[Bug 1373495] Re: sudo shouldn't preserve caller's HOME environment variable by default

Brian Murray brian at ubuntu.com
Wed May 11 19:30:26 UTC 2016

** Changed in: sudo (Ubuntu)
   Importance: Critical => Medium

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  sudo shouldn't preserve caller's HOME environment variable by default

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Status in sudo package in Ubuntu:

Bug description:
  Currently Ubuntu hard-coded sudo to preserve HOME environment variable
  to point to sudo caller's home directory by default(refer bug #760140)
  however this is dangerous and error-prone because the program run by
  root may create files (e.g. $HOME/.Xauthority , program config files)
  into caller's HOME directory **AS ROOT** which, will cause issue when
  users run the same program as their normal users' account again and
  even make the user failed to login(due to .Xauthority file owner is

  In my opinion the Ubuntu patch(keep_home_by_default.patch)(no, Debian
  is NOT affected by this issue) that makes $HOME variable keep in sudo
  is INSANE and should be reverted(Ubuntu should use the safest
  configuration to general users by default), any user wish to run
  command as root using their HOME directory should set env_keep in
  /etc/sudoers themselves and acknowledging the consequences.

  [RootSudo - Community Help
  Wiki](https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RootSudo) wrongly tells that
  graphical application shouldn't be launched by sudo, but in fact the
  real issue falls into this bug.

  ProblemType: Bug
  DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
  Package: sudo 1.8.9p5-1ubuntu1
  ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.16.0-17.23-lowlatency 3.16.3
  Uname: Linux 3.16.0-17-lowlatency i686
  ApportVersion: 2.14.1-0ubuntu3.4
  Architecture: i386
  CurrentDesktop: KDE
  Date: Thu Sep 25 00:08:44 2014
  InstallationDate: Installed on 2013-03-08 (564 days ago)
  InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 12.10 "Quantal Quetzal" - Release i386 (20121017.2)
  SourcePackage: sudo
  UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to trusty on 2014-04-19 (158 days ago)
   /etc/sudoers: parsed OK
   /etc/sudoers.d/Preserve_input_method_required_environmental_variables: parsed OK
   /etc/sudoers.d/README: parsed OK
  modified.conffile..etc.sudoers.d.README: [modified]
  mtime.conffile..etc.sudoers.d.README: 2014-09-24T22:26:35.734703

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