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CVTSUDOERS(1) FreeBSD General Commands Manual CVTSUDOERS(1)

convert between sudoers file formats

cvtsudoers [-ehMpV] [-b dn] [-c conf_file] [-d deftypes] [-f output_format] [-i input_format] [-I increment] [-l log_file] [-m filter] [-o output_file] [-O start_point] [-P padding] [-s sections] [input_file ...]

The cvtsudoers utility accepts one or more security policies in either sudoers or LDIF format as input, and generates a single policy of the specified format as output. The default input format is sudoers. The default output format is LDIF. It is only possible to convert a policy file that is syntactically correct.

If no input_file is specified, or if it is ‘-’, the policy is read from the standard input. Input files may be optionally prefixed with a host name followed by a colon (‘:’) to make the policy rules specific to a host when merging multiple files. By default, the result is written to the standard output.

The options are as follows:

dn, --base=dn
The base DN (distinguished name) that will be used when performing LDAP queries. Typically this is of the form ou=SUDOers,dc=my-domain,dc=com for the domain If this option is not specified, the value of the SUDOERS_BASE environment variable will be used instead. Only necessary when converting to LDIF format.
conf_file, --config=conf_file
Specify the path to the configuration file. Defaults to /usr/local/etc/cvtsudoers.conf.
deftypes, --defaults=deftypes
Only convert Defaults entries of the specified types. One or more Defaults types may be specified, separated by a comma (‘,’). The supported types are:
All Defaults entries.
Global Defaults entries that are applied regardless of user, runas, host, or command.
Per-user Defaults entries.
Per-runas user Defaults entries.
Per-host Defaults entries.
Per-command Defaults entries.

See the Defaults section in sudoers(5) for more information.

If the -d option is not specified, all Defaults entries will be converted.

, --expand-aliases
Expand aliases in input_file. Aliases are preserved by default when the output format is JSON or sudoers.
output_format, --output-format=output_format
Specify the output format (case-insensitive). The following formats are supported:
CSV (comma-separated value) files are often used by spreadsheets and report generators. For CSV output, cvtsudoers double quotes strings that contain commas. For each literal double quote character present inside the string, two double quotes are output. This method of quoting commas is compatible with most spreadsheet programs.
JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) files are usually easier for third-party applications to consume than the traditional sudoers format. The various values have explicit types which removes much of the ambiguity of the sudoers format.
LDIF (LDAP Data Interchange Format) files can be imported into an LDAP server for use with sudoers.ldap(5).

Conversion to LDIF has the following limitations:

  • Command, host, runas, and user-specific Defaults lines cannot be translated as they don't have an equivalent in the sudoers LDAP schema.
  • Command, host, runas, and user aliases are not supported by the sudoers LDAP schema so they are expanded during the conversion.
Traditional sudoers format. A new sudoers file will be reconstructed from the parsed input file. Comments are not preserved and data from any include files will be output inline.
When the -M option is also specified, perform group queries using file instead of the system group database.
, --help
Display a short help message to the standard output and exit.
input_format, --input-format=input_format
Specify the input format. The following formats are supported:
LDIF (LDAP Data Interchange Format) files can be exported from an LDAP server to convert security policies used by sudoers.ldap(5). If a base DN (distinguished name) is specified, only sudoRole objects that match the base DN will be processed. Not all sudoOptions specified in a sudoRole can be translated from LDIF to sudoers format.
Traditional sudoers format. This is the default input format.
increment, --increment=increment
When generating LDIF output, increment each sudoOrder attribute by the specified number. Defaults to an increment of 1.
log_file, --logfile=log_file
Log conversion warnings to log_file instead of to the standard error. This is particularly useful when merging multiple sudoers files, which can generate a large number of warnings.
filter, --match=filter
Only output rules that match the specified filter. A filter expression is made up of one or more key = value pairs, separated by a comma (‘,’). The key may be “cmnd” (or “cmd”), “host”, “group”, or “user”. For example, user = operator or host = www. An upper-case Cmnd_Alias, Host_alias, or Host_Alias may be specified as the “cmnd”, “host”, or “user”.

A matching sudoers rule may also include users, groups, and hosts that are not part of the filter. This can happen when a rule includes multiple users, groups, or hosts. To prune out any non-matching user, group, or host from the rules, the -p option may be used.

By default, the password and group databases are not consulted when matching against the filter so the users and groups do not need to be present on the local system (see the -M option). Only aliases that are referenced by the filtered policy rules will be displayed.

