“doas” is a command-line utility that allows users to execute a command as another user, typically with administrative privileges. It provides a secure and controlled way to perform privileged actions on a system, such as system configuration changes or administrative tasks, without needing to switch to the target user account entirely.
The primary purpose of “doas” is to enable authorized users to execute commands with elevated privileges while maintaining the principle of least privilege. This principle promotes the idea of granting users only the minimum level of access necessary to perform their tasks, reducing the risk of accidental or malicious actions that could compromise system security.
With “doas,” users can specify a command along with the desired target user account and execute it with the privileges of that user. The utility verifies the user’s authorization and ensures that the specified command can be executed based on the system’s access control policies.
“doas” is often used as an alternative to the more widely known “sudo” command, offering a simpler and more lightweight implementation. It is commonly used on Unix-like systems, such as various Linux distributions and BSD operating systems.
By utilizing “doas,” system administrators can delegate specific tasks to regular users without exposing them to unnecessary privileges. This helps in enforcing the principle of least privilege and mitigates the risks associated with unrestricted administrative access. Additionally, “doas” provides a clear audit trail of privileged commands executed by users, enhancing system security and accountability.
It is important to note that the configuration of “doas” is typically managed by system administrators. They can define specific rules and access controls in the “doas.conf” file, which determines who is authorized to execute commands as other users and under what circumstances. This configuration ensures that the execution of privileged commands remains controlled and aligned with the organization’s security policies.
doas Command Examples
1. Run a command as root:
# doas command
2. Run a command as another user:
# doas -u user command
3. Launch the default shell as root:
# doas -s
4. Parse a config file and check if the execution of a command as another user is allowed:
# doas -C config_file command
5. Make doas request a password even after it was supplied earlier:
# doas -L
In summary, “doas” is a command-line utility that enables authorized users to execute commands with elevated privileges as another user. It follows the principle of least privilege and provides a secure way to perform administrative tasks without the need to switch entirely to the target user account. By using “doas,” system administrators can enforce tighter access controls, improve system security, and delegate specific tasks to users while maintaining control over privileged actions.