Thread: How to remove elevated privileges?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2019

    How to remove elevated privileges?


    I created a program that needs to be run as root or with `sudo`. In the program, I need to use `execv` to run another program, after forking a new process. I have the following:

    // Fork the process.
        switch((pid = fork()))
            case -1: // Error.
                fprintf(stderr, "%s: %s error: fork failed (%s)\n", program_name, __func__, strerror(errno));
            case 0: // Child.
    // Remove root privileges.
                if(setuid(atoi(getenv("SUDO_UID"))) == -1)
                    fprintf(stderr, "%s: %s error: setuid failed (%s)\n", program_name, __func__, strerror(errno));
    // Proof the UID changed.
    printf("2ID: %d\n", atoi(getenv("SUDO_UID")));
    // Execute external program.
                if(execl(program, program, (char  *) NULL) == -1)
                    fprintf(stderr, "%s: %s error: execl failed (%s)\n", program_name, __func__, strerror(errno));
    But the program that is executed lists a bunch of errors because it is not supposed to be run as root.

    How can I execute an external program with the original users UID?

    Upon further investigation, it seems it is changing the UID to the original user. The problem seems to stem from the $HOME directory the external program tries to use for reading/writing files. It is trying to use the files under root instead of the user.
    Last edited by Yonut; 02-13-2022 at 01:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Looks like it was using $HOME which was set when sudo was used. The following fixed the problem:
    // Get the users home directory.
        pw = getpwuid(atoi(getenv("SUDO_UID")));
    // Change home directory back to the user and not root.
        setenv("HOME", pw->pw_dir, 1);

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