Macbook OSX: Using Touch ID / fingerprints to enable SUDO and permanently enabling this after Mac OSX updates

Each day that I wake up I try and figure out if I can do less work than yesterday. With this in mind I was playing around to see if there is a way to save me typing my password each time I SUDO. It turns out this is quite a simple change…

Open Terminal and run the following to edit sudos behaviour:

sudo nano /etc/pam.d/sudo

Next add the following to the top of the file:

auth       sufficient

The only issue with this is that /etc/pam.d/sudo is overwritten on every macOS update (major, minor or patch – it is always overwritten and reset back to its default state).

MacOS: Sonoma

In their “What’s new for enterprise in macOS Sonoma” document Apple listed the following in the “Bug fixes and other improvements” section:

Touch ID can be allowed for sudo with a configuration that persists across software updates using /etc/pam.d/sudo_local. See /etc/pam.d/sudo_local.template for details.

So lets create a template file in /etc/pam.d/sudo_local.template:

sudo nano /etc/pam.d/sudo_local.template

Next uncomment the auth line, as per:

# sudo_local: local config file which survives system update and is included fo$
# uncomment following line to enable Touch ID for sudo
auth       sufficient

This should mean that Touch ID now survive system updates!

Quick tests:

sudo ls
# exit sudo
sudo -k
sudo ls

To enable Touch ID access on Iterm2. You need to do the following. Go to Prefs -> Advanced -> Allow sessions to survive logging out and back in and set value to no . Restart Iterm2 and touch ID authentication will work on Iterm2.

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