Skip to content

gerardog/gsudo

master
Switch branches/tags
Code

gsudo - a sudo for Windows

Join the chat at https://gitter.im/gsudo/community Build status Tests Chocolatey Downloads GitHub Downloads

gsudo is a sudo equivalent for Windows, with a similar user-experience as the original *nix sudo. It allows to run commands with elevated permissions, or to elevate the current shell, in the current console window or a new one.

Just prepend gsudo (or the sudo alias) to your command and it will run elevated. One UAC popup will appear each time. You can see less popups if you enable gsudo cache.

Why use gsudo instead of some-other-sudo?

gsudo is very easy to install and use. Its similarities with Unix/Linux sudo make the experience a breeze. It detects your current shell and elevates accordingly (as native shell commands). (Supports Cmd, PowerShell, git-bash, MinGW, Cygwin, Yori, Take Command)

Documentation

NEW! Extended documentation available at: https://gerardog.github.io/gsudo/

💵 Please support gsudo 💵

Please consider sponsoring gsudo. It also helps support the costs of the yearly renewal for the code-signing certificate.

Features

  • Elevated commands are shown in the current user-level console. No new window. (Unless you specify -n which opens a new window.)
  • Credentials cache: gsudo can elevate many times showing only one UAC pop-up if the user opts-in to enable the cache.
  • Supports CMD commands: gsudo md folder (no need to use the longer form gsudo cmd.exe /c md folder)
  • Elevates PowerShell/PowerShell Core commands, WSL commands, Bash for Windows (Git-Bash/MinGW/MSYS2/Cygwin), Yori or Take Command shell commands.
  • Supports being used on scripts:
    • Outputs of the elevated commands can be interpreted: E.g. StdOut/StdErr can be piped or captured (e.g. gsudo dir | findstr /c:"bytes free" > FreeSpace.txt) and exit codes too (%errorlevel%). If gsudo fails to elevate, the exit code will be 999.
    • If gsudo is invoked from an already elevated console, it will just run the command (it won't fail). So, you don't have to worry if you run gsudo or a script that uses gsudo from an already elevated console. (The UAC popup will not appear, as no elevation is required)
  • gsudo !! elevates the last executed command. Works on CMD, Git-Bash, MinGW, Cygwin (and PowerShell with gsudo module only)

Installation

  • Using Scoop: scoop install gsudo
  • Or using WinGet winget install gerardog.gsudo
  • Or using Chocolatey: choco install gsudo
  • Or manually: Unzip the latest release, and add to the path.
  • Or running:
PowerShell -Command "Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -scope Process; [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = 'Tls12'; iwr -useb https://raw.githubusercontent.com/gerardog/gsudo/master/installgsudo.ps1 | iex"

Note: gsudo is portable. No windows service is required or system change is done, except adding gsudo to the Path.

Usage

gsudo Opens an elevated shell in the current console.

gsudo [options] {command} [arguments] Executes the specified command with elevated permissions.

Most relevant [options]:

  • -n | --new Starts the command in a new console with elevated rights (and returns immediately).
  • -w | --wait Force wait for the process to end (and return the exitcode).
  • -s | --system Run As Local System account ("NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM").
  • -i | --integrity {v} Run command with a specific integrity level: Low, Medium, MediumPlus, High (default), System. For example, use Low to launch a restricted process, or use Medium to run without Admin rights.
  • -d | --direct Execute {command} directly. Does not wrap it with your current shell (Pwsh/WSL/MinGw/Yori/etc). Assumes it is a CMD command (eg. an .EXE file).
  • --loadProfile When elevating PowerShell commands, do load profiles.
  • --copyns Reconnect current connected network shares on the elevated session. Warning! This is verbose, affects the elevated user system-wide (other processes), and can prompt for credentials interactively.
  • --debug Debug mode (verbose).

gsudo config Show current user-settings.

gsudo config {key} ["value" | --reset] Read, write, or reset a user setting to the default value.

gsudo status Show status information about current user, security, integrity level or other gsudo relevant data.

Note: You can use anywhere the sudo alias created by the installers.

Examples:

# elevate the current shell in the current console window (Cmd/PowerShell/Pwsh Core/Yori/Take Command/git-bash/cygwin)
gsudo

# launch the current shell elevated in a new console window
gsudo -n

# launch in new window and wait for exit
gsudo -n -w powershell ./Do-Something.ps1

# launch windows app
gsudo notepad %windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

# sudo alias built-in with choco/scoop/manual installers: 
sudo notepad %windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

# Cmd Commands:
gsudo type MySecretFile.txt
gsudo md "C:\Program Files\MyApp"

# redirect/pipe input/output/error
gsudo dir | findstr /c:"bytes free" > FreeSpace.txt

# Configure Reduced logging
gsudo config LogLevel "Error"
# Configure a custom Elevated Prompt
gsudo config Prompt "$P [elevated]$G "
# Reset Elevated Prompt config to default value
gsudo config Prompt --reset
# Enable credentials cache (less UAC popups):
gsudo config CacheMode Auto
# Elevate last command (sudo bang bang)
gsudo !!

Usage from PowerShell / PowerShell Core

gsudo detects if it's invoked from PowerShell and elevates PS commands (unless -d is used to elevate CMD commands).

  • Prepend gsudo for commands without special operators ()|&<> or single quotes ', just prepend gsudo. Otherwise you can pass a string literal with the command to be elevate:

    PS C:\> gsudo 'powershell string command'

    Note that the gsudo command returns a string that can be captured, not powershell objects. It will ran elevated, in a different process and lexical scope, so it can't access your existing $variables, so use literal values instead of $vars

  • Use Invoke-gsudo CmdLet to elevate a ScriptBlock (allowing better PowerShell syntax validation and auto-complete), with auto serialization of inputs and outputs and pipeline objects.

