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VISUDO(8)		  BSD System Manager's Manual		     VISUDO(8)

NAME
     visudo -- edit the sudoers file

SYNOPSIS
     visudo [-chqsV] [-f sudoers]

DESCRIPTION
     visudo edits the sudoers file in a safe fashion, analogous to vipw(8).
     visudo locks the sudoers file against multiple simultaneous edits, pro-
     vides basic sanity checks, and checks for parse errors.  If the sudoers
     file is currently being edited you will receive a message to try again
     later.

     There is a hard-coded list of one or more editors that visudo will use
     set at compile-time that may be overridden via the editor sudoers Default
     variable.	This list defaults to /usr/local/bin/vi.  Normally, visudo
     does not honor the VISUAL or EDITOR environment variables unless they
     contain an editor in the aforementioned editors list.  However, if visudo
     is configured with the --with-env-editor option or the env_editor Default
     variable is set in sudoers, visudo will use any the editor defines by
     VISUAL or EDITOR.	Note that this can be a security hole since it allows
     the user to execute any program they wish simply by setting VISUAL or
     EDITOR.

     visudo parses the sudoers file after the edit and will not save the
     changes if there is a syntax error.  Upon finding an error, visudo will
     print a message stating the line number(s) where the error occurred and
     the user will receive the ``What now?'' prompt.  At this point the user
     may enter `e' to re-edit the sudoers file, `x' to exit without saving the
     changes, or `Q' to quit and save changes.	The `Q' option should be used
     with extreme care because if visudo believes there to be a parse error,
     so will sudo and no one will be able to sudo again until the error is
     fixed.  If `e' is typed to edit the sudoers file after a parse error has
     been detected, the cursor will be placed on the line where the error
     occurred (if the editor supports this feature).

     The options are as follows:

     -c		 Enable check-only mode.  The existing sudoers file will be
		 checked for syntax errors, owner and mode.  A message will be
		 printed to the standard output describing the status of
		 sudoers unless the -q option was specified.  If the check
		 completes successfully, visudo will exit with a value of 0.
		 If an error is encountered, visudo will exit with a value of
		 1.

     -f sudoers	 Specify and alternate sudoers file location.  With this
		 option visudo will edit (or check) the sudoers file of your
		 choice, instead of the default, /etc/sudoers.	The lock file
		 used is the specified sudoers file with ``.tmp'' appended to
		 it.  In check-only mode only, the argument to -f may be `-',
		 indicating that sudoers will be read from the standard input.

     -h		 The -h (help) option causes visudo to print a short help mes-
		 sage to the standard output and exit.

     -q		 Enable quiet mode.  In this mode details about syntax errors
		 are not printed.  This option is only useful when combined
		 with the -c option.

     -s		 Enable strict checking of the sudoers file.  If an alias is
		 used before it is defined, visudo will consider this a parse
		 error.	 Note that it is not possible to differentiate between
		 an alias and a host name or user name that consists solely of
		 uppercase letters, digits, and the underscore (`_') charac-
		 ter.

     -V		 The -V (version) option causes visudo to print its version
		 number and exit.

ENVIRONMENT
     The following environment variables may be consulted depending on the
     value of the editor and env_editor sudoers settings:

     VISUAL	      Invoked by visudo as the editor to use

     EDITOR	      Used by visudo if VISUAL is not set

FILES
     /etc/sudoers	       List of who can run what

     /etc/sudoers.tmp	       Lock file for visudo

DIAGNOSTICS
     sudoers file busy, try again later.
	   Someone else is currently editing the sudoers file.

     /etc/sudoers.tmp: Permission denied
	   You didn't run visudo as root.

     Can't find you in the passwd database
	   Your user ID does not appear in the system passwd file.

     Warning: {User,Runas,Host,Cmnd}_Alias referenced but not defined
	   Either you are trying to use an undeclared
	   {User,Runas,Host,Cmnd}_Alias or you have a user or host name listed
	   that consists solely of uppercase letters, digits, and the under-
	   score (`_') character.  In the latter case, you can ignore the
	   warnings (sudo will not complain).  In -s (strict) mode these are
	   errors, not warnings.

     Warning: unused {User,Runas,Host,Cmnd}_Alias
	   The specified {User,Runas,Host,Cmnd}_Alias was defined but never
	   used.  You may wish to comment out or remove the unused alias.  In
	   -s (strict) mode this is an error, not a warning.

     Warning: cycle in {User,Runas,Host,Cmnd}_Alias
	   The specified {User,Runas,Host,Cmnd}_Alias includes a reference to
	   itself, either directly or through an alias it includes.  This is
	   only a warning by default as sudo will ignore cycles when parsing
	   the sudoers file.

SEE ALSO
     vi(1), sudoers(5), sudo(8), vipw(8)

AUTHORS
     Many people have worked on sudo over the years; this version consists of
     code written primarily by:

	   Todd C. Miller

     See the CONTRIBUTORS file in the sudo distribution
     (http://www.sudo.ws/sudo/contributors.html) for an exhaustive list of
     people who have contributed to sudo.

CAVEATS
     There is no easy way to prevent a user from gaining a root shell if the
     editor used by visudo allows shell escapes.

BUGS
     If you feel you have found a bug in visudo, please submit a bug report at
     http://www.sudo.ws/sudo/bugs/

SUPPORT
     Limited free support is available via the sudo-users mailing list, see
     http://www.sudo.ws/mailman/listinfo/sudo-users to subscribe or search the
     archives.

DISCLAIMER
     visudo is provided ``AS IS'' and any express or implied warranties,
     including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability
     and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed.  See the LICENSE
     file distributed with sudo or http://www.sudo.ws/sudo/license.html for
     complete details.

Sudo 1.8.6p3			 July 12, 2012			  Sudo 1.8.6p3