Learn how to run some or all sudo commands without entering the password on Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution.
Most Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora use the sudo mechanism to allow admin users to run commands with root privileges.
When you run a command with sudo, it asks for your account’s password. The default timeout for the password is 15 minutes (in Ubuntu Linux). Which means that you’ll have to enter the password again if you run a command with sudo after fifteen minutes.
Some users may find it cumbersome to enter the password all the time. This is specially if you are the only user on the system or if you think some commands are okay to run without password.
In Linux, you can change sudo configuration to run some or all command with sudo but without entering password.
If you are on a server, you should be extra careful specially if you have SSH enabled. Maybe, you should disable SSH access with password first.
Let’s see how to use sudo with no password.
But first, back up the sudoer file as a precautionary measure:
sudo cp /etc/sudoers ~/sudoers.bak
Execute all sudo commands without password [not recommended]
Use the following command to edit the /etc/sudoers file:
This will open the default text editor (Nano in Ubuntu) for editing this file. All you have to do is to add a line like this in this file:
user_name ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL
Of course, you have to replace the user_name in the above command with your user name.
Exit the shell and enter again and you should see the changes reflected.
Why use visudo for editing sudoer file?
Now, you may edit /etc/sudoers file manually in a text editor like Vim, however, that is not advised.
If you make a syntax error while editing this file, the consequences can be fatal. This is why you a dedicated tool called visudo is used for editing sudo configuration file.
The visudo tool creates a new temp file where you can edit the sudoer file using the default text editor. When you try to save your changes, it performs a check and notifies if there is any syntax error.
>>> /etc/sudoers: syntax error near line 3 <<< What now? Options are: (e)dit sudoers file again e(x)it without saving changes to sudoers file (Q)uit and save changes to sudoers file (DANGER!)
It provides you some options to deals with the changes.
But it’s not a good practice to run all the sudo commands without password. Thankfully, there is a solution for that as well.
Run only specific sudo commands without password
You can configure sudo in a way that only commands of your choice can be run without password.
For example, if you want the apt update and apt upgrade to be run without entering the password for sudo in Ubuntu, here’s what you need to do.
Open the file for editing:
And then add a line like this:
user_name ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:/usr/bin/apt update, /usr/bin/apt upgrade
Save the changes and you are good to go.
I hope you like this quick little tutorial about using sudo without password. Any questions or suggestions are always welcome.