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This cookbook installs sudo and configures the /etc/sudoers file.


Requires that the platform has a package named sudo and the sudoers file is /etc/sudoers.


The following attributes are set to blank arrays:


They are passed into the sudoers template which iterates over the values to add sudo permission to the specified users and groups.

If you prefer to use passwordless sudo just set the following attribute to true:


This attribute controls whether or not to include the /etc/sudoers.d directory, it default to false. If you set it to true, the default recipe will create the directory /etc/sudoers.d and put the placeholder file README there



You can create sudoer entries in two ways,

populating the node['authorization']['sudo'] properties

using the sudo lwrp

To use this cookbook, set the attributes above on the node via a role or the node object itself. In a role.rb:

"authorization" => {
  "sudo" => {
    "groups" => ["admin", "wheel", "sysadmin"],
    "users" => ["jerry", "greg"],
    "passwordless" => true

In JSON (role.json or on the node object):

"authorization": {
  "sudo": {
    "groups": [
    "users": [
    "passwordless": true

Note that the template for the sudoers file has the group "sysadmin" with ALL:ALL permission, though the group by default does not exist.

sudo LWRP

This is a fairly complex LWRP for managing sudoers fragment files in /etc/sudoers.d. It has two modes, "natural" mode which mimics the sudoers file interface and "template" mode where you supply a regular erb template and hash of variables. For "template" mode, the sudo lwrp simply ensures that resulting sudo fragment passes validation and has the proper filesystem permissions.

In either mode, the sudo lwrp will render a sudoers fragment in /etc/sudoers.d/

In the case that the sudoers fragment does not pass validation, this lwrp will fail the chef-client run before the fragment can be copied to /etc/sudoers.d. This prevents the corruption of your sudoers configuration.

Example of the default mode, "natural" mode

sudo "tomcat" do
  user "%tomcat" # or a username
  runas "app_user" # or "app_user : tomcat"
  commands ["/etc/init.d/tomcat restart"] # array of commands, will be .join(",")
  host "ALL"
  nopasswd false # true prepends the runas_spec with NOPASSWD

Example of template mode

sudo "tomcat"
  # this template must exist in the calling cookbook
  template "restart_tomcat.erb"             
  variables( :cmds => [ "/etc/init.d/tomcat restart" ] )

In either case, the following file would be generated in /etc/sudoers.d/tomcat

 # this file was generated by chef
 %tomcat ALL=(app_user) /etc/init.d/tomcat restart

Description of all attributes

  • :name -- name of the file to be created in /etc/sudoers.d/ , defaults to the name you use for the resource. An exception will be thrown if th
  • :user -- user to provide sudo privileges to
  • :group -- same as user except "%" is prepended to the name in case it is not already
  • :commands -- an array of commands that the user/group can execute using sudo, must use the full path for each command, otherwise the resulting fragment will fail validation
  • :nopasswd -- whether or not a password must be supplied when invoking sudo
  • :template -- a template file in the current cookbook (not the sudo cookbook), currently must be an erb template
  • :variables -- variables to use with the template

If you use the template attribute, all other attributes will be ignored except for the variables attribute.


Author:: Bryan W. Berry bryan.berry@gmail.com Author:: Adam Jacob adam@opscode.com Author:: Seth Chisamore schisamo@opscode.com

Copyright 2009-2011, Opscode, Inc.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.