I tried to run the "sudo EDITOR=./sudo_editor visudo -f /etc/sudoers.d/relax_requirements" command and the error came out as: visudo: specified editor (./sudo_editor) doesn't exist

Anyone know what I should do in this situation?


You could just edit your sudo files with any editor, visudo just does it "in a safe fashion" to guard against some errors. But you can DIY with any editor, just keep a backup copy handy and a live iso ready to fix any errors just in case.

man visudo says:

 There is a hard-coded list of one or more editors that visudo will use
 set at compile-time that may be overridden via the editor sudoers Default
 variable.  This list defaults to /usr/local/bin/vi.  Normally, visudo
 does not honor the VISUAL or EDITOR environment variables unless they
 contain an editor in the aforementioned editors list.  However, if visudo
 is configured with the --with-env-editor option or the env_editor Default
 variable is set in sudoers, visudo will use any the editor defines by
 VISUAL or EDITOR.  Note that this can be a security hole since it allows
 the user to execute any program they wish simply by setting VISUAL or

So maybe your visudo can't override it's hard-coded list of editors. You could try refering to the editor with it's complete path, instead of ./ and that might work, or try a "default" editor like vi or nano (find their path with which). Or just running this worked for me (though I can't recommend vi ;-)

sudo EDITOR=vi visudo


sudo EDITOR=nano visudo

Or even using a nice graphic editor like gedit if it's installed:

sudo EDITOR=gedit visudo

On a regular Ubuntu, (or Linux Mint & others too) just running this alone should work too:

sudo visudo

Or in your specific file's case:

sudo visudo -f /etc/sudoers.d/relax_requirements
  • uummm i typed in your command and like i dont even know what to do cos theres like a list??
    – Eve
    Jan 5 '15 at 20:05
  • So the command worked and you can use visudo now? That's good news, your original question is answered at least, now you can accept (check-mark) the answer if it worked.
    – Xen2050
    Jan 5 '15 at 20:16
  • And you mean the sudoers file itself is confusing? I agree :-) You can look at man sudoers or man sudo for more info. Or you can ask a new question, asking exactly what you're trying to do, that might be easier
    – Xen2050
    Jan 5 '15 at 20:16
  • i typed in the "sudo EDITOR=./sudo_editor visudo -f /etc/sudoers.d/relax_requirements" and it said that it was busy then i closed the other tabs and it now it says that it doesnt exist i am confused please help me... is it very necessary to keep adding new questions?
    – Eve
    Jan 5 '15 at 20:22
  • I thought the "specified editor doesn't exist" question was answered? Using "sudo EDITOR=nano visudo -f /etc/sudoers.d/relax_requirements" might be easier than using vi too, but vi and nano should be on Ubuntu... And visudo is supposed to "lock" the files so they can't be edited by 2 different programs at the same time. You can look for other running visudo programs with "pgrep -l visudo" and only run one at a time (can kill others with "sudo pkill visudo" but if it's been suspended then closing the terminal or fg should finish it off.
    – Xen2050
    Jan 5 '15 at 20:34

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