doas - Man Page

execute commands as another user

Examples (TL;DR)


doas[-Lns] [-C config] [-u user] command [args]


The doas utility executes the given command as another user. The command argument is mandatory unless -C, -L, or -s is specified.

The user will be required to authenticate by entering their password, unless configured otherwise.

By default, a new environment is created. The variables HOME, LOGNAME, PATH, SHELL, and USER and the umask(2) are set to values appropriate for the target user. DOAS_USER is set to the name of the user executing doas. The variables DISPLAY and TERM are inherited from the current environment. This behavior may be modified by the config file. The working directory is not changed.

The options are as follows:

-C config

Parse and check the configuration file config, then exit. If command is supplied, doas will also perform command matching. In the latter case either ‘permit’, ‘permit nopass’ or ‘deny’ will be printed on standard output, depending on command matching results. No command is executed.


Clear any persisted authentications from previous invocations, then immediately exit. No command is executed.


Non interactive mode, fail if the matching rule doesn't have the nopass option.


Execute the shell from SHELL or /etc/passwd.

-u user

Execute the command as user. The default is root.

Exit Status

The doas utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs. It may fail for one of the following reasons:

See Also

su(1), doas.conf(5)


The doas command first appeared in OpenBSD 5.8.


Ted Unangst <>

Referenced By

chicken-install(1), doas.conf(5).

January 16, 2021