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Re: [PATCH] Update pt_chown sections of the manual

On 20/08/13 23:46, Siddhesh Poyarekar wrote:
> On 20 August 2013 17:48, Allan McRae <> wrote:
>> The pt-chown binary is discussed in the "Running make install" section
>> without clarification of the needed configure option.  Clarify this
>> and simplfy the discription which is already covered in the "Configuring
>> and compiling" section.  Move details of the source location to below
>> the discussion of the security risk imposed by pt-chown.
>> ---
>> 2013-08-20  Allan McRae  <>
>>         [BZ #15849]
>>         * manual/install.text (Running make install): Mention
>>         --enable-pt-chown.  Move source details...
>>         (Configuring and compiling):
>>  manual/install.texi | 16 +++++++---------
>>  1 file changed, 7 insertions(+), 9 deletions(-)
>> diff --git a/manual/install.texi b/manual/install.texi
>> index 4575d22..b5d41a7 100644
>> --- a/manual/install.texi
>> +++ b/manual/install.texi
>> @@ -175,7 +175,8 @@ pseudo-terminal ownership automatically.  By using
>>  @samp{--enable-pt_chown}, you may build @file{pt_chown} and install it
>>  setuid and owned by @code{root}.  The use of @file{pt_chown} introduces
>>  additional security risks to the system and you should enable it only if
>> -you understand and accept those risks.
>> +you understand and accept those risks.  The source for @file{pt_chown}
>> +is in @file{login/programs/pt_chown.c}.
> Why is this needed?  I don't think we include references to internals
> source code anywhere in the manual.

I am quite happy to remove it.  It has just been moved up from lower in
the info page, where it was even less relevant.  I had kept it assuming
there must be a reason...

>>  @item --build=@var{build-system}
>>  @itemx --host=@var{host-system}
>> @@ -325,14 +326,11 @@ can dramatically improve performance with NIS+, and may help with DNS as
>>  well.
>>  One auxiliary program, @file{/usr/libexec/pt_chown}, is installed setuid
>> -@code{root}.  This program is invoked by the @code{grantpt} function; it
>> -sets the permissions on a pseudoterminal so it can be used by the
>> -calling process.  This means programs like @code{xterm} and
>> -@code{screen} do not have to be setuid to get a pty.  (There may be
>> -other reasons why they need privileges.)  If you are using a
>> -Linux kernel with the @code{devptsfs} or @code{devfs} filesystems
>> -providing pty slaves, you don't need this program; otherwise you do.
>> -The source for @file{pt_chown} is in @file{login/programs/pt_chown.c}.
>> +@code{root} if the @samp{--enable-pt_chown} configuration option is used.
>> +This program is invoked by the @code{grantpt} function; it sets the
>> +permissions on a pseudoterminal so it can be used by the calling process.
>> +If you are using a Linux kernel with the @code{devpts} filesystem enabled
>> +and mounted at @file{/dev/pts}, you don't need this program.
>>  After installation you might want to configure the timezone and locale
>>  installation of your system.  @Theglibc{} comes with a locale
>> --

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