context_user_set - Linux


context_user_set is a command-line utility for setting the user context of a running process with capabilities. It allows administrators to grant specific users the ability to access privileged resources without elevating their global privileges. This enhances security by limiting the scope and duration of privileged access.


context_user_set [OPTIONS] [USER]


  • -h, –help: Display help information.
  • -u, –uid: Set the user ID of the target process.
  • -c, –cap: Set capabilities (separated by commas) for the target process.
  • -e, –exec: Execute a command with the specified user context.
  • -t, –timeout: Set the timeout (in seconds) for user context changes.


Set user ID of the current process to "testuser":

context_user_set -u testuser

Execute command as "root" with specified capabilities:

context_user_set -e -u root -c ALL /bin/bash

Set user ID and capabilities for a specific process:

context_user_set -u testuser -c "CAP_SYS_ADMIN,CAP_DAC_OVERRIDE" 1234

Common Issues

  • Ensure that the target process has the necessary capabilities to perform the desired actions.
  • Specify the timeout value carefully to avoid long-running processes with elevated privileges.
  • Verify that the user specified has the appropriate permissions to access the requested resources.


context_user_set can be integrated with other commands or scripts to automate privileged access management tasks:

  • Create scripts that set user context for specific applications or tasks.
  • Incorporate context_user_set into system configuration files to enforce user context policies.
  • Use it with auditing tools to track privileged access changes.

Related Commands

  • sudo: Allows users to execute commands with elevated privileges.
  • setfacl: Sets file access control lists.
  • chown: Changes file ownership.