rm not honoring directory access permissions

Nellis, Kenneth knellis@idirect.net
Fri Jun 2 18:01:00 GMT 2006

I recently noticed that rm will delete a file without proper regard to the
access permissions of the containing directory. Researching the archives, I
see that this subject was touched on ("POSIX compliance of unlink(2)") in
February 2005, but the discussion seemed to veer off to a side issue (IMHO)
of updating various ctime's. So, I'm left wondering about the problem of
deleting the file. Is this a bug that ought to be fixed or what is the
rationale for maintaining the current behavior?

To remind anyone of the specific issue, consider the following in which rm
deletes (but shouldn't) file a/b:

$ mkdir a
$ touch a/b
$ chmod a-w a
$ rm a/b

--Ken Nellis

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