Re: [OFFTOPIC] Re: [PATCH] Single user linux

From: Alexander Viro (
Date: Tue Apr 24 2001 - 08:37:07 EST

On Tue, 24 Apr 2001, Tomas Telensky wrote:

> of linux distributions the standard daemons (httpd, sendmail) are run as
> root! Having multi-user system or not! Why? For only listening to a port
> <1024? Is there any elegant solution?

Sendmail is old. Consider it as a remnant of times when network was
more... friendly. Security considerations were mostly ignored - and
not only by sendmail. It used to be choke-full of holes. They were
essentially debugged out of it in late 90s. It seems to be more or
less OK these days, but it's full of old cruft. And splitting the
thing into reasonable parts and leaving them with minaml privileges
they need is large and painful work.

There are alternatives (e.g. exim, or two unmentionable ones) that are
cleaner. Besides, there are some, erm, half-promises that next major
release of sendmail may be a big cleanup. Hell knows what will come out
of that.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Apr 30 2001 - 21:00:11 EST