Andrea Corbellini corbellini.andrea at
Fri May 16 07:19:07 UTC 2014

On Fri, May 16, 2014 at 8:26 AM, Charl Wentzel 
<charl.wentzel at> wrote:
> Hi Guys
> I recently struggled with an issue for quite a few days because of the
> way the /etc/sudoers file is laid out.  I would like to make a
> suggestion to change it that would hopefully save others the same 
> hassle.
> I wanted to debugging in Eclipse which required me to let Eclipse run
> gdb with sudo.  However, for this to work, sudo must not ask for a
> password.  So I've added the following entry in /etc/sudoers under the
> appropriate comment:
>   # User privilege specification
>   <myuser>    ALL=(root) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/gdb
> Although the syntax is correct the entry was overridden by the 'admin'
> and 'sudo' group entries just a little further down, because my user 
> was
> part of both the 'sudo' and 'admin' groups... 
>   # 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
> This resulted in my 'NOPASSWD:' flag to have no effect.  This is 
> because
> sudoers has the oddity that it uses the last matched rule, not the 
> first!
> I would like to suggest that the 'admin' and 'sudo' entries be moved
> just above the comment "# User privilege specification".
> This would ensure that any user/group specific added by a user will
> override the 'admin' and 'sudo' entries.
> If this is not appropriate, maybe simply adding a comment to the file 
> to
> just to remind people of this rule would be a great help.  However, 
> such
> a comment should be added just above/below the "# User/Group privilege
> specification" comments so its easy to spot.

Actually, you are supposed to create a new file in /etc/sudoers.d for 
custom rules. You shouldn't edit /etc/sudoers directly; this will 
ensure that package upgrades can happen without asking you any question 
about the changes you made to that file.

You may already know that, but note that by granting your user the 
right to execute gdb as root without password, you have also granted 
yourself the right to execute *any* command as root without password 
(because you can execute any command via gdb).
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