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userspace servers and /tmp/.X11-unix permissions/owners

(Before I file any bug reports, I'd like to discuss this issue.)

The other day, I rebooted my system for some reason or another, which
resulted in /tmp being cleaned out.  Now, before I bothered to restart
the X server, my roommate logged in from his machine, and started up
VNCserver (which is a user-space X server).

So, when I tried to run startx, I got a complaint that the permissions
on /tmp/.X11-unix were "suspicious".  Turns out that the permissions
were fine ("drwxrwxrwt"), but the dir was owned by "aaron:aaron",
rather than "root:root".  But the XFree86 server simply refused to
work with things like that (even though in theory, there should have
been no problem).

Now, my first reaction was that this must be an VNCserver bug, but on
reflection, I decided that it's probably a GOOD thing that XVNCserver
isn't suid root.  (The fewer suid programs the better, IMO.)  And, of
course, if it's not suid root, it can't chown the dir to root:root.

So, I was wondering: is there a reason that the XFree86 server can't
just chown the directory, in the case where the permissions are fine
but the owner is wrong?  Because otherwise, there seems to be an
impasse of sorts.

Comments and suggestions welcomed.

Chris Waters           |  Pneumonoultra-        osis is too long
xtifr@debian.org       |  microscopicsilico-    to fit into a single
or xtifr@speakeasy.net |  volcaniconi-          standalone haiku

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