[Mailman-Users] Digest being sent over and over (Drifting off topic)

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Tue Dec 7 20:52:40 CET 2004

Dann S. Washko wrote:

>That is how my permissions are set, but apparently it did not like 
>having the owner of the directory as root.  So when the sticky bit is 
>set on a directory that means only the owner of the file and directory 
>may remove the file.  The owner was mailman, the owner of the directory 
>was root, and the sticky bit was set on the group.  I guess this mixture 
>worked to prevent the mailman user from deleting the file.

Well, changing the owner of the directory seems to have solved your
problem and that's the bottom line.

However, there are a few problems with the above. Despite what the
manpage implies, the sticky bit on a directory usually means that
either the owner of the directory OR the owner of a file in the
directory can delete the file. Thus when a tmp/ directory has the
sticky bit, I can create files there and delete my files, but only the
owner of the tmp/ directory can delete other people's files.

All this is moot however since the 's' in rwxrwsr-x is not the sticky
bit, it is the setgid bit. The sticky bit would be the 't' in for
example rwxrwxr-t.

>After doing some testing this is what I have noticed.
>Since the mailman account does not have a password I cannot log in as 
>the mailman account.  The mailman account is not part of the mailman 
>group (is this a problem?).

I think it's a problem. The INSTALL document says "The mailman user
created in the previous step must be a member of this group." I'm not
sure how things are working at all if this isn't the case.

>If I create a test directory, with 
>subdirectory and in that subdirectory put a file; then set the 
>permission as so:
>topdir:  rwxrwsr-x  mailman.mailman
>   subdir:  rwxrwsr-x  root.mailman
>      file:  rwxrwsr-x  mailman.mailman
>and I su - mailman from root it let me view and edit the file, but I 
>cannot delete the file.  So, based upon me setting the wrong ownerships, 
>mailman did what it was supposed to do but could not delete the digest 
>file.  That was my problem.  Mailman was the owner of the file, but not 
>the directory so it could not delete the file. 

I think the issue here is the mailman user is not in the mailman group.
The only thing that prevents the mailman user from deleting 'file' is
the lack of write permission on 'subdir' because the mailman user is
not root and is not in the mailman group. Actually, if the 'sticky'
bit were set on subdir (rwxrwsr-t), I think mailman could delete file
in this example. The only question is how did mailman create the file
in the first place?

Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net>       The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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