Subject: Re: SPECIAL_PERMS on files?
To: Hubert Feyrer <>
From: Johnny Lam <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 07/03/2003 02:57:12
On Thu, Jul 03, 2003 at 09:52:42AM +0200, Hubert Feyrer wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Jul 2003, Johnny Lam wrote:
> > > I understand that tar/pax cannot be trusted to preserve permissions of
> > > directories, but why is SPECIAL_PERMS used for files? As far as I
> > > understand, tar/pax handles them fine.  What's the idea here?
> >
> > It's primarily for when the file needs to be set to a certain user or
> > group that may be created by the package.  I'd gotten into the habit of
> > also noting setuid programs installed by the package just for the sake
> > of documentation.
> Um, so it's mostly duplicate work from what a "make install" does, no real
> need?

Well, a binary package may need the install script to create a user and
group, which may have different uid/gid on a different machine than the
build machine.  In this case, "special" files in the binary package will
by owned by nonexistent uid/gid on the install machine.  Listing them in
SPECIAL_PERMS will tell the INSTALL script to set the proper ownership
and permissions on those "special" files and directories.

It's something for binary packages, but is likely to be redundant if you
only build packages from source for each machine separately (which isn't
an uncommon case).


	-- Johnny Lam <>