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Re: writability of directories in distributions

From: Jim Meyering
Subject: Re: writability of directories in distributions
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 2009 21:43:41 +0100

Bob Friesenhahn wrote:
> On Sat, 28 Nov 2009, Harlan Stenn wrote:
>> I just saw a patch go by about changing the perms on directories in
>> distribution tarballs.
>> I'm a fan of 775 myself (ok, I really prefer 2775).
>> But I can see that some would prefer 777, and others would prefer 755.
>> The other issue, as I recall, has to do with whether or not 'root' is
>> doing the unpacking.
> Remember that 'root' is going away on many systems which are now using
> roles' (or temporary powers) instead.

At whatever pace, this won't be widespread enough
to constitute a solution anytime soon.

> Extracting a tarball as 'root'
> is a dangerous thing to do since many things may be preserved which
> make no sense for the current system, or may even be dangerous.
> The only approach which makes real sense is if the extracted files and
> directories are give the UID/GID of the user/group extracting those

IMHO, that is beyond the scope of my proposal.
We cannot control what tools people use.
However, automake *can* limit the risk when people use
tools (like GNU tar) that exhibit the offending behavior.

> files (according to OS-specific rules), and that directories are given
> access permissions limited only by the current umask and OS-specific
> rules (as per mkdir(2)).  Much of this is based on behavior of the tar
> command used for the extraction.

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