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Bug#390349: Bug#388399: FTBFS problems on alpha, mips[el]: Please help debugging

Thiemo Seufer <ths@networkno.de> wrote:

>> No, or I do not understand what you mean.
> I meant the the earlier security bug you mentioned. To me, the solution
> for the earlier bug as well as the current one looks like keeping the
> font cache in /var but maintaining it via a mktexmf user.

That would be a clean solution, which we already considered.  However,
it requires a daemon (running as the mktexmf user) for the interaction
with the ordinary user who requests a non-yet existing font file to be
generated.  This is probably unacceptable for upstream, because a web2c
TeX is supposed to run on other systems, too, especially Windows, where
we have only a very small developer base (but many users).

There's a third possibility which Julian Gilbey came up with, but I
don't know whether anything written exists about that except a sketch on
a paper napkin he showed me. And it's also a long-term solution to be
implemented upstream.

So far, however, I have not seen any problem with the current setup: The
font cache is in the users' home directories, can be configured to be in
a system-wide, group-writable directory, and as a fallback, if the home
directories are not writable, is put into /tmp/texfonts.  As I already
said in my other mail, that works with an unlimited number of users.

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

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