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Adding AD Domain User to Sudoers on Ubuntu: Command Line Guide

Ubuntu 7

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of adding an Active Directory (AD) domain user to the sudoers file on Ubuntu using the command line. This will allow the AD user to execute commands with administrative privileges, which can be particularly useful in an enterprise environment.

Quick Answer

To add an Active Directory (AD) domain user to the sudoers file on Ubuntu using the command line, you need to install the likewise-open package, join the Ubuntu server to the AD domain using the domainjoin-cli command, verify the AD user’s login, add the AD user to the sudoers group using the visudo command, and finally, test the AD user’s sudo access by running a command with sudo.

Prerequisites

Before we begin, ensure that you have:

  • An Ubuntu server.
  • An AD user account that you want to add to the sudoers file.
  • Sufficient privileges to execute sudo commands on the Ubuntu server.

Step 1: Install Necessary Packages

First, we need to install the likewise-open package. This package provides the domainjoin-cli command, which we will use to join the Ubuntu server to the AD domain.

sudo apt-get install likewise-open

In this command, sudo allows you to run the command as a superuser, apt-get is the package handling utility in Ubuntu, and install is used to install a new package.

Step 2: Join the Ubuntu Server to the AD Domain

Next, we use the domainjoin-cli command to join the Ubuntu server to the AD domain. Replace domain.com with your actual domain name and administrator with the username of an account that has sufficient privileges to join a server to the domain.

sudo domainjoin-cli join domain.com administrator

You will be prompted to enter the password for the administrator account. Once the command completes successfully, the Ubuntu server will be a member of the AD domain.

Step 3: Verify the AD User’s Login

Now, let’s verify that the AD user can log in to the Ubuntu server. Replace username@domain.com with the AD user’s username and domain.

su - username@domain.com

You will be prompted to enter the AD user’s password. If the login is successful, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Add the AD User to the Sudoers Group

To give the AD user sudo privileges, we need to add them to the sudoers file. We can do this using the visudo command, which opens the sudoers file in a safe way for editing.

sudo visudo

In the sudoers file, add the following line:

%domain\ admins ALL=(ALL) ALL

Replace domain\ admins with the appropriate AD group name. This line gives all members of the AD group sudo privileges.

Save and exit the file. In most cases, you can do this by pressing Ctrl + X, then Y, then Enter.

Step 5: Test the AD User’s Sudo Access

Finally, let’s test the AD user’s sudo access. Log out and log back in as the AD user, then try running a command with sudo.

sudo apt-get update

You will be prompted to enter the AD user’s password. If the command runs without any errors, congratulations! The AD user now has sudo access.

Conclusion

In this guide, we showed you how to add an AD domain user to the sudoers file on Ubuntu using the command line. This can be a great way to manage permissions in an enterprise environment, allowing you to leverage your existing AD infrastructure for Linux server administration.

Remember to always be careful when giving users sudo access, as this gives them the ability to make significant changes to the system. Always follow the principle of least privilege, giving users only the permissions they need to perform their tasks.

What is an AD domain user?

An AD domain user is a user account that is created and managed in an Active Directory (AD) domain. AD is a directory service that is used to store and manage information about network resources, including user accounts, groups, and computers.

Why do I need to add an AD domain user to the sudoers file on Ubuntu?

Adding an AD domain user to the sudoers file on Ubuntu allows the user to execute commands with administrative privileges. This is useful in an enterprise environment where AD is used for user authentication and authorization. Granting sudo access to AD domain users allows them to perform administrative tasks on Ubuntu servers without needing to create separate local user accounts.

Can I add multiple AD domain users to the sudoers file?

Yes, you can add multiple AD domain users to the sudoers file. Each user should be added individually or as a member of an AD group. By adding multiple users or groups to the sudoers file, you can grant sudo access to multiple AD domain users on Ubuntu.

How do I find the appropriate AD group name to add to the sudoers file?

To find the appropriate AD group name to add to the sudoers file, you can use the getent group command on the Ubuntu server. This command will list all the groups in the AD domain that the server is joined to. Look for the group that corresponds to the desired administrative permissions and use that group name in the sudoers file.

What precautions should I take when giving users sudo access?

When giving users sudo access, it is important to follow the principle of least privilege. Only grant users the permissions they need to perform their tasks. Be cautious when giving sudo access to AD domain users, as it grants them the ability to make significant changes to the system. Regularly review and audit sudoers file to ensure that only authorized users have sudo access.

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