed by root, no password is requested and a shell with the appropri-
     ate user ID is executed; no additional Kerberos tickets are obtained.

     By default, the environment is unmodified with the exception of LOGNAME,
     HOME, SHELL, and USER. HOME and SHELL are set to the target login's de-
     fault values.  LOGNAME and 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 su.

     If not using -m and the target login has a user ID of 0 then the PATH
     variable and umask value (see umask(2)) are always set according to the
     /etc/login.conf file (see login.conf(5)).

     The options are as follows:

     -       Same as the -l option (deprecated).

     -a      Specify an authentication type such as ``skey'', ``securid'', or
             ``krb4''.

     -c      Specify a login class.  You may only override the default class
             if you're already root.

     -f      If the invoked shell is csh(1), this option prevents it from
             reading the ``.cshrc'' file.

     -K      Do not attempt to use Kerberos to authenticate the user.

     -l      Simulate a full login.  The environment is discarded except for
             HOME, SHELL, PATH, TERM, LOGNAME, and USER. HOME and SHELL are
             modified as above.  LOGNAME and USER are set to the target login.
             PATH is set to the value specified by the ``path'' entry in
             login.conf(5). TERM is imported from your current environment.
             The invoked shell is the target login's, and su will change di-
             rectory to the target login's home directory.

     -m      Leave the environment unmodified.  The invoked shell is your lo-
             gin shell, and no directory changes are made.  As a security pre-
             caution, if the target user's shell is a non-standard shell (as
             defined by getusershell(3)) and the caller's real UID is non-ze-
             ro, su will fail.

     The -l and -m options are mutually exclusive; the last one specified
     overrides any previous ones.

     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 -c option as understood by most shells.
     Note that -c usually expects a single argument only; you have to quote it
     when passing multiple words.

     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 su to ``root''.

     By default (unless the prompt is reset by a startup file) the superuser
     prompt is set to ``#'' to remind one of its awesome power.

EXAMPLES
     su bin -c makewhatis
            Runs the command makewhatis as user bin. You will be asked for
            bin's password unless your real UID is 0.

     su bin -c 'makewhatis /usr/local/man'
            Same as above, but the target command consists of more than a sin-
            gle word.

     su -l foo
            Pretend a login for user foo.

     su -a skey -l foo
            Same as above, but use S/Key for authentication.

ENVIRONMENT
     HOME     Default home directory of real user ID unless modified as speci-
              fied above.

     LOGNAME  The user ID is always the effective ID (the target user ID) af-
              ter an su unless the user ID is 0 (root).

     PATH     Default search path of real user ID unless modified as specified
              above.

     TERM     Provides terminal type which may be retained for the substituted
              user ID.

     USER     Same as LOGNAME.

SEE ALSO
     csh(1), kerberos(1), kinit(1), login(1), sh(1), skey(1),
     setusercontext(3), group(5), login.conf(5), passwd(5), environ(7), su-
     do(8)

HISTORY
     A su command appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.

BUGS
     There is no direct way to force a particular shell to be used.

     The login name is not optional for root if there are shell arguments.

OpenBSD 3.1                      July 29, 1991                               2

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | EXAMPLES | ENVIRONMENT | SEE ALSO | HISTORY | BUGS

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