[tex-k] Re: tetex-base: dvips default output and security settings need clarification

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Mon May 10 01:24:33 CEST 2004

Hi Matthew and all,

Thanks for the report.

    I also cannot find where in the sources the loading of
    absolute filenames is prohibited by secure=1, 

In the search function in search.c:
#ifdef SECURE
  /* This change suggested by maj at cl.cam.ac.uk to disallow reading of
     arbitrary files.  */
  if (secure && kpse_absolute_p (file)) return NULL;

    I think if secure=1 and __DJGPP__ is defined and output is sent to a
    pipe, the program will fail without any kind of error message.

I don't have any way to test it, but it looks like there might be
"couldn't open output pipe" message.  But in any case, I confirmed that
-R1 does not disable writing to output pipes when secure, and I can't
see any reason for DJGPP to be more secure than the mainline code.
So I removed the if(secure) in the DJGPP case, and omitted it in the doc.

    > (2) The comments regarding `z*' and `o' in config.ps could be clearer.

Based on your patch, I improved them in the default config.ps (which I
don't think teTeX actually uses, but anyway...).  I didn't change any of
the actual default settings.

    > (3) Dvips.info documentation of the "o" configuration file option
    has a typo:


I made these changes in the source.development branch of the perforce
repository used for TeX Live.  I'm not sure if that is the ultimate
source for dvips or not, these days, but I think so.

Thanks again,

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