RFC: 1.7.33 problem with user's home directory

Andrey Repin anrdaemon@yandex.ru
Tue Nov 11 15:35:00 GMT 2014

Greetings, Corinna Vinschen!

>> > Shall the "db" entries utilize the Windows home folder if it exits(*)
>> > and drop using the unixHomeDirectory?  It seems inevitable…
>> Use of AD implies some level of security consciousness.  The ability to write to c:\cygwin — not just during installation, but during all use thereafter! — comes out of a world where every user is a local Administrator.
>> This answer I wrote on Stack Overflow is one way to solve the problem today:
>>     http://stackoverflow.com/questions/26666180/
>> It might not be a bad idea if Cygwin started doing this sort of thing by default in the future.  (Obviously for new installs only.)

> What I gather from the replies so far is this:

> - Nobody really cares for unixHomeDirectory.

As I understand it from replies, it's not "nobody care", it's "this is wrong
way of doing it".

> - Some want to use the Windows home folder.

> - Some want Cygwin to utilize the HOMEPATH dir.

When you clarify your question, this seems to be the same point.

> - Some want Cygwin to use always it's own /home and do everything else
>   via symlinks or mount points.

> The problem so far is that I'm not sure it's clear to everybody what
> I mean.  I'm *not* talking about a default value which can easily be
> overridden by tweaking /etc/passwd.  I'm talking about what the passwd
> entry contains if there's no passwd file, and the admins want to keep
> the administration strictly inside AD.  The passwd entry gets generated
> from what AD provides.  And here we need a sensible default behaviour.

Yes, this makes more sense.

> One possible, but not naturally useful default behaviour is what
> the current code does:

> 1. Utilize the unixHomeDirectory AD attribute.
> 2. If unixHomeDirectory is empty, fall back to /home/$USER.

As has been pointed out, unixHomeDirectory is to tell *NIX system, where o
look for user's homedir. Cygwin is not a a Unix system, and I have to agree
that using this attribute for Cygwin wouldn't be the right thing.

> Another possible behaviour:

> 1. Utilize the homeDirectory AD attribute (aka %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%).
> 2. If homeDirectory is empty, fall back to /home/$USER.

> Another:

> 1. Always use /home/$USER and let the admins come up with a matching
>    mount point scheme.

> Another:

> 1. Add a setting to /etc/nsswitch.conf which allows to specify one of
>   the above:

>     home: [unix|win|home]...

>    - "unix" means, set pw_dir to unixHomeDirectory
>    - "win" means, set pw_dir to homeDirectory
>    - "home" means, set pw_dir to /home/$USER
>    - Multiple entries are possible.
>    - Default in the absence of this setting is: always set pw_dir to
>      /home/$USER.

How about a slight modification to this?

nsswitch.conf configurable settings:
user: Use %AppData%/Cygwin%PLATFORM% (Separate directory for different
platform Cygwins)
system: Use homeDirectory AD attribute.
cygwin: Use current Cygwin way of /home/$USERNAME.

Default setting is up to discussion.

This is more clear in my opinon, than "unix" or "win" (Cygwin is not
"unix/linux", neither it's "windows" - it's a userspace DLL providing POSIX
API compatibility in Windows), and definitely more clear, than "home: home".

Andrey Repin (anrdaemon@yandex.ru) 11.11.2014, <18:18>

Sorry for my terrible english...

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