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man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2022



roles - print roles granted to a user


roles [ user ]...


The command roles prints on standard output the roles that you or the optionally-specified user have been granted. Roles are special accounts that correspond to a functional responsibility rather than to an actual person (referred to as a normal user).

Each user may have zero or more roles. Roles have most of the attributes of normal users and are identified like normal users in passwd(5) and shadow(5). Each role must have an entry in the user_attr(5) file that identifies it as a role. Roles can have their own authorizations and profiles. See auths(1) and profiles(1).

Roles are not allowed to log into a system as a primary user. Instead, a user must log in using their own account and assume the role. The actions of a role are attributable to the normal user. When auditing is enabled, the audited events of the role contain the audit ID of the original user who assumed the role.

A role may not assume itself or any other role. Roles are not hierarchical. However, rights profiles (see prof_attr(5)) are hierarchical and can be used to achieve the same effect as hierarchical roles.

Role assumption can be performed using su(8), ssh(1), or some other service that supports the PAM_AUSER variable. Successful assumption requires both role authentication and membership. Role authentication can require either the user's password or the role's password, depending on the setting of the roleauth property in the role's user_attr(5) entry. By default, the role's password is required. Roles are typically assigned a profile shell. By convention, a profile shell is specified by preceding the standard shell's name with pf, for example, pfbash. Role assignments are specified in user_attr(5).


Example 1 Sample Output

The output of the roles command has the following form:

example% roles tester01 tester02
tester01 : admin
tester02 : secadmin, root

Exit Status

The following exit values are returned:


Successful completion.


An error occurred.






See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:


See Also

auths(1), pfexec(1), profiles(1), ssh(1), auth_attr(5), passwd(5), prof_attr(5), shadow(5), user_attr(5), attributes(7), rbac(7), su(8)


The roles command was added in Solaris 8.