, --match-local
When the -m option is also specified, use password and group database information when matching users and groups in the filter. Only users and groups in the filter that exist on the local system will match, and a user's groups will automatically be added to the filter. If the -M is not specified, users and groups in the filter do not need to exist on the local system, but all groups used for matching must be explicitly listed in the filter.
output_file, --output=output_file
Write the converted output to output_file. If no output_file is specified, or if it is ‘-’, the converted sudoers policy will be written to the standard output.
start_point, --order-start=start_point
When generating LDIF output, use the number specified by start_point in the sudoOrder attribute of the first sudoRole object. Subsequent sudoRole object use a sudoOrder value generated by adding an increment, see the -I option for details. Defaults to a starting point of 1. A starting point of 0 will disable the generation of sudoOrder attributes in the resulting LDIF file.
When the -M option is also specified, perform passwd queries using file instead of the system passwd database.
, --prune-matches
When the -m option is also specified, cvtsudoers will prune out non-matching users, groups, and hosts from matching entries.
padding, --padding=padding
When generating LDIF output, construct the initial sudoOrder value by concatenating order_start and increment, padding the increment with zeros until it consists of padding digits. For example, if order_start is 1027, padding is 3, and increment is 1, the value of sudoOrder for the first entry will be 1027000, followed by 1027001, 1027002, etc. If the number of sudoRole entries is larger than the padding would allow, cvtsudoers will exit with an error. By default, no padding is performed.
sections, --suppress=sections
Suppress the output of specific sections of the security policy. One or more section names may be specified, separated by a comma (‘,’). The supported section name are: defaults, aliases and privileges (which may be shortened to privs).
, --version
Print the cvtsudoers and sudoers grammar versions and exit.

When multiple input files are specified, cvtsudoers will attempt to merge them into a single policy file. It is assumed that user and group names are consistent among the policy files to be merged. For example, user “bob” on one host is the same as user “bob” on another host.

When merging policy files, it is possible to prefix the input file name with a host name, separated by a colon (‘:’). When the files are merged, the host name will be used to restrict the policy rules to that specific host where possible.

The merging process is performed as follows:

  • Each input file is parsed into internal sudoers data structures.
  • Aliases are merged and renamed as necessary to avoid conflicts. In the event of a conflict, the first alias found is left as-is and subsequent aliases of the same name are renamed with a numeric suffix separated with a underscore (‘_’). For example, if there are two different aliases named SERVERS, the first will be left as-is and the second will be renamed SERVERS_1. References to the renamed alias are also updated in the policy file. Duplicate aliases (those with identical contents) are pruned.
  • Defaults settings are merged and duplicates are removed. If there are conflicts in the Defaults settings, a warning is emitted for each conflict. If a host name is specified with the input file, cvtsudoers will change the global Defaults settings in that file to be host-specific. A warning is emitted for command, user, or runas-specific Defaults settings which cannot be made host-specific.
  • Per-user rules are merged and duplicates are removed. If a host name is specified with the input file, cvtsudoers will change rules that specify a host name of ALL to the host name associated with the policy file being merged. The merging of rules is currently fairly simplistic but will be improved in a later release.

It is possible to merge policy files with differing formats.

Options in the form “keyword = value” may also be specified in a configuration file, /usr/local/etc/cvtsudoers.conf by default. The following keywords are recognized:
defaults = deftypes
See the description of the -d command line option.
expand_aliases = yes | no
See the description of the -e command line option.
group_file = file
See the description of the --group-file command line option.
input_format = ldif | sudoers
See the description of the -i command line option.
match = filter
See the description of the -m command line option.
match_local = yes | no
See the description of the -M command line option.
order_increment = increment
See the description of the -I command line option.
order_start = start_point
See the description of the -O command line option.
output_format = csv | json | ldif | sudoers
See the description of the -f command line option.
padding = padding
See the description of the -P command line option.
passwd_file = file
See the description of the --passwd-file command line option.
prune_matches = yes | no
See the description of the -p command line option.
sudoers_base = dn
See the description of the -b command line option.
suppress = sections
See the description of the -s command line option.

Options on the command line will override values from the configuration file.

default configuration for cvtsudoers

Convert /etc/sudoers to LDIF (LDAP Data Interchange Format) where the ldap.conf file uses a sudoers_base of my-domain,dc=com, storing the result in sudoers.ldif:
$ cvtsudoers -b ou=SUDOers,dc=my-domain,dc=com -o sudoers.ldif \

Convert /etc/sudoers to JSON format, storing the result in sudoers.json:

$ cvtsudoers -f json -o sudoers.json /etc/sudoers

Parse /etc/sudoers and display only rules that match user ambrose on host hastur:

$ cvtsudoers -f sudoers -m user=ambrose,host=hastur /etc/sudoers

Same as above, but expand aliases and prune out any non-matching users and hosts from the expanded entries.

$ cvtsudoers -ep -f sudoers -m user=ambrose,host=hastur /etc/sudoers

Convert sudoers.ldif from LDIF to traditional sudoers format:

$ cvtsudoers -i ldif -f sudoers -o sudoers.ldif

Merge a global sudoers file with two host-specific policy files from the hosts “xyzzy” and “plugh”:

$ cvtsudoers -f sudoers -o sudoers.merged sudoers \
    xyzzy:sudoers.xyzzy plugh:sudoers.plugh

sudoers(5), sudoers.ldap(5), sudo(8)

Many people have worked on sudo over the years; this version consists of code written primarily by:
Todd C. Miller

See the file in the sudo distribution ( for an exhaustive list of people who have contributed to sudo.

If you believe you have found a bug in cvtsudoers, you can submit a bug report at

Limited free support is available via the sudo-users mailing list, see to subscribe or search the archives.

cvtsudoers is provided “AS IS” and any express or implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed. See the file distributed with sudo or for complete details.
February 16, 2022 Sudo 1.9.10

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