[texhax] trouble installing TeX Collection 2013

Thomas Schneider schneidt at mail.nih.gov
Fri Jul 12 06:12:46 CEST 2013


> Last year we ran into a similar problem; users of the HomeBrew
> system are told to give /usr/local the permissions
> drwx------

This seems really weird to me.  The OWNER of /usr/local is of course
root.  So if you have these permissions, a normal user cannot read the
files.  That's why I could not access latex.  The owner of /usr SHOULD
BE ROOT as far as I understand it because to make it any other user
would be a big security hole.  So then the permissions HAVE to be
drwxr-xr-x.  Indeed, for example, the permissions on /etc are:

drwxr-xr-x  121 root  wheel    4114 Jul 10 10:51 ./

on uname Darwin (Mac OS X), and on a FreeBSD (Linux) it is:

drwxr-xr-x  18 root  wheel       2048 Apr 12 10:35 ./

Same thing with /usr on Linux.

I don't see how ALLOWING reading could cause any problems to any
program such as HomeBrew - HomeBrew should not care that someone else
is able to read the files.  If HomeBrew is making /usr owned by a user
then it's a terrible program because it is highly insecure, in my
understanding.  (I'm open to correction of course.)


  Thomas D. Schneider, Ph.D.
  Senior Investigator
  National Institutes of Health
  National Cancer Institute
  Center for Cancer Research
  Gene Regulation and Chromosome Biology Laboratory
  Molecular Information Theory Group
  Frederick, Maryland  21702-1201
  schneidt at mail.nih.gov
  http://schneider.ncifcrf.gov/(current link)
  http://alum.mit.edu/www/toms (permanent link)

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