How To Privilege Escalation Linux

Linux is known for its robust security, but sometimes, for certain operations, you need elevated permissions or ‘root’ privileges. This process is known as ‘Privilege Escalation’. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to escalate privileges in Linux, whether you are a seasoned Linux administrator or a beginner.

Understanding User Privileges

Before we dive into privilege escalation, it’s essential to understand user levels in Linux. There are mainly two types of users – regular users and the superuser (root). The superuser has unrestricted access and control over the system.

Privilege Escalation Techniques

There are two common methods for privilege escalation in Linux:

  • sudo command
  • su command

Using sudo Command

The sudo (superuser do) command allows a permitted user to execute a command as the superuser or another user, as specified in the sudoers file. The real and effective uid and gid are set to match those of the target user, and the user is granted the associated privileges.

Note: To use sudo, your user must be in the sudoers file.

Here’s an example of using sudo to execute a command with root privileges:

            sudo ls /root

Using su Command

The su (substitute user) command allows you to switch to another user account on your system, including root. Unlike sudo, which runs a single command as root, su switches you to the root user account and brings along its environment variables.

Here’s an example of using su to switch to the root user:

            su -


Privilege escalation in Linux is a powerful tool when used correctly but can pose serious security risks if misused. Always exercise caution when granting and escalating privileges. Always follow the principle of least privilege—that is, granting only the permissions necessary for performing a task.

Stay tuned for more Linux tips and tricks!