[Fedora-packaging] file permissions, guidelines, rpmlint

John Dennis jdennis at redhat.com
Tue Dec 8 16:06:30 UTC 2009

On 12/08/2009 06:13 AM, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> Le Lun 7 décembre 2009 23:21, John Dennis a écrit :
>> * Should rpmlint really be emitting warnings and errors for items not in
>> the guidelines? (not just about file/directory but a number of other
>> issues which frankly seems dubious). If rpmlint and the guidelines are
>> divergent then should rpmlint be a recommended tool during package review?
> rpmlint is very convenient but
> 1. has been known to emit stupid warnings in the past (for example, during
> months it failed *any* spec file with UTF-8 inside, when UTF-8 was a Fedora
> choice, and while FPC had not asked for any filtering)
> 2. has refused to include checks for some Fedora packaging guidelines (because
> they were "distro specific" (ie the maintainer disagreed with FPC; today the
> same checks are performed by Debian's lintian on .debs, but rpmlint still
> ignores them)
> I don't think this can resolved unless the rpmlint maintainer agrees to pay
> more attention to Fedora packaging guidelines. Right now rpmlint is whatever
> rpmlint maintainer feels is right. It may align or not with our own packaging
> guidelines.

O.K. you and few others have answered one of my questions, rpmlint is 
divorced from our guidelines.

But I had another question, specifically about file permissions and if 
there were guidelines. The question is in the context of system 
services. I've looked at the file ownership and permissions under /etc 
and /var/log and there doesn't seem to be a lot of consistency.

My personal viewpoint is that for system services normal users should 
not be able to read configuration files and logs. Files/directories 
should have uid of root (0) and a gid belonging to the special daemon 
user associated with the service (which implicitly includes a special 
daemon group). Permissions should be set up to allow only root and the 
daemon user access to read and write files and search directories for 
that service. Normal users (e.g. users who are neither root nor in the 
daemon special group) should not be given read permission on files nor 
execute permission on directories. In other words the mode 755 is not 
correct for files owned by system services, it should be either 770 or 
750 depending on the file/directory. Rpmlint is recommending 775 for 
everything as far as I can tell and I think is wrong. Is there a 
consensus on file permissions for "system" packages? Would others agree 
with the basic philosophy I outlined or do you take issue with it? FWIW 
I've never seen a recommendation written on this topic, it seems to be 
anecdotal, historical and inconsistent rather than prescribed.

John Dennis <jdennis at redhat.com>

Looking to carve out IT costs?

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