[PATCH] Allow overriding the home directory via the HOME variable
Thu Oct 22 15:38:00 GMT 2015
On Wed, 21 Oct 2015, Corinna Vinschen wrote:
> On Sep 16 15:06, Johannes Schindelin wrote:
> > * uinfo.cc (cygheap_pwdgrp::get_home): Offer an option in
> > nsswitch.conf that let's the environment variable HOME (or
> > HOMEDRIVE & HOMEPATH, or USERPROFILE) define the home
> > directory.
> > * ntsec.xml: Document the `env` schema.
> > Detailed comments:
> > In the context of Git for Windows, it is a well-established technique
> > to let the `$HOME` variable define where the current user's home
> > directory is, falling back to `$HOMEDRIVE$HOMEPATH` and `$USERPROFILE`.
> > The idea is that we want to share user-specific settings between
> > programs, whether they be Cygwin, MSys2 or not. Unfortunately, we
> > cannot blindly activate the "db_home: windows" setting because in some
> > setups, the user's home directory is set to a hidden directory via an
> > UNC path (\\share\some\hidden\folder$) -- something many programs
> > cannot handle correctly.
> -v, please. Which applications can't handle that? Why do we have to
Oh, the first one that comes to mind is `cmd.exe`. You cannot start
`cmd.exe` with a UNC working directory without getting complaints.
> > The established technique is to allow setting the user's home directory
> > via the environment variables mentioned above. This has the additional
> > advantage that it is much faster than querying the Windows user database.
> But it's wrong. We discussed this a couple of times on the Cygwin ML.
> The underlying functionality generically implements the passwd entries.
> Your "env" setting will return the same $HOME setting in the pw_dir
> field for every user account.
No, it will not, because most users are not administrators. So they can
only set environment variables for themselves.
In most cases, `HOME` will not even be defined, but `HOMEDRIVE` and
`HOMEPATH` will, and they will be correct.
> All user accounts will have the same home dir as your current user. And
> the value is unreliable, too. If another user logs in, all accounts
> will have another $HOME, the one from the now logged in user. This is
> so wrong and potentially dangerous that I don't think this belongs into
> Cygwin, sorry.
I ask you to reconsider. I am not trying to make this the default. And I
*need* a way to heed the `HOME` variable set by the user. For
backwards-compatibility with Git for Windows 1.x, where users frequently
adjusted the `HOME` variable to fix problems with MSys not handling their
home directory properly.
The patch itself is so simple that it cannot possibly cause a maintenance
burden, and by offering this feature as opt-in, users who are in need of
that feature can easily use it -- in Cygwin, MSys2, and yes, in Git for
It would bring a major benefit to us.
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