tburba on Mon, 4 Oct 1999 09:06:50 -0400 (EDT)

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Re: [Plug] expect problem -- set uid

>>system administrator had decided to remove setuid from all programs<<
Forgive my ignorance, I see "setuid root" quite often and don't fully
understand what it means, the ramifications, and how to do/undo it. Can
anyone help paraphrase the man pages and explain it? TIA.

lopp@earthlink.net on 10/03/99 07:05:02 PM

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To:   plug@lists.nothinbut.net
cc:    (bcc: Thomas A Burba/USVISION)
Subject:  [Plug] expect problem

There was a discussion of expect here a few weeks ago.  I finally get
around to trying it out and I can't get past one simple problem :  it
always fails on the 'spawn' command.
Whether executing as myself or as root, it invariably says :
spawn ftp
The system has no more ptys.  Ask your system administrator to create
    while executing
"spawn ftp"
The Expcet FAQ (http://expect.nist.gov/FAQ.html) offers very little help
58.Why does Expect work as root, but say "out of ptys" when run as
      Expect works fine as root, but when I run it as myself it says
"out of ptys" (which I know isn't true).  Any ideas?
      Sounds like a misconfiguration problem on your system. For
example, once I saw this on a
      Digital system where the system administrator had decided to
remove setuid from all programs
      ("I heard that setuid is a security risk, right?"). On that
particular system, Expect uses a system
      library function that internally calls an external program chgpt
which exists solely for the
      purpose of managing ptys. Needless to say, it must be setuid.
Unfortunately, the library function
      doesn't do enough error checking, and there's no way for Expect to
know that, so there's
      nothing I can do to give a better diagnostic explaining how your
system is misconfigured.
It also has some stuff about configuring the devpts fs, but that was no
help.  My concern is instead with the '' program instead....not only do
I not have a copy of it, I've never heard of it.  I've done a number of
web searches for the string "", but the only results are mirrors of the
Expect FAQ, or in .de or .fi
Any ideas?

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