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All I need to do is to run a specific script as a particual user who does have the nologin/false shell indicated in /etc/passwd.

I would run the script as root and this should run as another user. Running :~# su -c "/bin/touch /tmp/test" testuser would work but I need a valid shell for the testuser. I know I can disable the password with passwd -d testuser and leave the shell to /bin/bash this way would secure a little bit but I need to have nologin/false shell.

Basically what I need is what crontab does when we set jobs to be running as a particular user, regardless this one has nologin/false shell.

p.s I found this thread Executing a command as a nologin user but I have no idea how to "concatenate" the command su -s /bin/sh $user to the script I need to run


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4 Answers 4

You can use the -s switch to su to run a particular shell

su -s /bin/bash -c '/path/to/your/script' testuser
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What if su is root:root -rwsr-x--- ? –  Patryk Mar 10 at 0:24

You can do this with sudo -u if you have it installed:

# whoami
# sudo -u apache whoami
# getent passwd apache
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just realized :

su -s "/bin/bash" -c "/bin/touch /tmp/testuser" testuser

maybe there is a better way ?!

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By providing the script as the argument to execute to /bin/sh:

su -s "/bin/sh /your/script/location" username
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