Section: Maintenance Commands (8)Updated: 18 March 1999Local indexUp
consolehelper - A wrapper that helps console users run system programs
is a tool that makes it easy for console users to run system programs,
doing authentication via PAM (which can be set up to trust all console
users or to ask for a password at the system administrator's discretion).
When possible, the authentication is done graphically; otherwise, it is
done within the text console from which consolehelper was started.
It is intended to be completely transparent. This means that the user
will never run the consolehelper program directly. Instead, programs
like /sbin/shutdown are paired with a link from /usr/bin/shutdown to
/usr/bin/consolehelper. Then when non-root users (specifically, users
without /sbin in their path, or /sbin after /usr/bin) call the
"shutdown" program, consolehelper will be invoked to authenticate
the action and then invoke /sbin/shutdown. (consolehelper itself has
no priviledges; it calls the
program do the real work.)
consolehelper requires that a PAM configuration for every managed program
exist. So to make /sbin/foo or /usr/sbin/foo managed, you
need to create a link from /usr/bin/foo to /usr/bin/consolehelper
and create the file /etc/pam.d/foo, normally using the
This program has no command line options of its own; it passes all
command line options on to the program it is calling.