sudo (Was Re: [SATLUG] OpenDNS)

Bruce Dubbs bruce.dubbs at
Fri Jun 6 01:40:33 CDT 2008

Don Crowder wrote:
> Brad Knowles wrote:
>> country wrote:
>>> an application uses commands, the sudo app uses the su command with
>>> restrictions,  plain and simple...
>> No, sudo is *like* su with restrictions, but that's not the way it's 
>> implemented.
>> On my machines, sudo is a binary program file in and of itself, and 
>> although it shares a lot of functionality from su, and it may even 
>> share a lot of source code from su, they are distinct different commands.
>> There may also be other implementations of sudo that are written in 
>> other ways, but the functionality is the same.
> I don't want to contribute to the hair splitting but "sudo" is, on my 
> system, a package which I can install/uninstall via apt-get or Synaptic. 
>  "Su" isn't a package but is, rather, a CLI command.

Its all terminology.

sudo is a command usually run at the command line, but can be called from a 
script or gui wrapper.  sudo is also a distributed package that is the source 
for sudo, sudoedit, and visudo.

su is also a command usually run at the command line, but as all command line
programs, can be called in a script or gui wrapper.  It is one program within 
the shadow distributed package that also includes programs like useradd, 
usermod, groupadd, groupmod, passwd, etc.

   -- Bruce

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