Ubuntu Admin

Root Access

Users can grant themselves sudo access when the machine is first booted after installation. TIG can provide additional sudo access or the root password upon request. You can also add new sudoers files to the /etc/sudoers.d directory, for example:

sudo visudo -f /etc/sudoers.d/12_local_sudo

Root Alias

If you are reading this, its probably because you want to customize something on your machine — install some extra software, set up a root cron job, add a local (non-Kerberos) account for a collaborator, or the like. If that is the case, you should arrange for yourself to get root mail. You can do this by creating a file /etc/facter/facts.d/local.txt and adding a line that says


That does not prevent TIG sysadmins from getting root mail as well, but it means you will see it too, and you can fix problems related to software you’ve installed or configuration changes you’ve made. (Of course, if you need help with that, send mail to help@csail.mit.edu.)

Restricting login access

Machine owners can limit access to their computers by providing a list (one per line) of allowed or denied usernames in /etc/csail/users.allow.

On 16.04 (Xenial) systems /etc/csail/groups.allow is also supported. Note: On 16.04 (Xenial), /etc/csail/groups.allow must exist (even if empty) in order for /etc/csail/users.allow to function correctly.

It is also restrict ssh access to a specific group or list of groups. This is done by adding a line to the file in /etc/facter/facts.d/local.txt (which may not yet exisist) defining sshdallowgroups to a space seperated list of groups to allow, for example:

sshdallowgroups=group1 group2 etc

This will be activated on the next configuration management run (within 30min) or can be activated immediately by running

sudo puppet agent -t

The sshallowgroups method is preferred for 14.04 (Trusty) and older systems. On newer systems /etc/csail/groups.allow and /etc/csail/users.allow is preferred

Access to NFS

Autofs is unconfigured by default. If you’d like to access the CSAIL NFS shares, add the following line to /etc/facter/facts.d/local.txt (which might not exist already):


You should be able to access the NFS shares in approximately 30 minutes after the next puppet agent runs.