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Writing to /etc/ from a "privileged" UI

Hello everybody,
I'm writing this mail to gather comments about a serious bug I received some
time ago, for which I haven't yet had time to make a proper fix. The bug is
#612918, against wicd, "Uses /etc/wicd/wireless-settings.conf as state file".

My opinion is that wireless networks with some kind of configuration provided
(say, a key, or a DNS server, or some static IP, [..]), should be saved there
(so the bug really is: «don't uselessly save all the networks you encounter»
-- and I already have a fix for that).

The reporter's opinion is that no GUI should ever write to /etc/.

However, WICD clients are run from privileged users, i.e. those in the `netdev'
group, and are added there by root. So I think that's perfectly fine.

I took a look at how NetworkManager handles that: it stores configuration using
gconf, so it's not really comparable. I'd like to stick with files under /etc/,

What's your opinion on this?
I haven't searched thoroughly through the archive, but I guess there are other
UIs run by privileged non-root users that write to /etc/?

Didier, I hope I correctly summarised the bug you reported. If not, please
reply :)

Thanks for your suggestions,

 . ''`.   Debian developer | http://wiki.debian.org/DavidPaleino
 : :'  : Linuxer #334216 --|-- http://www.hanskalabs.net/
 `. `'`  GPG: 1392B174 ----|---- http://deb.li/dapal
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