    The ScriptBlock will ran elevated in a different process and lexical scope, so it can't access your existing $variables, but if you use $using:variableName syntax, it´s serialized value will be applied. The result object is serialized and returned (as an object).

  • For a enhanced experience: Import module gsudoModule.psd1 into your Profile: (also enables gsudo !! on PS)

# Add the following line to your $PROFILE (replace with full path)
   Import-Module 'C:\FullPathTo\gsudoModule.psd1'
# Or run:
   Get-Command gsudoModule.psd1 | % { Write-Output "`nImport-Module `"$($_.Source)`"" | Add-Content $PROFILE }
  • You can create a custom alias for gsudo or Invoke-gsudo, as you prefer: (add one of these lines to your $PROFILE)
    • Set-Alias 'sudo' 'gsudo' or
    • Set-Alias 'sudo' 'Invoke-gsudo'

Examples:

# Elevate PowerShell itself
PS C:\> gsudo

# Elevate Commands without ()|&<>' by prepending gsudo
gsudo Remove-Item ProtectedFile.txt
# Or pass a string literal:
gsudo 'Remove-Item ProtectedFile.txt'
$hash = gsudo '(Get-FileHash "C:\My Secret.txt").Hash'

# Variable substitutions example:
$file='C:\My Secret.txt'; $algorithm='md5';
$hash = gsudo "(Get-FileHash '$file' -Algorithm $algorithm).Hash"
# or 
$hash = gsudo "(Get-FileHash ""$file"" -Algorithm $algorithm).Hash"

# Skip PowerShell wrapper (with -d): run an .EXE or a CMD command directly (optional, faster)
gsudo -d notepad 

# Test gsudo success (optional):
if ($LastExitCode -eq 999 ) {
    'gsudo failed to elevate!'
} elseif ($LastExitCode) {
    'Command failed!'
} else { 'Success!' }

Invoke-gsudo examples:

# Accepts pipeline input.
Get-process SpoolSv | Invoke-gsudo { Stop-Process -Force }

# Variable usage
$folder = "C:\ProtectedFolder"
Invoke-gsudo { Remove-Item $using:folder }

# The result is serialized (PSObject) with properties.
(Invoke-gsudo { Get-ChildItem $using:folder }).LastWriteTime

Usage from WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux)

On WSL, elevation and root are different concepts. root allows full administration of WSL but not the windows system. Use WSL's native su or sudo to gain root access. To get admin privilege on the Windows box you need to elevate the WSL.EXE process. gsudo allows that (a UAC popup will appear).

On WSL bash, prepend gsudo to elevate WSL commands or gsudo -d for CMD commands.

# elevate default shell
PC:~$ gsudo 

# run elevated WSL command
PC:~$ gsudo mkdir /mnt/c/Windows/MyFolder

# run elevated Windows command
PC:~$ gsudo -d notepad C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/hosts
PC:~$ gsudo -d "notepad C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts"
PC:~$ gsudo -d "echo 127.0.0.1 www.MyWeb.com >> %windir%\System32\drivers\etc\hosts"

# test for gsudo and command success
retval=$?;
if [ $retval -eq 0 ]; then
    echo "Success";
elif [ $retval -eq $((999 % 256)) ]; then # gsudo failure exit code (999) is read as 231 on wsl (999 mod 256)
    echo "gsudo failed to elevate!";
else
    echo "Command failed with exit code $retval";
fi;

Credentials Cache

The Credentials Cache allows to elevate several times from a parent process with only one UAC pop-up.

Learn more

Demo

(with gsudo config CacheMode auto) gsudo demo

Known issues

  • The elevated instances do not have access to the network shares connected on the non-elevated space. This is not a gsudo issue but how Windows works. Use --copyNS to replicate Network Shares into the elevated session, but this is not bi-directional and it's interactive (may prompt for user/password).

  • gsudo.exe can be placed on a network share and invoked as \\server\share\gsudo {command} but doesn't work if your current folder is a network drive. For example do not map \\server\share\ to Z: and then Z:\>gsudo do-something.

  • Please report issues in the Issues section.

FAQ

  • Why is it named gsudo instead of just sudo?

    When I created gsudo, there were other sudo packages on most Windows popular package managers such as Chocolatey and Scoop, so I had no other choice to pick another name. gsudo installers create an alias for sudo, so feel free to use sudo on your command line to invoke gsudo.

  • Why .Net Framework 4.6?

    Because 4.6 is included in every Windows 10/11 installation. .Net Core requires additional installation steps and provides no substantial benefit since gsudo is Windows-specific. (Other platforms can use the standard *nix sudo.)

  • Is gsudo a port of *nix sudo?

    No. gsudo reminds of the original sudo regarding user expectations. Many sudo features are *nix specific and could never have a Windows counterpart. Other features (such as sudoers) could potentially be implemented but are not at this point.

  • Does it work in Windows 7/8?

    The elevation works, but not the credentials cache on W7. On Windows 8.1 install .Net Framework 4.8 runtime, then install the latest gsudo MSI. On Windows 7 do the same but first enable TLS 1.2 using this "easy fix tool" from Microsoft.

  • How do I return to the previous security level after using gsudo?

    In the same way as you would with Unix/Linux sudo: gsudo does not alter the current process, instead it launches a new process with different permissions/integrity level. To go back to the previous level, just end the new process. For Command Prompt or PowerShell just type exit.