Subject: bad umask in /usr/share/skel (and /etc/skel?) files
To: None <>
From: gabriel rosenkoetter <>
List: tech-security
Date: 07/10/2001 14:47:06
I don't have a machine handy that's a fresh install, so I can't be
sure that I haven't copied (and modified) the files from
/usr/share/skel to /etc/skel on all the machines I just looked at,
so I'm not positive whether or not /etc/skel is even populated in
our default install (it maybe should be; useradd looks there by
default, and changing it to look under /user/share seems wrong and
is no good anyway, as the files there aren't named correctly to be
real dot files), but that's a whole separate issue.

I'm concerned with the fact that our example files in
/usr/share/skel seem to think that giving umask fewer than two
numerals is EVER a good idea. That is, both dot.profile and dot.cshrc
perform a umask 2. This is bad, bad, bad (uh, imho). No modern
shell interprets that as anything besides 00002.

It sure seems to violate the principle of least surprise to have
users' files *writeable* by anyone else in their default group (um,
"users"?). But before I just filed a PR, I wanted to make sure that
there wasn't some kind of logic behind this decision.


       ~ g r @