[TUHS] History of chown semantics

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Fri Jan 10 06:43:04 AEST 2014

On Jan 9, 2014, at 1:19 PM, Tim Newsham wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 9:13 AM, John Cowan <cowan at mercury.ccil.org> wrote:
>> Quotas aren't very useful any more, what with most systems being either
>> single-user clients or servers with no need for privilege separation
>> other than root/non-root.  Unless you are using mandatory access
>> control, which has never been a standard part of any Unix-like system, I
>> see no reason to continue to forbid changes of ownership.
> I think such a drastic change in semantics is bound to violate
> some security assumption of some software.
> For example, some program might have you create a file
> and use your ownership of that file as proof of your
> authorization.

I always had been told it was so that you could chown the tape drive back to root when you were done with it... Or was that the weird, fancy type-setter... But this is far from a first-hand account.


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