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SubjectRe: what's next for the linux kernel?
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On Wednesday 05 October 2005 05:49, Marc Perkel wrote:
> D. Hazelton wrote:
> >>Novell Netware type permissions. ACLs are a step in the right
> >>direction but Linux isn't any where near where Novell was back in
> >>1990. Linux lets you - for example - to delete files that you
> >> have no read or write access rights to.
> >
> >As someone else pointed out, this is because unlinking is related
> > to your access permissions on the parent directory and not the
> > file.
>
> Right - that's Unix "inside the box" thinking. The idea is to make
> the operating system smarter so that the user doesn't have to deal
> with what's computer friendly - but reather what makes sense to the
> user. From a user's perspective if you have not rights to access a
> file then why should you be allowed to delete it?

You're confusing concepts. In Unix unlinking a file is not the same as
deleting it. As has already been said, to remove content from a file,
you truncate it, which, no surprise, requires that you have write
access to a file. Even in DOS deleting a file, unless you use a
secure delete program, doesn't delete the file - it merely changes
the name slightly and marks the chain of FAT cluster entries as
usable.

I've had the displeasure of having to fix a netware system that had
been so fsked up by an admin that had been fired that it was easier
for me to remove the volume and restore it from a backup. The problem
was that he made a large number of files with the administrative
account removed from the ACL's... And the same problem plagues
(plagued? I haven't checked up on this in a while) NTFS. It is all to
possible to create a bunch of files with "Administrator" and all
other "Administrator" class users form the ACL's and then kill that
user.

> Now - the idea is to create choice. If you need to emulate Unix
> nehavior for compatibility that's fine. But I would migrate away
> from that into a permissions paradygme that worked like Netware.

So provide a filesystem and a set of tools for that filesystem. Nobody
is standing in your way and the Linux filesystem and block device
layers are open enough that this is an easy (though not simple) task.

> I started with Netware and I'm spoiled. They had it right 15 years
> ago and Linux isn't any where near what I was with Netware and DOS
> in 1990. Once you've had this kind of permission power Linux is a
> real big step down.

Oh, so that explains it. You got used to one paradigm and haven't been
able to adjust to another. Well, as I have previously said, go ahead
and provide us with the work.

> So - the thread is about the future so I say - time to fix Unix.

Time to fix Unix? I doubt something seriously borked would have
outlasted every other OS on the market. Unix was around before
Netware and, IMHO, will be around a long time after the last
adherents of NetWare are gone. (and with MS doing it's level best to
kill NetWare with it's own shared filesystems and built-in networking
this cannot be that far off. After all, Netware was developed to fill
a vacancy in the MS world.)

DRH
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