Sudo Plus X11 Forwarding

I had trouble the other day running the Oracle installer in GUI mode over SSH.  I had the -X option set, and I could run a GUI program as myself.  The problem was that I couldn’t run the GUI program after I used sudo to change to my oracle user.

I found the answer on the “Bag of Tricks” blog:

Bag of Tricks: x forwarding and sudo for oracle installs

To build upon that, I turned it into a script.  The script adds the x cookie, runs an interactive bash, and finally removes the cookie at the end.


if [ -z "$user" ]; then
 user=<default user>

displayNum=`echo $DISPLAY | sed -e 's/^.*://' -e 's/\.[0123456789]*//'`
echo "Display # = $displayNum"
cookie=`xauth list | grep ":$displayNum"`
echo "Cookie = $cookie"
cookiename=`echo $cookie | sed 's/\s*MIT-MAGIC.*$//'`
echo "Cookie Name: $cookiename"
echo "user = $user"
sudo -u $user bash -c "xauth list; xauth add $cookie; bash; xauth remove $cookiename"

I put the script in my ~/bin directory and called it ms (my-sudo).  That way I could call it easily.

I hope someone finds that usedful.  Any comments are welcomed.

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