using bazaar as root

Colin D Bennett colin at
Sat Dec 20 05:42:48 GMT 2008

On Sat, 20 Dec 2008 00:25:48 +0100
Jelmer Vernooij <jelmer at> wrote:

> Am Freitag, den 19.12.2008, 17:08 -0600 schrieb Rahul Nabar:
> > On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 4:37 PM, John Arbash Meinel
> > <john at> wrote:
> > >
> > > The primary issue is that we don't version the file permissions.
> > > We generally *preserve* them, but if you delete a file
> > > completely, and then use "bzr revert" to bring it back, it will
> > > come back based on your umask. So likely to either be rw-rw-r--
> > > or rw-r--r--- (umask 0002, 0022 respectively).
> > 
> > Thanks John. I guess I should be safe till I don't have to do a
> > revert for a deleted file but just on a modified file. Just
> > curious: Why does bzr not preserve permissions? Is it just storage
> > economy or are there deeper issues?
> It's problematic to preserve permissions in a portable manner. 
> [...]
> In your case you would probably also want to store the owner and group
> of the file. This is also not trivial to do, since you don't want to
> store the uid / gid (they can refer to different users on different
> systems) nor do you want to store the username / groupname (what if
> they don't exist on a system on which you do the checkout, or if they
> are actually different users).

I think the difficulty of getting file permissions right in a similar
context is evidenced by the brain damaged way that NFS and Samba work
with permissions on POSIX/Linux/UNIX machines:  The files show up on
clients based on the served file's numeric owner UID interpreted in the
context of the client's user list.  For 99% of purposes, this is the
wrong way to do things; the numeric ID should be opaque and the user
name is what has semantic meaning, and what users care about.

If NFS hasn't got this right so far, it might be a pretty hard problem
(though to my simple mind it seems easy--just map user/group IDs to the
corresponding ones on the client with the same name; nonexistent IDs
are mapped to a 'nobody' user or group).

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