is it safe to run net/haproxy as root?

Mark Martinec Mark.Martinec+freebsd at
Thu Apr 9 13:26:40 UTC 2015

Marko Cupać wrote:

> I am setting up haproxy for the first time, and of course my first OS
> choice is FreeBSD.
> Most services I am familiar with use their own service accounts which
> are created when port is installed (squid, ejabberd, mysql, clamav,
> vscan etc.). But haproxy does not create account, and there is no
> pkg-message, or any other reference which suggests I should create
> separate account, and also whether it needs shell, homedir etc. On the
> other hand, most web 'works for me' howtos mention running it under
> separate account.
> So, my question is the one from this mail's subject:
> Is it safe to run haproxy under root account? If not, what is the best
> practice regarding its user account's shell and homedir? Is there a
> recommendation for UID/GID?

It might be safe, but there is no compelling reason to run it as root,
and a common sense advises against it.  Even if it needs to bind
to a low port number, haproxy is capable of dropping privilege after
binding to a socket, and continues running under some other uid/gid,


     user www
     group www

Apparently there isn't any standard FreeBSD uid assigned for
this purpose. Either make up one, or it may be good enough
to re-use one of the existing ones, perhaps the www account.

Perhaps the haproxy port maintainer can be persuaded to assign
some account entry for this purpose.


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