stat with no READ_CONTROL

Pierre A. Humblet
Thu Jan 9 04:20:00 GMT 2003


when stat is called on a file with a non-readable security descriptor
(e.g. because of no READ_CONTROL permission), read_sd fails but stat
still succeeds. 
However the uid and gid are set to garbage (uninitialized automatic
variables) and the modes are from nontsec, rw-r--r--.
Other info, such as the times and size, can be correct.

The question is what to do about it. According to posix 
stat can (additional or alternative file access control mechanisms)
and must (cannot provide correct info) fail.

A consequence of this hard nosed approach is that ls -l may not show 
all files. To avoid that, stat could return uid = gid = -1 and modes = 0.

Which is best in this case: conformance to posix or user friendliness?


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