Developer's Guide to Oracle® Solaris 11 Security

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Updated: July 2014

About Privileges

A privilege is a discrete right that is granted to a process to perform an operation that would otherwise be prohibited by the Oracle Solaris operating system. Most programs do not use privileges, because a program typically operates within the bounds of the system security policy.

Privileges are assigned by an administrator. Privileges are enabled according to the design of the program. At login or when a profile shell is entered, the administrator's privilege assignments apply to any commands that are executed in the shell. When an application is run, privileges are turned on or turned off programmatically. If a new program is started by using the exec(1) command, that program can potentially use all of the parent process's inheritable privileges. However, that program cannot add any new privileges.