Subject: Re: /var/mail permissions...
To: Peter Seebach <>
From: Erik E. Fair <>
List: current-users
Date: 05/24/1997 12:19:36
At 9:44 -0700 5/24/97, Peter Seebach wrote:
>AFAICT, if you install NetBSD from scratch, non-root users can no
>longer run mail correctly, because mail will always fail to lock
>the mailbox, because /var/mail is not writeable by it.
>While the security problem here is obvious, is there any reason
>mail isn't being changed to adapt?

We need to be consistent about system mailbox locking. If we want to use
link ('dot') locking, then the directory has to be writable by mere mortals
(and we gotta modify the mtree stuff). If we decide that flock(2) is The
Way, then the permissions that /var/mail comes with are just fine, since
only mail.local will be creating files in there. Just using flock(2) will
mean that locking won't work on NFS'd /var/mail partitions, but NFS-based
locks never did work anyway, so only very foolish people actually NFS their
/var/mail partitions...

I personally recommend that we just use flock(2), and DOCUMENT that we do so=

Either way, Mail(1) needs to be fixed.