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Old 11-28-2014, 05:21 AM   #1
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Registered: Nov 2014
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Editing File Shows Random Characters

Hi all, sorry if this a serious newbie one but...

I've just got a new Linux VPS install running Centos, i wanted to make changes to the /usr/sbin/visudo file.

When i do a 'nano /usr/sbin/visudo' i just get a load of random chars load, the file is unusable.

A message appears at the bottom of the file when it opens saying 'converted from DOS and Mac format'. But when i see via the nano edit is:

^?ELF^B^A^A^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^C^@>^@^A^@^@^@�? for line after line.

Does anyone know what this is, why the editor or server isn't loading the file properly? Or what i can do to fix this.

Many thanks.
Old 11-28-2014, 05:34 AM   #2
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Location: Near Edinburgh, Scotland
Distribution: Cinnamon Mint 17.3 and 18.2 at present.
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Files in /usr/sbin are executable files rather than scripts so you're likely to get what looks like rubbish, they're binary, the clue's in the directory name.

$cat | more /usr/sbin/visudo
which will also be unintelligible, mainly unprintable characters.

For information, visudo is the command used to edit the sudoer's file, why do you want to edit it, the command that is?

Play Bonny!

Last edited by Soadyheid; 11-28-2014 at 05:38 AM. Reason: query
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 11-28-2014, 05:38 AM   #3
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Thanks, its still early and my brain isn't switched on yet.

So opening the file via nano / vi like did wasn't right... just punching in /usr/sbin/visudo then opened it as expected in the VI editor.

Thanks again.
Old 11-28-2014, 08:54 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2009
Location: Bangaluru, India
Distribution: CentOS 6.5, SuSE SLED/ SLES 10.2 SP2 /11.2, Fedora 11/16
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visudo is used to edit the sudoers file, why in the world are you trying to open it with vi ?
well if it was for some kind of learning .. use
'strings <filename>'
to read binary files.


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