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I have to run this command to initialize gitosis:

sudo -H -u git gitosis-init < /home/ec2-user/

But that asks me for a password for ec2-user:

$ sudo -H -u git gitosis-init <
[sudo] password for ec2-user: 

I do not have a password as i use the default .pem key file to login.

I know i can probably login as the git user and do this, but is there any other way?


Using Linux AMI 12.09 (micro-instance), in region us-east-1 (N. Virginia)

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should i move this question to superuser or stackoverflow or somewhere else? – Oct 30 '12 at 16:51
What EC2 region are you running in? What AMI id did you start with? –  Eric Hammond Oct 30 '12 at 22:10
@EricHammond please see update. I do have a workaround, see answer, but still looking for a better solution if possible, not sure if the workaround is best possible solution here. – Oct 30 '12 at 22:33

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

As you discovered, the root user can sudo to any other user, so just stick an extra sudo in front.

sudo sudo -H -u git gitosis-init < /home/ec2-user/

Please don't kick yourself too hard.

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i'll try not to :) . didn't know you could do that actually, awesome. – Oct 31 '12 at 7:25

This is my current workaround:

  1. First login as ec2-user with the .pem file

  2. Then switch to root with sudo su

  3. Then switch to git user with su git

  4. Then run the gitosis-init like so:

    gitosis-init < path/to/
  5. exit from git user, then exit from root.

Note: I had added the git user with just sudo adduser git

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You want to update /etc/sudoers to allow you to run commands as git without requiring a password.

First, edit the sudoers file:

$ EDITOR=my_favorite_text_editor sudo -E visudo

Add the following line at the end*:

ec2_user  ALL=(git) NOPASSWD: gitosis-init

You can then use the command that you've been using, but you will no longer be prompted for a password.

* Or you can add that to a file in /etc/sudoers.d, if you have that available.

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awesome, i did read something like this while searching for a solution but was unsure (then) if it'll work, good alternate method, thanx. – Oct 31 '12 at 17:48

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