[tex-live] strange changing permissions

Adam R. Maxwell amaxwell at mac.com
Sun Mar 21 22:58:20 CET 2010

On Mar 21, 2010, at 2:34 PM, George N. White III wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 6:39 PM, Adam R. Maxwell <amaxwell at mac.com> wrote:
>> On Mar 19, 2010, at 4:17 AM, George N. White III wrote:
>>> If we keep TL under a normal user ownership, console users with
>>> admin rights can still do TL admin as on a personal Mac, we just have
>>> to revert ownership (using sudo) before doing tladmin.  Running one
>>> "chown" is a small fraction of the potential for damage that you could
>>> get from a bug or intentional hack in one of the many TL admin tools.
>> That makes sense, but who or what is changing the ownership such that you have to use chown?
> If a user (probably has to be one with admin privs, but that is
> normally the "owner" of the system)
> does an update with the MacTeX GUI the permissions revert to ownership
> by root (as will most
> Apps).    

Thanks for clarifying! Just to be sure, the "owner" does not have write privs to /usr/local/texlive?  I assume "the MacTeX GUI" is TeX Live Utility, so I'd like to improve this if possible (I wrote it).

If you were to create a group that had write privs to /usr/local/texlive and added the ssh and console users to that group, TLU would not ask for admin rights, and wouldn't be running tlmgr as root.  Consequently, you shouldn't have to do this chown dance.

Another possible solution would be to add a preference setting to TLU to use a specific owner and group.  I think I could do this by reading owner/group of the directory at `kpsewhich -var-value=SELFAUTOPARENT` and calling setuid() appropriately, if you checked a box for "Run as install directory owner" or something.  Other suggestions are welcome.

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