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Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 11:14:39 +0200
From: Luka Marinko <>
Cc: Nicolas François <>, 
	Ondřej Vašík <>
Subject: Re: /bin/su (was: CVE request -- coreutils -- tty
 hijacking possible in "su" via TIOCSTI ioctl)

2011/6/15 Ludwig Nussel <>:
> Bernhard Rosenkraenzer wrote:
>> On Friday, June 10, 2011 11:55 CEST, Ludwig Nussel <> wrote:
>> > The issue also reminds me that there are several su implemenations.
>> > On Fedora and SUSE we have a patched coreutils version, Debian uses
>> > the one from shadow-utils and then there's also a su from
>> > SimplePAMApps, used by e.g. Owl. Of course each one has it's own
>> > quirks and weird features. Does anyone still remember why a
>> > particular implementation was chosen? :-)
>> In Ark Linux, we switched from the coreutils one to the shadow-utils one
>> about 2 years ago because the shadow-utils one does what we need (incl. PAM
>> support) without having to port the PAM patch on every new coreutils release.
> Upstream coreutils indicated that they consider su in coreutils kind
> of deprecated, basically only kept for legacy reasons on non-Linux
> OSes. They would accept the PAM patch though so distros don't need
> to maintain it.
> Is there actually any serious distro that doesn't use PAM though?
> Those #ifdefs to keep old shadow compatibility makes the code rather
> ugly and hard to read. Maybe it's time to just rip out the old code
> and submit a clean, PAM only su to util-linux.

Slackware does not use PAM by default and it uses coreutils su (at
least it did in 12)

Luka Marinko

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