Dangers of using a non-base shell

Andrew Pantyukhin infofarmer at FreeBSD.org
Fri Nov 9 07:56:08 PST 2007

On Tue, Oct 30, 2007 at 01:39:12PM +0200, Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
> On 2007-10-29 20:50, Stephen Allen <p0036343 at brookes.ac.uk> wrote:
> > It's been drawn to my attention not to use bash from the ports
> > collection, because if one of it's dependencies (gettext or libiconv)
> > fails or is updated significantly, it could break, and prevent
> > login. The suggested solution was to use a base shell (such as sh) and
> > append 'bash -l' to .shrc to automatically enter bash.
> >
> > The quite annoying side-effect is having to type 'exit' twice to get
> > out of a su shell or screen.
> >
> > Would it be a better idea to use the pre-compiled binary for bash?
> > And if I did so, could I be alerted to updates as easy as using
> > 'pkg_version -v' when checking if any ports need updating?
> I've been using the following for some time:
>     keramida> su -
>     Password: ********
>     root# exec env SHELL=/usr/local/bin/bash bash -l

I know it doesn't work on slolaris^W some Unix flavors, but I've
been quite happy with "su -m". It changes workflow in many ways,
but once you get a handle of it, it can really be useful. E.g. my
zsh history is shared between root and the user who su'd into
him. And if anything goes wrong, I just drop the -m key.

It's another story when it comes to remote login (non-root)...

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