Using sudoedit to sudo… edit


I got into a lot of trouble last time I wrote a post with a title like this. Let’s tempt fate again!

We haven’t had a things you already know, unless you don’t post for at least a few months, so here’s something that still surprises some people.

Instead of doing this:

$ sudo vi ./file

You can do this:

$ sudoedit ./file

Safer, easier, better :).

From the manpage(8), the tool creates a temporary copy of the file, then invokes whichever editor you have defined in SUDO_EDITOR, VISUAL, or EDITOR. When you’re done editing, the temporary modified file is copied back to the original location.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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