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VISUDO(8)               FreeBSD System Manager's Manual              VISUDO(8)

     visudo - edit the sudoers file

     visudo [-cqsV] [-f sudoers]

     visudo edits the sudoers file in a safe fashion, analogous to vipw(8).
     visudo locks the sudoers file against multiple simultaneous edits,
     provides basic sanity checks, and checks for parse errors.  If the
     sudoers file is currently being edited you will receive a message to try
     again later.

     There is a hard-coded list of one or more editors that visudo will use
     set at compile-time that may be overridden via the editor sudoers Default
     variable.  This list defaults to /usr/bin/vi.  Normally, visudo does not
     honor the VISUAL or EDITOR environment variables unless they contain an
     editor in the aforementioned editors list.  However, if visudo is
     configured with the --with-env-editor option or the env_editor Default
     variable is set in sudoers, visudo will use any the editor defines by
     VISUAL or EDITOR.  Note that this can be a security hole since it allows
     the user to execute any program they wish simply by setting VISUAL or

     visudo parses the sudoers file after the edit and will not save the
     changes if there is a syntax error.  Upon finding an error, visudo will
     print a message stating the line number(s) where the error occurred and
     the user will receive the ``What now?'' prompt.  At this point the user
     may enter `e' to re-edit the sudoers file, `x' to exit without saving the
     changes, or `Q' to quit and save changes.  The `Q' option should be used
     with extreme care because if visudo believes there to be a parse error,
     so will sudo and no one will be able to sudo again until the error is
     fixed.  If `e' is typed to edit the sudoers file after a parse error has
     been detected, the cursor will be placed on the line where the error
     occurred (if the editor supports this feature).

     The options are as follows:

     -c          Enable check-only mode.  The existing sudoers file will be
                 checked for syntax errors, owner and mode.  A message will be
                 printed to the standard output describing the status of
                 sudoers unless the -q option was specified.  If the check
                 completes successfully, visudo will exit with a value of 0.
                 If an error is encountered, visudo will exit with a value of

     -f sudoers  Specify and alternate sudoers file location.  With this
                 option visudo will edit (or check) the sudoers file of your
                 choice, instead of the default, /etc/sudoers.  The lock file
                 used is the specified sudoers file with ``.tmp'' appended to
                 it.  In check-only mode only, the argument to -f may be `-',
                 indicating that sudoers will be read from the standard input.

     -q          Enable quiet mode.  In this mode details about syntax errors
                 are not printed.  This option is only useful when combined
                 with the -c option.

     -s          Enable strict checking of the sudoers file.  If an alias is
                 used before it is defined, visudo will consider this a parse
                 error.  Note that it is not possible to differentiate between
                 an alias and a host name or user name that consists solely of
                 uppercase letters, digits, and the underscore (`_')

     -V          The -V (version) option causes visudo to print its version
                 number and exit.

     The following environment variables may be consulted depending on the
     value of the editor and env_editor sudoers settings:

     VISUAL           Invoked by visudo as the editor to use

     EDITOR           Used by visudo if VISUAL is not set

     /etc/sudoers              List of who can run what

     /etc/sudoers.tmp          Lock file for visudo

     sudoers file busy, try again later.
           Someone else is currently editing the sudoers file.

     /etc/sudoers.tmp: Permission denied
           You didn't run visudo as root.

     Can't find you in the passwd database
           Your user ID does not appear in the system passwd file.

     Warning: {User,Runas,Host,Cmnd}_Alias referenced but not defined
           Either you are trying to use an undeclared
           {User,Runas,Host,Cmnd}_Alias or you have a user or host name listed
           that consists solely of uppercase letters, digits, and the
           underscore (`_') character.  In the latter case, you can ignore the
           warnings (sudo will not complain).  In -s (strict) mode these are
           errors, not warnings.

     Warning: unused {User,Runas,Host,Cmnd}_Alias
           The specified {User,Runas,Host,Cmnd}_Alias was defined but never
           used.  You may wish to comment out or remove the unused alias.  In
           -s (strict) mode this is an error, not a warning.

     Warning: cycle in {User,Runas,Host,Cmnd}_Alias
           The specified {User,Runas,Host,Cmnd}_Alias includes a reference to
           itself, either directly or through an alias it includes.  This is
           only a warning by default as sudo will ignore cycles when parsing
           the sudoers file.

     vi(1), sudoers(5), sudo(8), vipw(8)

     Many people have worked on sudo over the years; this version consists of
     code written primarily by:

           Todd C. Miller

     See the CONTRIBUTORS file in the sudo distribution
     ( for an exhaustive list of
     people who have contributed to sudo.

     There is no easy way to prevent a user from gaining a root shell if the
     editor used by visudo allows shell escapes.

     If you feel you have found a bug in visudo, please submit a bug report at

     Limited free support is available via the sudo-users mailing list, see to subscribe or search the

     visudo is provided ``AS IS'' and any express or implied warranties,
     including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability
     and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed.  See the LICENSE
     file distributed with sudo or for
     complete details.

FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE         August 17, 2012        FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE


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