How to create a sudo user on CentOS 7

We’ll guide you, how to create a sudo user on CentOS 7. Sudo is a Linux command line program that allows you to execute commands as superuser or another system user. The configuration file offers detailed access permissions, including enabling commands only from the invoking terminal; requiring a password per user or group; requiring re-entry of a password every time or never requiring a password at all for a particular command line. It can also be configured to permit passing arguments or multiple commands. In this tutorial we will show you how to create a sudo user on CentOS 7.

Steps to Create a New Sudo User on CentOS 7

1. Connect via SSH

First of all, connect to your server via SSH. Once you are logged in, you need to add a new system user.

2. Add New User in CentOS

You can add a new system user using the following command:

# adduser newuser

You need to replace newuser with the name of the user you want to add. Also, you need to set up a password for the newly added user.

3. Create a Strong Password

To set up a password you can use the following command:

# passwd newuser

Make sure you are using a strong password, otherwise the password will fail against the dictionary check. You will be asked to enter the password again and once you enter it you will be notified that the authentication tokens are updated successfully:

# passwd newuser
Changing password for user newuser.
New password:
Retype new password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.

4. Add User to the Wheel Group in CentOS

The wheel group is a special user group that allows all members in the group to run all commands. Therefore, you need to add the new user to this group so it can run commands as superuser. You can do that by using the following command:

# usermod -aG wheel newuser

Again, make sure you are using the name of the actual user instead of newuser.
Now, use visudo to open and edit the /etc/sudoers file. Make sure that the line that starts with %wheel is not commented. It should look exactly like this:

## Allows people in group wheel to run all commands
%wheel  ALL=(ALL)       ALL

Now that your new user is set up you can switch to that user and test if everything is OK.

5. Switch to the sudo User

To switch to the new user, run the following command:

# su - newuser

Now run a command that usually doesn’t work for regular users like the one below:

$ ls -la /root/

You will get the following error message:

ls: cannot open directory /root/: Permission denied

Try to run the same command, now with using sudo

$ sudo ls -ls /root/

You will need to enter the password for the new user to proceed. If everything is OK, the command will list all the content in the /root directory. Another way to test this is to run the following command:

$ sudo whoami

The output of the command should be similar to the one below:

$ sudo whoami

Congratulations, now you have a sudo user which you can use to manage your CentOS 7, operating system.

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