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Me and one other developer just inherited a web application from a team that has now been re-purposed to something else. Ironically, although we are responsible for maintaining and developing the app, the other team's systems people are still administrating and hosting the server out of their officec (about 1,000 miles away).

We just got access to a staging server and can log in with our AD credentials. However, in order to log into the QA and production servers, we must sudo in like so:

sudo -H -u fooUser -s

Where fooUser and, although dummy values for the sake of posting this question, are the superuser name and QA server alias, respectively.

My question is: what is fooUser and why must I sudo to it before SSHing to either the QA or prod servers?** I'm not a "Linux guy" so I'm just curious what kind of user magic voo doo is going on here.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

fooUser is a user that has a .ssh/ directory in their home directory that contains configuration and keys for the subsequent ssh command.

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couldn't he just do an ssh then? – jozzas May 3 '12 at 22:26
Not 100% sure about this @Ignacio - when I log in to the staging server and run pwd I see /export/login/myADUsername – pnongrata May 3 '12 at 22:32
@jozzas: No, because that won't have the configuration or the keys. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 3 '12 at 22:35
@zharvey: The home directory on the local system. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 3 '12 at 22:35
Not sure why this answer was voted down, it is almost certainly correct. There is a private key in the fooUser ssh folder. Given you have access to sudo to it, you could copy the private key to your own home directory .ssh folder and so skip the sudo. If your admins were happy for you to do this. Which they will not be. Anyway, it is a bit of a silly way to manage the access. – Paul May 4 '12 at 2:27

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