NAME consolehelper - A wrapper that helps console users run system programs

SYNOPSIS progname [ options ]

DESCRIPTION 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 adminis- trators discretion). When possible, the authentication is done graph- ically; otherwise, it is done within the text console from which con- solehelper 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 "shut- down" program, consolehelper will be invoked to authenticate the action and then invoke /sbin/shutdown. (consolehelper itself has no priv- iledges; it calls the userhelper(8) program do the real work.)

consolehelper requires that a PAM configuration for every managed pro- gram 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.

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

SEE ALSO userhelper(8)

AUTHOR Michael K. Johnson <>

Red Hat Software 18 March 1999 CONSOLEHELPER(8)