Lightweight sudo-like program for Linux written in Rust
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raou is a lightweight sudo-like tool for Linux. It allows a user to execute programs as another user without entering the password. However, the programs (including the parameters) a user can run are explicitly specified by the administrator.

Originally written in C, it’s now reimplemented in Rust.

When to use raou (over sudo)

Generally, it’s not a replacement for sudo. The primary use case of raou is a situation in which you would want to allow a user to run a privileged operation as root without entering passwords. You may not want to use sudo for that, particularly if you don’t have it installed already. Some further arguments for raou:

  • Simpler config
  • Less complexity, less attack surface
  • Writte in a memory-safe language


By default, raou looks in /etc/raou.d/ for config files. If you run “raou backup”, it will look for /etc/raou.d/backup. Example config file:

user john
target_user root
path /usr/local/bin/

user is the name of the user who you want to give permissions to execute path as the target_user.

path must contain the absolute path of the to be executed command.

Optional fields

args (string): If you want to leave out optional arguments (argv) to path, simply don’t include this. Otherwise, specify them here.

args -v -ltr 

allow_args (1 or 0, default 0): Allow arbitrary arguments, so:

raou backup /path

Will execute the command specified in path of the backup entry with “/path” as argv[1] instead of the argument specified with “args” in the config file.

no_new_privs (1 or 0, default 1): Processes launched with this option active won’t be able to gain more privileges, even when they call setuid programs. This can break some programs.

env_vars (string): A comma-separated list of environment variables to inherit from the current environment. Everything else will be wiped (but others like HOME, SHELL etc. will be appropriately set).

argv0 (string): Set this option if you want to provide your own value as “argv0” The default is the name of the launched binary (not the whole path).