system commands and backups

Mark Armendariz nyphp at
Tue Mar 4 17:37:46 EST 2003

I am going through the concepts of a php based file backup system for
server administrators.  I have an idea of what i want to do.  Allow
admins to create a list of customer directories, set up frequency of
backups (which will create cron jobs) and let the cron take care of the
So here's my question.  Is there a way to allow a php script to run
shell commands as an admin or specific user?  In order to tarball these
directories, the script will need access to them, which is going to
require something better than "nobody" as a user.  I figured maybe if
it's run via command line php (not using lynx method) that it would be
run as the current user (no idea if that's correct).  But what if the
client doesn't have php installed to be used via command line?  Is is
still possible to run commands as a different user?
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