consolehelper(8) -- Linux man page



consolehelper - A wrapper that helps console users run system programs  


progname [ options ]  


consolehelper 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 userhelper(8) 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 pam_console(8) PAM module.  


This program has no command line options of its own; it passes all command line options on to the program it is calling.  




No known bugs. Report any you find at at the BugTrack link.  


Michael K. Johnson <>