Occasionally in my role as computer janitor, I am asked to give sudo rights to people who don't ordinarily get those powers. I know they're going to get the condensed version of the usual lecture.

But is there something standard that is appropriate to email to people who I have just given said powers to, so that I can do my due diligence and not just have them snicker when they see the "we assume you have gotten the usual lecture from the system administrator" flag the first time they fire up sudo?

I am emailing professionals in the 80% echelon of techdom, not neophytes, but not necessarily people who are apt to say "this is Unix, I know this!"

  • This is a good question and probably on-topic, though I'm trying to figure out if there's another site that might be able to answer it better than us. Maybe superuser or Unix & Linux? – David K Apr 6 '17 at 19:13
  • @davidk I ask a lot of question on Unix, but this seemed like a softball sort of think they'd punt or close. If programmers.se was still around, I think I'd have asked it there. – Peter Turner Apr 6 '17 at 19:30
  • Programmers is still around; they changed their name to Software Engineering but the scope hasn't changed. That being said, I don't think your question is on-topic there since they mainly deal with conceptual software topics. – David K Apr 6 '17 at 19:40
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    @davidK programmers.se died a long, long time ago. :) – Peter Turner Apr 6 '17 at 19:45
  • The technical answer to this is "read the friendly manual": See "lecture" and "lecture_file" - sudo.ws/man/1.8.19/sudoers.man.html . Remember sudo in the end is just a program like any other on your system. Customize the lecture file as is appropriate for your environment/users. – Brandin Apr 6 '17 at 22:17

Firstly make backups, and then make more backups, and then make periodic backups or snapshots or whatever seems best in terms of what you're up to.

Then email the whole spiel, up to them if they read it all or not. But so long as you have the backups it doesn't matter too much.

The key is to be able to revert to multiple instances in time if need be. Never rely on end users to do the right thing, if you're being paid to admin, then it's your responsibility.

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    I guess the spiel is what I'm after. We've got solid backups, but that's good advice nonetheless. – Peter Turner Apr 6 '17 at 20:06
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    Well, I always have solid backups, and in one case where I was friendly with a group of professionals who needed admin rights on their machines (in this case pilots) I sent them a brief email "You can now do XXX, don't f@#$ it up or abuse it, any issues call me please guys." – Kilisi Apr 6 '17 at 20:12

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