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Calife - a lightweight alternative to sudo(1)

Calife is a program similar to sudo(1) I wrote years ago, way before sudo existed. It does not allow to filter which commands one is allowed to use, just which account one is able to become (root or otherwise).

Here is an extensive list of features:


The main command is named calife (historically named ...).

calife [-] [login]


 ... [-] [login] for some sites

check with your administrator.


There are currently two branches of development of Calife: the 2.x is the stable (or to be more precise, the one I will not develop any further) and the main 3.x branch, the one that is PAM compatible, suited for UNIX systems like FreeBSD, Linux and MacOS X.


Latest version is 3.0.6, see the announcement.

The mirror of my main repository is at calife on Bitbucket or, if you prefer using Git, please see my Github repository.


The command was initially written in 1991 when I was working part-time system administrator at the French TV channel Antenne 2 (now called France 2). It has grown over the years with more features and fixes.

It is named after a famous French comic called Iznogoud where the main character (the Vizir) always plot to become “Calife in place of the Calife” and invariably fail.