I'm having problems adding a user to the sudoers list via the /etc/sudoers file.

$ whoami

And they said I was crazy!

$ which visudo

$ ls -la /usr/sbin/visudo
---x--x--x  1 root  wheel  186768 23 Jun  2009 /usr/sbin/visudo

$ sudo su -
macbook:~ root# whoami
macbook:~ root# visudo

The file opens in vi:

# this line is the one I added to sudoers
# I gave ALL as access to try and get this to work
# it's the same setting as my account, which works.
%yvonne         ALL=(ALL) ALL

I save the file. It shows "unchanged" here because I'd already done it.

visudo: /etc/sudoers.tmp unchanged
macbook:~ root# logout

Log in as yvonne…

$ sudo su - yvonne

yvonne@87 02/08/2013 19:34 $ whoami

Try to run anything via sudo:

yvonne@88 02/08/2013 19:34 $ sudo ls

WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss
or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your
typing when using sudo. Type "man sudo" for more information.

To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.

**yvonne is not in the sudoers file.  This incident will be reported.**

I'm perplexed, can anyone give me any help or insight so that I can give the yvonne account access to sudo? It would be much appreciated.


% is the group assignment operator in sudoers. I think you want the line to read:

yvonne         ALL=(ALL) ALL
  • You are right. The group has been added as yvonnes, which is why this didn't work at all, so a typo has led to me learning something. Many thanks. – Iain Aug 2 '13 at 18:52
  • Zypher is correct. "%yvonne" means all members of the "yvonne" group. This may work in your case if your user is a member of a group with the same name as your user. – Insyte Aug 2 '13 at 18:53
  • @Insyte yes, previously all users have had a corresponding group with the same name added. This one had a typo because I set it up on the fly with someone trying to micromanage me over my shoulder :/ Unhelpful, but now I've fixed 2 problems with one question so things are looking up! :) – Iain Aug 2 '13 at 18:57

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