Why is xterm setuid root on some OSes but not others?

Why is xterm setuid root on some OSes but not others?

Post by Timothy J. L » Thu, 02 Jul 1998 04:00:00



On FreeBSD and Linux systems with XFree86, xterm is setuid root by
default.  On Solaris 2.5.1 system, xterm is not setuid root.  Why
would xterm need to be setuid root on some, but not other, OSes?

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Why is xterm setuid root on some OSes but not others?

Post by maciej h babinsk » Thu, 02 Jul 1998 04:00:00



Quote:> On FreeBSD and Linux systems with XFree86, xterm is setuid root by
> default.  On Solaris 2.5.1 system, xterm is not setuid root.  Why
> would xterm need to be setuid root on some, but not other, OSes?

xterm likes to be setuid so that it can create utmp entries for new users.
I guess that Sol xterm doesn't do that.

 
 
 

Why is xterm setuid root on some OSes but not others?

Post by T.E.Dicke » Thu, 02 Jul 1998 04:00:00




:> On FreeBSD and Linux systems with XFree86, xterm is setuid root by
:> default.  On Solaris 2.5.1 system, xterm is not setuid root.  Why
:> would xterm need to be setuid root on some, but not other, OSes?

: xterm likes to be setuid so that it can create utmp entries for new users.
: I guess that Sol xterm doesn't do that.
right - Solaris has an intermediate application that does this.  It's also
been suggested that xterm be run from a wrapper so it need not be installed
setuid, but I've only seen an alpha implementation of this (my own interests
are a little removed from the setuid behavior).

The XFree86 3.3.2 xterm supports ANSI color and VT220 emulation
There's an faq at
        http://www.veryComputer.com/
        ftp://ftp.clark.net/pub/dickey/xterm

--
Thomas E.*ey

http://www.veryComputer.com/

 
 
 

Why is xterm setuid root on some OSes but not others?

Post by Casper H.S. Dik - Network Security Engine » Thu, 02 Jul 1998 04:00:00


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Quote:>On FreeBSD and Linux systems with XFree86, xterm is setuid root by
>default.  On Solaris 2.5.1 system, xterm is not setuid root.  Why
>would xterm need to be setuid root on some, but not other, OSes?

Traditionally, xterm is set-uid for two reasons:

        - adding entries to wtmp/utmp
        - chowning the allocate dpty to the user.

In SunOS 4.x, Sun's xterm did neither (not suid either) which in itself
is a security problem.

In Solaris 2.x, xterm does both but it uses to small programs for it:
        /usr/lib/pt_chmod       - chowns ptys
        /usr/lib/utmp_update    - adds utmp/wtmp entries.

The use of these programs is transparent and done by libc.

Casper
--
Expressed in this posting are my opinions.  They are in no way related
to opinions held by my employer, Sun Microsystems.
Statements on Sun products included here are not gospel and may
be fiction rather than truth.

 
 
 

Why is xterm setuid root on some OSes but not others?

Post by Chris Thomps » Sun, 05 Jul 1998 04:00:00




[...]

Quote:

>In Solaris 2.x, xterm does both but it uses to small programs for it:
>    /usr/lib/pt_chmod       - chowns ptys
>    /usr/lib/utmp_update    - adds utmp/wtmp entries.

                                            ^^^^
Would that it did! In Solaris 2.5, at least, it creates only utmp(x) entries.

Chris Thompson
Email: cet1 [at] cam.ac.uk