I would like to, as part of Emacs Lisp package set-up process to run some programs which typically require superuser access, for instance, I would like to make sure that certain system packages are installed, and if not, then install them, I would also need to configure a database, which, will also require superuser access (once, in order to add a user with reduced privileges to operate on her own database).

I was hoping to enlist Tramp for help, but after some searching, couldn't find a way to do it.

Note, what I need is:

  1. Make sure I need the permissions to do what I want.
  2. If test comes out positive, ask the user to start a shell with elevated permissions.

From that point on, I think I could manage it.

  • el-get's apt-get method does something like this, the idea is to run sudo directly (not as a shell command) and use a process-filter to catch the password prompt. – npostavs Dec 1 '15 at 15:30
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    Question 1: Is detecting that login account is or isn't superuser sufficient? Question 2: Will the shell be interactive or just run a specific script or command without any user interaction? Question 3: Will emacs be running locally or on a remote server? – Melioratus Jan 28 '16 at 5:41
  • @Melioratus sorry it took me forever to reply. (1) Nope, detecting is not sufficient, I will need to run programs on user's behalf. (2) No need for interactive shell. (3) Emacs will be running locally. – wvxvw Feb 21 '16 at 17:06

This could almost be it, except for the part, where I don't know how to make the shell buffer wait until the user finishes the interaction

(defun sphinx-install-prerequisites ()
  (let ((dir (format "/sudo::%s" (sphinx-install-dir)))
        (current default-directory))
    (cd dir)
    (condition-case error
          (shell "sphinx-install")
          (pop-to-buffer (current-buffer))
          (goto-char (point-max))
          (insert "./install.sh")
      ;; Wait until the script finishes
        (while (get-buffer-process "sphinx-install")
          (sleep-for 5)
       (message "Installation failed. 
You may still try to read %s and perform the required installations manually.")))
    (cd current)))

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