Debianized version of
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Jakub Lánský 641f8d0bb9 Removed unneeded files 3 months ago
debian Removed unneeded files 3 months ago
.gitignore Ignore vim swap files 1 year ago
LICENSE Initial commit 3 years ago
Makefile * Debianized package 3 months ago Update readme with usage example 1 year ago
su-exec.c Move things around a little to achieve parity with gosu 3 years ago


switch user and group id, setgroups and exec


This is a simple tool that will simply execute a program with different privileges. The program will be exceuted directly and not run as a child, like su and sudo does, which avoids TTY and signal issues (see below).

Notice that su-exec depends on being run by the root user, non-root users do not have permission to change uid/gid.


su-exec user-spec command [ arguments... ]

user-spec is either a user name (e.g. nobody) or user name and group name separated with colon (e.g. nobody:ftp). Numeric uid/gid values can be used instead of names. Example:

$ su-exec apache:1000 /usr/sbin/httpd -f /opt/www/httpd.conf

TTY & parent/child handling

Notice how su will make ps be a child of a shell while su-exec just executes ps directly.

$ docker run -it --rm alpine:edge su postgres -c 'ps aux'
    1 postgres   0:00 ash -c ps aux
   12 postgres   0:00 ps aux
$ docker run -it --rm -v $PWD/su-exec:/sbin/su-exec:ro alpine:edge su-exec postgres ps aux
    1 postgres   0:00 ps aux

Why reinvent gosu?

This does more or less exactly the same thing as gosu but it is only 10kb instead of 1.8MB.