Calife vs Sudo – Which Command Is More Useful In Ubuntu?

 Sudo vs Calife Command

Ubuntu 14.04 – Sudo vs Calife Command

Hello everyone, first of all, happy holidays and a merry x-mas to everyone who celebrates it! I can’t wait to see what kind of presents I got, I am still in the middle of doing of some late-night x-mas shopping for friends and family lol, don’t look at me that way, most of you reading this are probably also going to go do some last minute christmas shopping! Anyway read on…

What is Calife?

Calife requests user’s own password for becoming login (or root, if no login is provided), and switches to that user and group ID after verifying proper rights to do so. A shell is then executed. If calife is executed by root, no password is requested and a shell with the appropriate user ID is executed.
The invoked shell is the user’s own except when a shell is specified in the configuration file calife.auth.

If “-” is specified on the command line, user’s profile files are read as if it was a login shell.

This is not the traditional behavior of su.

Only users specified in calife.auth can use calife to become another one with this method.

calife.auth is installed as /etc/calife.auth

Calife Command features:

  • you keep your environment variables and shell aliases intact
  • it has start and end of session logging
  • you can have a list of all permitted logins for each calife user. That way, you can give a user newsmaster’s rights without giving out the root password
  • you can specify a group in the configuration file instead of the logins of all administrators: Juste use @staff or%staff and all members of the staff group will have access to calife
  • calife can also be used to become users even if they have no home directory or even no shell. That’s very practical if you want to become uucp or even bin
  • you can make calife runs a specific system-wide script at the end of the session (to send a mailabout what was done as root for example)

Install calife in Ubuntu

Open the terminal and run the following command

sudo apt-get install calife

How to use Calife

Syntax

calife [-] [login]

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