Running subshells under setuid

Anders Hammarquist iko at
Thu Feb 13 02:21:57 CET 2003

In article <mailman.1045095124.20457.python-list at>,
czrpb  <nanotech at> wrote:
>> I have the following Python script being run by a setuid binary:
>>     import os,pwd
>>     s="uid: %s, euid:
>>     print ">>>",s
>>     os.system("rsync -v --progress setuid.c dog")
>I found the following in the bash man page:

[bash sets euid to uid if different]

>Is there something similar w/ python?

No, Python doesn't do this (or you would get the same uid for
both uid and euid when you printed it). HOWEVER, os.system()
uses the shell, so anything run through os.system() will have
it's euid reset.

This is a feature.

You don't want to run the shell from setuid binaries (the only
exception being su for obvious reasons). You will very likely
have security issues with doing that (in the above example,
which rsync will get executed?)

If you want rsync to run with euid priviliges, use os.exec()
WITH AN EXPLICIT PATH to rsync. You can't trust $PATH.


 -- Of course I'm crazy, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.
Anders Hammarquist                                  | iko at
Physics student, Chalmers University of Technology, | Hem: +46 31 88 48 50
G|teborg, Sweden.           RADIO: SM6XMM and N2JGL | Mob: +46 707 27 86 87

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