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Re: Bug#388399: FTBFS problems on alpha, mips[el]: Please help debugging

[Summary for the buildd people: We still need your input]

Thiemo Seufer <ths@networkno.de> wrote:

>> >  sudo mkdir -p /tmp/texfonts/source/jknappen/ec
>> >  sudo mkdir -p /tmp/texfonts/tfm/jknappen/ec
>> >  make -C docs/psdoc
>> >
>> > So somewhere, there is a very, very wrong assumption that it's ok to use a
>> > fixed, user-invariant path under /tmp for writing out fonts.
>> I do not think that this is a bug, and anyway it's unrelated to the
>> FTBFS problem.  Previously fonts were created below /var, but this was
>> regarded as a security risk because users would be able to completely
>> fill up /var.  Now the font cache is in the users' directories, and only
>> as a fallback it is in /tmp/texfonts.
> So, if I understand that correctly, the bug was fixed by running mktexmf
> as non-root, and the change of the cache location is only a collateral.

No, or I do not understand what you mean.  The bug we are sending this
to, #388399, is still open and RC, and nothing was fixed.  I was just
describing the history of the font cache, in order to have an argument
why a user-invariant font cache directory might be acceptable.  But
that's a different issue, not related to #388399, and I have already
sent a mail to control@b.d.o to separate this out.

The bug #388399 still persists, and so far it only manifests itself on
three buildds for alpha, mips and mipsel, and no one else has been able
to reproduce it.  And I must say that it really sucks to exchange so
many e-mails on the topic without any input from the people who actually
could help.

>> If the admin chooses to create an empty /tmp/texfonts hierarchy without
>> write access for users that need the font cache, that's equivalent to
>> him creating an empty /var/cache/fonts/... without users having write
>> access, in the old setup.  You're allowed to shoot yourself into the
>> foot. 
> AFAIU any user on the system could create /tmp/texfonts and break
> mktexmf that way.

You are right, and while that's not a problem in most cases (hardly any
system except buildds and build chroots have users without writable home
directories that use TeX, and obviously up to now no system had two of
them), it is a bug.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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