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Re: Excessive root usage in Debian

On Tue, 12 Oct 1999, Michael Stone wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 12, 1999 at 08:12:38PM +0200, you wrote:
> > I am still unsure about the conclusion. On one hand, item 1. seems the
> > most important to me. On the other, I remember talking about related
> > issues to an experienced AIX sysadmin some time ago who told me:
> > "ugh, I would NEVER install programs as ROOT!".
> How does one install software on AIX without root privs?

For many programs, you simply need write (or better "append") access to
where the files go. This could simply mean make /usr/local/bin
/usr/local/lib and /usr/local/etc (remember its AIX, not FHS) writable by
group, say, install. It could also mean use ACLs (which Linux hasn't, but
AIX has). In the case mentioned by me it means neither of these since the
site uses a package "management" system called "opt-depot" which allows
easy and flexible NFS sharing of executables. It uses separate trees
rooted at /opt/depot/<package>-<version> and symlinks to make the files
visible in globaly useful places like /usr/local/bin.

Sometimes you have to remove chmods from a makefile manually, but then
the AIX people have to edit makefiles themselves a lot anyway so this 
doesn't really hurt them.

You can't do basic system upgrades this way, but you can install bash,
tetex, gcc, exmh, ...

Bj"orn Brill <brill@fs.math.uni-frankfurt.de>
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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