Automatically re-start script as root


If you use sudo you can automatically re-start scripts that need to be run as root by adding a check at the beginning of the script and executing sudo if the script is not running as root:

  if [[ $UID -ne 0 ]]; then
    sudo -p 'Restarting as root, password: ' bash $0 "$@"
    exit $?

The inclusion of "bash" in the sudo command is to avoid problems if the script does not have its execute bit set. The "exit $?" causes the shell to exit with the status from the script instance that sudo runs.


Mitch Frazier is an Associate Editor for Linux Journal.


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Thanks Mitch!

FredR's picture

Ever have one of those moments where you read something and it acts as a catalyst to remind you of something else?

This article reminded me that I had a service, that no matter what, would run as root, and I wanted it to run as the "nobody" user. That service is MRTG (and it's actually an older version from 2003 I've been using for a while). It makes me nervous because the daemon will just stop after a while.

It comes out it wasn't parsing the command line options correctly (I had -user=nobody instead of --user=nobody) and I was putting the process in the background with the `&' symbol instead of the --daemon option.

My mrtg is now correctly, (after all these years), running as "nobody" again.

My experience is almost irrelevant because of the fact that, as a perl script there are conventions within it to force the daemon to be ran as a particular user, in the script itself.

-- FLR or flrichar is a superfan of Linux Journal, and goofs around in the LJ IRC Channel