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Authenticating on the shell

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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 10:37 pm   

Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:39 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Villahermosa
Mysql, SSH, or su, they all need authentication, a password that can be typed to enter on their prompts.

I wonder how is this usually handled from a bash approach. Is this even possible? What are the risk (beside having your password embeded on the script) and if there are security resources (gnupg encription) to make a secure script.

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 PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 2:17 pm   
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Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 2:05 pm
Posts: 273
Heya jza,

There are a few ways to do it, but each service that you're trying to authenticate with will be different.

SSH - SSH is really easy if you use keys, instead of passwords. Here's a simple howto for that:

You can also use Perl::Net::SSH if you can script in perl, but this option requires having the password listed in plain text in the script.

Mysql - Mysql also requires having the password in plain text in order to script anything, but it's really simple to use a seperate, secure file so that you don't accidentally give out your password if you share the script:

First, the plain command-line way:
# mysql -u'user' -p'password' dbname -e 'insert query here'

Next, the external file way:
# mysql -u'user' -p`cat /path/to/file` dbname -e 'insert query here'

(the `backticks` are important!)

su - There is an alternative that can be used without a password, and it's called "sudo". This is always a dangerous option, but if you have a user that you would like to be able to use to execute scripts with sudo priveledges, you can use visudo to add the following line to the sudoers file:


You can even restrict the user to only certain commands. I use the above on my desktop system because I get tired of typing my passwd every time I want to "su" to root ;-P

I hope this helps!


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