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Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 15:28:33 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: Design for extensible passwd[/shadow?] db support

On Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 09:22:07PM +0200, Arvid E. Picciani wrote:
> On Mon, 13 Aug 2012 09:50:48 -0400, Rich Felker wrote:
> >Well that's up to the Austin Group, not you. We implement POSIX.
> fair enough. Now that i think of it, pulling out getpwent might not
> be such a smart idea after all, considered that projects would need
> musl specific build instructions then.


Of course, one possible course of action would be not to support
anything but flat files like we do now, and require a library
replacing getpw* that admins would have to link to get other lookup
methods. But I think it we can do it in ~50 lines of clean code inside
libc, that's a lot better (and it avoids the issue of having to worry
about whether the static binary you're passing around supports
different lookup methods).

> >Making /bin/ls depend on dynamic loading modules is a bit
> >disgusting...
> huh? yeah exactly my point. Why does /bin/ls load the passwd stuff
> in the first place?
> It really shouldn't be in libc :/

It reads it because ls -l prints the owners of files, and seeing a
username rather than a number is a lot more informative. Being able to
identify the owner of files by name rather than just as a number seems
like an important core system functionality to me...


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