How to run multiple commands in sudo under Linux or Unix

I am a new Linux user. How do I run two commands from a bash shell? I need to run apt-get update and apt-get -y upgrade without typing sudo command two times from a command line on Ubuntu Linux AWS cloud server. How can I two commands in sudo ‘command1 && command2’?

The sudo command used to execute a command as another user typically as a root user. This quick tutorial shows you how to use sudo command to run multiple commands via a Linux or Unix shell.


The syntax is:
sudo sh -c 'command1 && command2'
sudo -- sh -c 'command1 && command2'
sudo -u userNameHere -- sh -c 'command1; command2'
sudo -- sh -c 'command1; command2'
sudo -- bash -c 'command1; command2'
sudo -i -- 'command1; command2; command3'
sudo -i -- sh -c 'command1 && command2 && command3'


Run date and who am i command:
$ sudo -- sh -c 'date; who am i'
Sample outputs:

[sudo] password for vivek: 
Tue May  2 19:52:08 IST 2017
vivek    pts/0        2017-05-02 18:44 (

You can run command as mysql user:
$ sudo -u mysql -- sh -c "/home/mysql/; /home/mysql/"
Update your server in a single go using sudo with the help of apt-get command:
$ sudo -- sh -c 'apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y upgrade'
Sample outputs:

Animated gif 01: sudo command in action

Understanding sudo command options

  1. -- : A — signals the end of options and disables further option processing for sudo command.
  2. sh -c : Run sh shell with given commands
  3. 'apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y upgrade' First update repo and apply upgrades if update was successful.

A note about using sudo command in a shell script

Here is a sample shell script:

echo "Running commands as a root user..."
sudo -- -sh -c <<EOF
apt-get update
apt-get -y upgrade
apt-get -y install nginx 
apt-get -y remove nano
apt-get clean
echo "All done."

A note about using sudo with bash shell aliases

The syntax is as follows for shell aliases:

alias foo="sudo -- sh -c 'cmd1 && cmd2'"
alias bar='sudo -- sh -c "cmd1 && cmd2"'

For example add the following to ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_aliases file:

# update debian/ubuntu box using apt
# command line when type update 
alias update='sudo -- sh -c "apt update && apt upgrade"'

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.