Subject: Re: Removing dm(1)
To: Curt Sampson <>
From: Peter Seebach <>
List: current-users
Date: 11/18/1997 12:13:27
In message <>, Curt Samp
son writes:
>I'm copying this to a couple of user lists to give the users of
>dm(8), if there are any, a chance to speak out.

Okay, speaking I am.

>Security issues aside, this program looks entirely obselete. It
>was designed for use in an age when computing resources were scarce,
>CPU and memory were expensive, most people did not have a computer
>capable of running Unix dedicated to them, and text games were
>exciting. There aren't a lot of 30-user VAX 11/780 systems out
>there these days that are getting bogged down by a dozen people
>playing rogue. (There aren't a lot of systems still out there that
>would even notice a dozen people playing rogue.)

Ahh, but that's not the primary remaining function.  It *is* a security
thing.  It is desirable for at least some games that they be able to
maintain "private" data, and/or "secure" save files; for instance, score
lists should be secure against users mucking with them.

>Also, keep in mind that if you have any Internet or other outside
>connectivity at all, or even e-mail, you can easily just grab
>another copy of the game binary of your choice and play it anyway.

Indeed, but you can't hurt anyone else's scores.

>So I'm going to propose that we simplify life and remove dm(8).
>Does anyone have any objections to this?

Yeah.  I think dm does something useful, in a multi-user system context,
which is allow multiple users to share a game, and play it in a secure

The security issue is worth looking at - would it be easier to just make
the games that need to do this setuid games, and remove dm, so that
games that aren't playing with score lists are safer?

Still, I hate to lose functionality, however trivial.

Yes, I can see uses for this.  For instance, say I want to discourage
myself from playing canfield so much...