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OpenACS Home : Forums : OpenACS Development : new aolserver-4.0 beta2 gentoo packages available : One Message

Forum OpenACS Development: Re: new aolserver-4.0 beta2 gentoo packages available

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Posted by Joel Aufrecht on
nsadmin is now dead in the OpenACS docs as well. I finished the document and realized that I'd written it out the need for it. The test uses nobody and any service install has a dedicated user. I don't use aolserver either, though - its installed to /usr/local/aolserver and root owns it. I just looked at the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard and I think we're fully conformant as-is. "The /usr/local hierarchy is for use by the system administrator when installing software locally."

Now I'm researching to see if "/web" is kosher or not.

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Posted by Chris Johnson on
Cool re: documentation.

I'm almost certain that /web and even djb's /service are either strangely left out of mention in FHS or are no-no's. I sympathize with the unix-admin unfriendliness of crufting up the root dir; but I really don't mind /web and /service because I'm not running a large multihosting facility :)

Agreed that using /usr/local does not go against the FHS. For my gentoo ebuild I am trying to mimic the apache installation for the following reasons:
1) Easy to understand coming from an apache background (on gentoo)
2) Each service gets its own user (* more on this below)
3) Each user gets its own dir that is in /home (this is the most debatable and least important part). This could just as easily be /usr/local/. But /usr/local/somefoo does not connotate that the activities originating in somefoo package should correspond with all processes (`ps aux`) owned by somefoo quite as well as does /home/somefoo to me. Potato Potahto ;)  It's a matter of taste: I'm not a fan of a nobody user. Compare with

ps -A |grep qmail
1503 ?        00:00:00 qmail-send
1538 ?        00:00:00 qmail-lspawn
1539 ?        00:00:00 qmail-rspawn
1540 ?        00:00:00 qmail-clean

In my ebuild script, just changing ${AOLSERVER_HOMEDIR} to /usr/local/aolserver will get one back to the 'traditional' install location :)

Just for further reading:
An interesting user/perms model is what EROS-OS (extremely reliable OS) is building into the OS and what djb achieves sort of by accident in his many-small-moving-parts implementation of qmail: i.e. each process should have access to only objects that are explicitly given to it (in EROS-OS this is a Capability). The way unix roughly mimics a true capabilities-based system is by running each process as a unique user rather than give a process capabilities to resources. Then the user, e.g. qmail-send, qmail-clean, aolserver, apache, can only access the files he owns (and that is roughly equivalent to initiating a process as a more priveleged user in a capabilities-based system but only handing it a few file and resource capabilities).

I also gravitate to what someone mentioned when proposing using /home/aolserver-<version> as directory/user: the idea is that the system allows side-by-side installation *and* instantiation of aolserver.