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bug#36583: 26.1; emacs 26 tries loading original user's .emacs after su


From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: bug#36583: 26.1; emacs 26 tries loading original user's .emacs after su to root
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2019 20:38:55 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

>> BTW, thinking about "dangerous" above, I guess the behavior might make
>> sense when you're `su`ing *from* root rather than the other way around.
> By default, /root on many systems isn't readable by anybody but root, so
> I don't think it makes much sense in any situation...

Good point.

> I think Emacs shouldn't do this at all.  When was this introduced, and
> what was the reasoning behind it?

The Texinfo says:

    [...]
    @xref{Entering Emacs,,, emacs, The GNU Emacs Manual}.  If neither
    option is specified, Emacs uses the @env{LOGNAME} environment
    variable, or the @env{USER} (most systems) or @env{USERNAME} (MS
    systems) variable, to find your home directory and thus your init
    file; this way, even if you have su'd, Emacs still loads your own init
    file.  If those environment variables are absent, though, Emacs uses
    your user-id to find your home directory.

and it's at least as old as 2007 probably long before.
I still haven't found the corresponding code, so I can't confirm
the origin.

[...hhhmmm...]  Ha!  Found it!

    commit a726e0d12ccb1c49ca1f3e1fbe64addea9b7d3b4
    Author: Jim Blandy <address@hidden>
    Date:   Thu Jul 11 23:17:40 1991 +0000
    
        Initial revision
    
    diff --git a/lisp/startup.el b/lisp/startup.el
    --- /dev/null
    +++ b/lisp/startup.el
    @@ -0,0 +160,6 @@
    +    ;; Figure out which user's init file to load,
    +    ;; either from the environment or from the options.
    +    (setq init-file-user (if noninteractive nil (user-login-name)))
    +    ;; If user has not done su, use current $HOME to find .emacs.
    +    (and init-file-user (string= init-file-user (user-real-login-name))
    +        (setq init-file-user ""))

So yes, goes back pretty far.


        Stefan






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