Having a problem with sudo. As the user forge I want to be able to run sudo service php5-fpm reload without having to type a password. I've tried all of the variants below.

forge   ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/service php5-fpm reload
forge   ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/service
forge   ALL=(ALL:ALL) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/service
forge   ALL=(ALL:ALL) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/service php5-fpm reload

But it keeps prompting me for a password. Tried loggin in and out.

# tail /var/log/auth.log
Sep 16 09:28:19 apps sudo: pam_unix(sudo:auth): conversation failed
Sep 16 09:28:19 apps sudo: pam_unix(sudo:auth): auth could not identify password for [forge]

This is the whole file.

# This file MUST be edited with the 'visudo' command as root.
# Please consider adding local content in /etc/sudoers.d/ instead of
# directly modifying this file.
# See the man page for details on how to write a sudoers file.
Defaults        env_reset
Defaults        mail_badpass
Defaults        secure_path="/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin"

# Host alias specification

# User alias specification

# Cmnd alias specification
Cmnd_Alias SERVICES = /sbin/service, /sbin/chkconfig

# User privilege specification
root    ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
#forge  ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/service

# Members of the admin group may gain root privileges
%admin ALL=(ALL) ALL

# Allow members of group sudo to execute any command
%sudo   ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

# See sudoers(5) for more information on "#include" directives:

#includedir /etc/sudoers.d

Using Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

$ which service

The problem:

$ sudo service 
[sudo] password for forge: 

This is what worked.


# Cmnd alias specification
Cmnd_Alias SERVICES = /sbin/service, /sbin/chkconfig/, /usr/bin/service, /usr/sbin/service



Tried to move the content of the forge file into visudo, but that didn't work.

  • What does the system log indicate?
    – mdpc
    Sep 15, 2014 at 19:55
  • Are you editing the file via visudo and not directly? Are the permissions on the sudoers files ok? You might want to provide the whole file as there might be something that is preventing what you are expecting.
    – mdpc
    Sep 15, 2014 at 19:56
  • -r--r----- 1 root root /etc/sudoers. Editing by visudo. Sep 16, 2014 at 7:27
  • You don't say which UNIX/distro you're using, but on mine (Linux / CentOS and Fedora), service is /sbin/service. Could you cut-and-paste into your question the output of which service, and perhaps an example of the failure so we can see exactly how you're invoking it?
    – MadHatter
    Sep 16, 2014 at 7:49
  • @MadHatter Updated. Sep 16, 2014 at 8:41

2 Answers 2


Try following:


# grep -B1 'Cmnd_Alias SERVICES' /etc/sudoers
## Services
Cmnd_Alias SERVICES = /sbin/service, /sbin/chkconfig


# cat /etc/sudoers.d/forge


[forge@localhost ~]$ sudo service
Usage: service < option > | --status-all | [ service_name [ command | --full-restart ] ]
[forge@localhost ~]$ 

Adjust CORRECT path to your service if needed, this may vary depends on your distribution, to find correct path run following:

$ which service
  • Hmmm....this does not really look any different than what the user had but in a different format.
    – mdpc
    Sep 15, 2014 at 19:55
  • @mdpc different format that WORKS (see my test)
    – alexus
    Sep 15, 2014 at 21:01
  • Didn't work for me. Still prompting me for a password. Sep 16, 2014 at 7:46
  • Got it to work now with Cmnd_Alias SERVICES = /sbin/service, /sbin/chkconfig/, /usr/bin/service, /usr/sbin/service Sep 16, 2014 at 9:03

You're giving the wrong PATH to the binary. The which output shows that it's /usr/sbin/service, but you keep specifying /usr/bin/service in your sudoers entries.


forge   ALL=(ALL)     NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/service
  • It still prompts me for a password, both for sudo /usr/sbin/service and sudo service. Sep 16, 2014 at 9:00
  • 1
    Don't just tell us; show us - we need to see the relevant sudoers entry at the time of the sample output.
    – MadHatter
    Sep 16, 2014 at 9:03
  • 1
    Updated the Q with what worked. Sep 16, 2014 at 9:14

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