Doas: the Sudo Replacement
Doas for Group Wheel
Normally, you don't want to log in as root for security reasons. OpenBSD does not come with sudo by default; instead, it provides a small, simple utility called doas.
First, let's use su to log in as root:
$ su Password:
Next, we create /etc/doas.conf using this command:
# echo "permit persist :wheel" >> /etc/doas.conf
This allows any user in the group wheel to run doas. The shell's redirection operator
>> appends to the end of a file (or creates it if it does not already exist).
Note: The # sign means you run this command as root by first logging in using
su. The $ sign means you run the command as your normal user. Do not literally type # or $.
Note: redirection with
>> is done by your shell. This means that the command below probably does NOT work:
$ doas echo "permit nopass :wheel" >> /etc/doas.conf
This is because your current non-root user will probably not have write permissions /etc/doas.conf.
Afterwards, exit su:
You could also type
ctrl+d to tell the shell you've reached the end-of-file and want to exit.
Next, test the configuration:
$ whoami user $ doas whoami doas (firstname.lastname@example.org) password: root
For this configuration, you will need to provide your user password in order to use doas. The
persist keyword means that after the password is first provided, doas will not ask again for some time.
No password needed
Life is a lot easier when you don't require the user password.
Run doas with the
-s argument to get a shell as root, then append to doas.conf:
$ doas -s # echo "permit nopass :wheel" >> /etc/doas.conf # exit
The drawback to this configuration is that any user in the wheel group gets complete root access without requiring any password.
You can also permit a specific user:
# echo "permit nopass user" >> /etc/doas.conf
This allows user to login as root using
doas without a password.
You should avoid logging in as root or running programs as root unless absolutely necessary. Running insecure or malicious programs as root can lead to stolen data. If you find yourself using root when you should not need to, changes are you have a bug somewhere else that needs to be fixed.
As a precaution, we should not allow others to read doas.conf:
$ doas chmod o-r /etc/doas.conf