[maemo-users] Questions #3: root

From: Jussi Kukkonen jhkukkon at cc.hut.fi
Date: Thu Sep 13 11:17:17 EEST 2007
Thomas Leavitt wrote:
> I also noticed that "/etc/shells" has a long list of shells. It seems 
> just slightly strange to me that, on a device this resource constrained, 
> they'd "waste" even that many "bytes" by not truncating this file... 
> makes me wonder what other potential "optimizations" haven't been done.

The savings in this case would be at most 0.0001% of the flash memory 
use and RAM footprint. When maemo developers have time to work on 
optimizations like this, we'll be doing great...

> I also wonder how the synaptic install package managed to add a line 
> referencing itself to /etc/sudoers... if the app installer permits 
> modifications of this sort to be made to /etc/sudoers, doesn't that 
> suggest someone could simply write an app that added the line below, or 
> write a malicious app that gave itself root privileges?

The app installer runs as root just like every other package manager on 
any linux distro. When you install a package, the post- and pre-install 
scripts naturally run as root. So yes, what you suggest is possible, and 
this is not at all maemo-specific. See SELinux or AppArmor for solutions.
  Incidentally, this can be seen as a selling point for centralized 
repositories: The repo administrator has at least a theoretical 
possibility of checking the install scripts...

> What's the default password for "user"? Will changing it affect 
> anything, since obviously the system auto-starts?

Password is not set by default, IIRC. The GUI will still autologin after 
you've set the password. Sshing in becomes possible with the passwd. I 
typically unset the root passwd after I've setup passwd and sudo-rights 
for "user" just to be sure.


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