[Beowulf] User Support Access to User Files?

Gavin W. Burris bug at wharton.upenn.edu
Wed Sep 21 05:29:31 PDT 2016

Hello, Ryan.

We have a 'mimic' command for such support persons.  A support person may mimic any user in the same ${department}, as long as they are in the ${department}-admin unix group.  This is enabled with a sudoers config line per dept and an SSH key per user restricted to the local cluster:

%depta-admin ALL=(%depta) /usr/bin/ssh -Y localhost
%deptb-admin ALL=(%deptb) /usr/bin/ssh -Y localhost

MIMICUSER=${1:?You must specify a username to mimic}
sudo -u $MIMICUSER /usr/bin/ssh -Y localhost $@

jane$ mimic dick
[sudo] password for jane: 
Last login: Tue Sep 21 from blah blah
dick$ whoami

I hope you find it useful!


On Tue 09/20/16 03:09PM EDT, Ryan Novosielski wrote:
> Does anyone have a particularly polished way of offering access to user files to non-root users for the purposes of job troubleshooting or the like? We have scientists that work with users to find out the more software-based/user-error type of reasons that jobs won’t run (and sometimes to escalate to the sysadmins), but we don’t really have a great way of doing this currently.
> All hints welcome. Thanks!
> --
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> ||  \\    of NJ	 | Office of Advanced Research Computing - MSB C630, Newark
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Gavin W. Burris
Senior Project Leader for Research Computing
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania
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