sudo problem

Avi Greenbury lists at
Sat Jul 20 11:10:30 UTC 2013

David Fletcher wrote:
> Call me old fashioned if you like but why not just use a text editor in
> a terminal on /etc/group? That way you know exactly what's been done
> because you've done it by hand, by yourself.

You know exactly what's changed, but you don't necessarily know its
effects. And, more pertinently, usermod can be expected to be
knowledgeable of any syntactical rules and to check that the user and
group already exists (and not make a duplicate of the former) whenever
I decide to manually edit /etc/group I spend longer working out
whether the username list is comma- or space- sepated than it would
have done to type out the usermod invocation.

Basically, using the tools designed for the job generally makes it
simpler, certainly when you know how to use those tools. Even when
you're intimately familiar with how groups and users are defined vim's
not going to tell you that the user you just added to that group
doesn't exist because you mis-keyed.


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