Subject: Re: qpopper: Do I own temp file?
To: Nico van Eikema Hommes <>
From: Brad Salai <>
List: port-mac68k
Date: 08/29/1997 11:38:20
On my netbsd box, I use the following:

/var/mail is:
2 drwxr-xrwx   2 root   wheel      512 Aug 29 11:18 mail

and the mailboxes are:

  4 -rw-------  1 steve     guest       1405 Feb  2  1996 steve

qpopper has been working fine with this setup.


At 9:01 AM +0200 8/29/97, Nico van Eikema Hommes wrote:
>        Hi,
>>> When telnetting into localhost on the pop port (with the precompiled
>>> binary of qpopper found at in contrib/unix installed), I get the
>>> following error:
>>> [...]
>>> pass mypass
>>> -ERR System error, can't open temporary file, do you own it?
>>> +OK Pop server at signing off.
>>> Connection closed by foreign host.
>>The only way I was able to get it to work was to
>>  chmod 1777 /var/mail
>>Note: You will have to be root to do this. For those of you who use
>>letters for permissions, /var/mail should be  'drwxrwxrwt'
>>This makes /var/mail world appendable.
>1777 means world writeable, with only the owner (or root) being able to
>delete a file. That means that your mailbox is safe, but anybody can
>deposit junk in /var/mail. Less elegant than one would desire.
>>A long time ago, I posed the question of why we have to make /var/mail
>>world writeable when you do not have to on BSDI.  No one ever answered.
>Under which UID does qpopper run? If it runs as root, then it should be
>able to write in /var/mail when it has 0755 permissions. If it runs as
>"daemon" or something similar, it might work if you
>1. chgrp the binary to group "mail" (create it if not present);
>2. chgrp /var/mail and it's contents to group "mail" as well;
>3. change the permissions of /var/mail to 0775;
>4. change the permissions of the mailboxes to 0660.
>Note: I'm not sure if this works under NetBSD, but it is worth trying (I've
>seen this kind of setup under several other OSes). Also, some tips may be
>carefully hidden in the qpopper documentation :-)
>Good luck!
>          Nico van Eikema Hommes
>  Dr. N.J.R. van Eikema Hommes     Computer-Chemie-Centrum
>       Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg
>  Phone:    +49-(0)9131-856532     Naegelsbachstr. 25
>  FAX:      +49-(0)9131-856566     D-91052 Erlangen, Germany

Stephen B. Salai                            Phone (716) 325-5553
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