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    SubjectRe: High UID support for Linux
    On 27 Nov 1998, Andreas Schwab wrote:

    > They will just use getenv("HOME"). No need for uid.

    $HOME isn't always set[1], and some existing programs do
    getpwuid(getuid())->pw_dir[2]. Sure, you can argue that they need fixing,
    but having to "fix" the program involves recompiling the program, and if
    you can recompile the program, it will be recompiled with the extended
    getpwuid()/getuid()/etc. calls and won't be a problem any more. Doesn't
    help if you happen to need a binary for which you've lost the source[3] or
    can't get source.

    It's been a long time since I've done much source-level hacking on random
    userspace programs, and I'm therefore unlikely to have much of a feel
    anymore for what programs really do to find your home directory.

    I'm not advocating the kludge here. Frankly, I don't know what the Right
    Answer(tm) is to extending uid_t to 32 bits *and* keeping backwards
    compatibility.


    [1]Rare, but can happen.
    [2]E.g., if $HOME isn't set, or if the program is setuid and doesn't trust
    $HOME.
    [3]Like the online password changer at the last ISP I worked for. Worked
    fine (mostly), but would have needed to be rewritten from scratch as
    soon as we used uid 65536. Not impossible, but not trivial, given the
    Byzantine system we had. =)

    --
    Jeffrey Sean Connell | Networking/Telecommunications Engineer, GXC
    ankh@canuck.gen.nz | PGP key at http://www.canuck.gen.nz/~ankh/pgpkey.html
    ---------------------+-------------------------------------------------------


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