Run script as root from WebServer

Bill Campbell freebsd at
Mon Sep 22 22:39:33 UTC 2008

On Tue, Sep 23, 2008, Mel wrote:
>On Monday 22 September 2008 22:51:26 Matias Surdi wrote:
>> The problem is that some of these scripts deal with configuration files
>> and some other tasks that require root privileges.
>There's 2 alternatives I have used:
>1) If the configuration files allow 'includes', then include a file that is 
>writeable by the webuser. This will additionally allow you to restrict what 
>the webserver can change in the config of this application. Note, that 
>configuration files that are modifyable by root only, often are for a reason, 
>so this does not improve the security of the service being configured, but it 
>takes a fork() and sudo out of the mix.
>2) If the changes do not need to be immediate, then you can put it in a queue 
>directory and run a script through root's cron that picks up the queue and 
>runs the commands there in. You then have the opportunity to remove scripts 
>before they are run or even build in authorization.

Another option that we use is to have an XML-RPC server running
as root on localhost, accessible from the web server.  This
server is written using the standard python SimpleXMLRPCServer,
and handles a limited number of procedures.  Some of these
procedures, such as running ``make'' in the etc/postfix directory,
do not have serious authentication.  Others have stronger methods
of authentication and restrictions.

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