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I hope this is the right forum for this, and excuse the naive question.

I would like to provide an "guest" login to a (non-dedicated) linux server and run just one console application. The user cannot do anything more than use this application. A scenario could be:

 ssh (no pasword)

and the just automatically execute the shell app, say

  Welcome to Dervin's shell.

when the user says exit, the whole connection would drop, not just the application.

This seems relatively simple, but I wouldn't know where to start.


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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Just set the user's shell to the application by changing "/bin/sh" (or "/bin/bash") in the /etc/passwd file to whatever program you'd like them to run. Be aware that many programs will allow the user to start a shell, though.

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Depending on what you'd like them to do; you can also install something like rssh (

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