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a program may be marked as executable by any user, but important programs such as halt, which poweroff, shutdown and such all back onto i think, will always specifically deal with the user before proceding. inside the code they will say 'YOU ARE NOT ROOT, so I WILL NOT WORK' a higher level of security really.
to get around this, there's the suid bit. setting
chmod a+s /sbin/poweroff
then upon executing that program, the program will take with it the name of the OWNER of the code, not the name of the user who executed it, so it'll be owned by root, so the program will see root.
the command not found is simply cos it won't be on a standard users bath. /sbin should never be on a users path.
no idea what /sbin actually means tho.. anyone...?
The shutdown command can be used as a
normal user, or configured such that only
the root user can initiate shutdown. Do
$ info shutdown in a terminal and go to the
very bottom. I found this out when it was
kicking my butt: the time delay is required
when using the shutdown command. You
can do $ shutdown -h now
(now is the time argument).