I'm using a python script to run docker, but docker requires sudo commands to run and it's bad practice to store the sudo password in the file or give the whole python script sudo rights, I've seen a method where you enable the system to run certain commands without entering a password, I've tried it but I can't get my head around it, I mainly entered it wrongly (I think) I even corrupted my sudoers file once and fixed it.

So can anyone explain this line for me and why it's not working?

username ALL = (root) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/docker
  • Remove the spaces around = i.e. use username ALL=(root) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/docker
    – heemayl
    Jun 23, 2015 at 12:16
  • @heemayl still no use :(
    – Newbie
    Jun 23, 2015 at 12:19
  • Check the link on the updated answer..that could be a possible reason..
    – heemayl
    Jun 23, 2015 at 12:35
  • possible duplicate of How to run an application using sudo without a password? Jun 23, 2015 at 12:40
  • @JacobVlijm i wanted an explanation for that line, not just how to use it and the manual just got me more confused :(
    – Newbie
    Jun 24, 2015 at 7:58

2 Answers 2


To prevent corrupting the /etc/sudoers file, always use the visudo command. If you don't like the default editor set the EDITOR environment variable to your desired one.

Put your user specification line as the last line in the sudoers file.


Please see: Adding NOPASSWD in /etc/sudoers doesn't work

  • 1
    OP said can anyone explain this line for me and why it's not working? ..please add some explanation..
    – heemayl
    Jun 23, 2015 at 11:48
  • yes exactly what @heemayl said, i've found methods to restore it but i'm don't wanna do the trial and failure method with OS files, also didn't work
    – Newbie
    Jun 23, 2015 at 12:06
  • What does sudo -l say as run by your non-root user? Jun 23, 2015 at 12:11
  • If your line is before the %sudo ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL line it will ask for a password. Updated my answer with a link to a better reply. Jun 23, 2015 at 12:17

Run the command:

sudo visudo

Now go to the entry of %sudo

 %sudo   ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

and replace it with:

 %sudo   ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:/usr/bin/docker

this will affect all sudo users. If you just want to do that option for one specific user"must have sudo permissions":

user ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:/usr/bin/docker

Now save and exit.

To be sure that everything is correct run the command:

sudo docker

It should run without prompting for user password.

Hint: Be sure your user has sudo permissions and be sure the path of the command is correct. you can check using which docker

  • Why are you suggesting that they remove the ability of all sudoers to run other commands with a password?
    – Olathe
    Jun 23, 2015 at 12:43
  • How did you see I suggest that?!
    – Maythux
    Jun 23, 2015 at 12:47
  • @Olathe I think you have to reread some concepts askubuntu.com/questions/118204/…
    – Maythux
    Jun 23, 2015 at 12:50
  • @Olathe And Why you are downvoting?!
    – Maythux
    Jun 23, 2015 at 12:51
  • You said to replace the line %sudo ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL with another line. This means that you are deleting that line when you replace it with another line. Since the line you are deleting is the line that allows all sudoers to run other commands with a password, those sudoers won't be able to run other commands with a password.
    – Olathe
    Jun 23, 2015 at 12:53

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