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runas
Developer(s)Microsoft
Initial releaseFebruary 17, 2000; 23 years ago (2000-02-17)
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
TypeCommand
LicenseProprietary commercial software
Websitedocs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-server-2012-R2-and-2012/cc771525(v=ws.11)

In computing, runas (a compound word, from “run as”) is a command in the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems that allows a user to run specific tools and programs under a different username to the one that was used to logon to a computer interactively.[1] It is similar to the Unix commands sudo and su, but the Unix commands generally require prior configuration by the system administrator to work for a particular user and/or command.

Microsoft Windows

The runas command was introduced with the Windows 2000 operating system.[2] Any application can use this API to create a process with alternate credentials, for example, Windows Explorer in Windows 7 allows an application to be started under a different account if the shift key is held while right-clicking its icon. The program has the ability to cache verified credentials so that the user only ever has to enter them once.

Syntax

The command-syntax is:[3]

runas [{/profile | /noprofile}] [/env] [/netonly] [/smartcard] [/showtrustlevels] [/trustlevel:<TrustLevel>] [/savecred] /user:<UserAccountName> program

Parameters

This section is paraphrased from the runas /? command.

Note: Only type in the user's password, when the system asks for it.

Note: The /profile switch is not compatible with the /netonly switch.

Note: The /savecred and the /smartcard switches may not be used together.

Examples

runas /noprofile /user:machine\administrator cmd
runas /profile /env /user:domain\admin "mmc %windir%\system32\dsa.msc"
runas /user:user@domain.example.org "notepad C:\filename.txt"
runas /user:administrator /savecred "shutdown /i"

Inferno

The command is also included in the Inferno operating system.[4]

Syntax

runas writes the user to /dev/user and invokes cmd with the given arguments.

runas user cmd [arg...]

Note: The command is only invoked if setting of the user name succeeds.

See also

References

  1. ^ Microsoft TechNet Runas article
  2. ^ "MS-DOS and Windows command line runas command".
  3. ^ https://ss64.com/nt/runas.html
  4. ^ "Inferno's RUNAS(1 )".

Further reading