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Old 07-27-2009, 03:07 AM   #1
alpha_lt
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Registered: Jul 2009
Location: Denmark
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Installing binaries as user


Hello,

I've found that some linux users configure sources like this:
Code:
install_user=xxx install_group=xxx ./configure....
Then binaries are installed as user xxx. What's a benefit of it ? Will it be more secure to install binaries as some user other than root ?

Regards
alpha
 
Old 07-27-2009, 03:41 AM   #2
jdkaye
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I can't see why. Normally, binaries compiled by you are put in /usr/local/bin which are executable by everybody. I would think the way that you describe would be less secure than the normal way.
cheers,
jdk
 
Old 07-27-2009, 03:49 AM   #3
alpha_lt
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I've found this method writen by some user who explained how to compile and install proftpd. So I didn't understand what's the benefit of installing as another user. I thought that this will not be more secure as installing by root.
You've mentioned that this method will be even more insecure. Can you explain why ?

Regards,
alpha
 
Old 07-27-2009, 04:26 AM   #4
jdkaye
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If you put an executable in /usr/local/bin then in order to delete or modify it you must have root privileges. If you give ownership to a user then that user may also do this to the file. In general any non-reversible action to a file outside of your home directory should be done using root privileges. I hope this is clear enough.
cheers,
jdk
 
Old 07-27-2009, 11:41 PM   #5
sundialsvcs
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One of the more obscure permission-bits is called setuid, which may permit a program created by, say, root to execute with root's privileges rather than your own.

Nevertheless, not all installations manage everything using the root user. For example, in my tiny shop, all non-system applications are owned and installed by a non-root "maintenance user" (that's my term...) whose only purpose is to install programs ... and to own what has just been installed. This user doesn't have the privilege to install things in /usr/bin but instead installs them somewhere in /usr/local.

And so it goes. Programs which are "part of the Linux system" live one place, while programs which are system-wide user applications live elsewhere.
 
  


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