Bob lost sudo access on Fedora

Bob has a computer running Fedora. When he installed Fedora he didn’t setup the root password and locked the root account. That is best practice. Right? Then one day he goes to upgrade to the latest version of Fedora and types in

sudo dnf update

and is greeted with

sudoers. This incident will be reported.

What happened? I had access before? Bob thinks to himself. Seems like I am not in the wheel group anymore. Bob being a smart person decides to attempt recovery mode. He’ll boot up and just readd his user to the wheel group.

Recovery mode starts up and then fails due to the root account being locked. What?!

Bob then starts talking to himself as he is in need of some expert advice. What other options do I have. I know! He runs to find his handy dandy Live Fedora pen drive. Plugs it in and boots up into a live version of Fedora. Now I can mount and access the main drive.

But wait, I can’t run “usermod -G wheel bob” because that will only affect the Live System. I could chroot into the drive. That would require mounting some extra mount points. Is there a faster way? We could maybe edit the /etc/group and add “wheel:x:10:bob”. That should add bob back to the wheel group. Right?

Wait, what about the sudoers file. We are normally supposed to use “sudo visudo” command to modify the file. Let’s check the file and see if we can just manually edit it.

$ stat -c "%n %a" /etc/sudoers
/etc/sudoers 440
Permissions on /etc/sudoers file

Hmm, okay I am going to need to change permissions to save the file. Let’s chmod that to 644 temporarily

$ sudo chmod 644 /etc/sudoers 

Alright now I should be able to edit it.

$ sudo vi /etc/sudoers

Okay, now I need to explicitly give myself permission to use sudo. Where is that line. Ah-ha!

root    ALL=(ALL)       ALL

Lets duplicate that with yy and p, replace root with my username.

root    ALL=(ALL)       ALL
bob     ALL=(ALL)       ALL

Save that with esc then :wq enter

Now change the file permissions back

sudo chmod 400 /etc/sudoers

Reboot the system and now lets login and test sudo.

$ sudo whoami 


Bob, satisfied that the problem is resolved, rewards himself by getting a sandwich.

sudo make me a sandwich

Linux commands for CPU, RAM and GPU info

Some helpful commands for showing hardware information on Linux.

Show memory speed

sudo dmidecode --type 17

Show CPU Frequency in MHz

cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep MHz

Show a bunch of system info with inxi, may need to install it.


Another cool program is screenfetch. Gives a nice overview of system specs

sudo dnf install screenfetch

and run with


Using sed to format a phone number

Formatting an unformated “phone” number using sed.

There may be a different and easier way to do this, but the main thing to learn here is the ^, $, and [[:digit:]] options.

^ refers to the first part of a line
& which is our searched for pattern
$ refers to an end part of the line
[[:digit:]] searches for, you guessed it. Digits!

The following command reads the incoming 10 digit number form echo and does the following.

the ^ tells it that the pattern needs to match at the beginning of the line
[[:digit:]] repeated tells it to search for three consecutive digits
(&) tells it to put brackets around the & which is our searched for pattern in the first part.
We then pipe that to another sed command which
searches for 4 consecutive digits
the $ tells it that it needs to be at the end of the line.

echo "1234567890" | sed -e 's/^[[:digit:]][[:digit:]][[:digit:]]/(&) /g' | sed -e 's/[[:digit:]][[:digit:]][[:digit:]][[:digit:]]$/-&/g'

Resulting output is

(123) 456-7890

The following link was helpful while searching what the ^ and $ options do.

Linux Screen – Create, Connect, Disconnect, Terminate Sessions

Screen is a handy tool that can help you run scripts on servers remotely without having to worry about the session getting terminated. It seems to operate kinda like a virtual console.

Create Screen Session

Create a new session with a specified name

screen -S SessionName

Example output below. Create session named testsession and print screen sessions.

[bob@localhost imapsync]$ screen -S testsession
[bob@localhost imapsync]$ screen -ls
There are screens on:
3313.testsession (Attached)
1 Sockets in /var/run/screen/S-bob.
[bob@localhost imapsync]$

Disconnect from Screen Session

You can disconnect from a screen session by hitting ctrl + a and then ctrl +d

“ctrl + a” then “ctrl + d”

List Screen Sessions

You can list the screen sessions with

screen -ls


[bob@localhost imapsync]$ screen -ls
There are screens on:
3212.testsession (Detached)
2556.xap (Detached)

2 Sockets in /var/run/screen/S-bob.
[bob@localhost imapsync]$

Connect to screen Session

You can reconnect to a screen session with

screen -r testsession 

Terminate Screen Session

To terminate a screen session, connect to that session and then on a clear line hit ctrl + d

Same way as if you were closing a remote ssh connection.

Bash Loop Examples

For i in 1-100 do

Basically count to 100 and perform an operation each time i increases.

for ((i=1; i<=100;i++))
  echo $i

for loop 1 liner

for ((i=1; i<=100;i++)) do echo $i ; done

While true (Execute forever)

Handy if you just want a script to run and repeat the same thing over and over again. Doesn't stop till you kill it.

while true
  echo "Repeat till infinity"
  sleep 1

While command is true

The following will execute the loop as long as the command in the () returns true. Once it returns false, it'll stop the loop

while (fping | grep alive); 
  echo alive
  sleep 1

Bash array example

array=(one two three)
echo "Printing first object in array."  #Replace 0 with the place number of the array item
echo ${array[0]}

echo ""

echo "Whole array"
echo ${array[*]} 

echo "" 

echo "Array indexes" 
echo ${!array[*]}


Printing first object in array. 

Whole array
one two three

Array indexes
0 1 2

Delete files older than x days – Linux

You can use find command to find and delete files older than the specified days. In this case 30.

find /backup/* -mtime +30 -exec rm {} \;

Non recursive example. The -prune option should limit find to only look for files in the /backup directory. So it won’t check any subdirectories.

find /backup/* -prune -mtime +30 -exec rm {} \; 

Setting up Proxy over SSH on Linux

Initiate a ssh connection to the server or device you want to use as a proxy. You can change the port to something else if so desired.

ssh username@ipaddress -D 1880

Log in and leave the session running

You can now setup your computer or browser to use the Proxy.
Specify SOCKS Host, hostname is either localhost or, the port is 1880.

Firefox example below.

Secure Erase Hard Drive using DD

The following commands are dangerous! Proceed with caution!

Change /dev/sdX to your drive. Make sure you get the correct drive, or you could wipe you main system.

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=1M status=progress

The status=progress part shows how much dd has writen. Helpful to gauge how far along it is.

If you want a more secure way to erase the drive, change zero to random. Makes it slower, but should be more secure.

dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sdX bs=1M status=progres

Side note, these commands should work in macOS, but you may need to drop the status=progress option.