Grant sudo access in RHEL and CentOS
Last updated on: 2020-04-23
Authored by: Chris Silva
This article provides the steps to grant an existing Linux® user sudo or administrative access on a RHEL® or CentOS® server.
You need to have the following prerequisites:
- A basic understanding of Secure Shell (SSH)
- Sudo or administrative access to your server
- A Cloud Server running distributions based on RHEL or CentOS
Grant sudo or administrative permissions in RHEL or CentOS
You can use the following method to grant an existing user sudo-level permissions on a default RHEL or CentOS system:
On a RHEL or CentOS server, the default group wheel has sudo permissions. To add a user to this group and grant a user sudo permissions, run the following command:
usermod -aG wheel
Run the following command to verify that you added the user to the wheel group:
If you added the user to the group successfully, you should see the wheel group listed in the groups section.
Modify the sudoers file
Another method of granting sudo permissions on a Linux server is to modify the /etc/sudoers file to include the desired user. This method provides direct control by the user rather than by adding a user to a group.
Warning: Editing the /etc/sudoers file might be destructive to the server, and the system might lock you out if there is any incorrect syntax in the file. Exercise caution when you modify this file.
To edit the /etc/sudoers file, we recommend that you use the
After you open the file by using
visudo, add the following line to the end of the file:
<user> ALL=(ALL) ALL
After you make the change, save and exit the file. This modification grants the user sudo permissions without adding the user to the wheel group.