Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 435536
fetchmail emits pointless message on stderr
Last modified: 2008-06-27 05:48:02 EDT
Description of problem:
If fetchmail is run as root then it emits the message "WARNING: Running as root
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
1. run fetchmail as root
Emits "WARNING: Running as root is discouraged." on stderr
Should not emit pointless nanny messages.
Messages on stderr should be reserved for indications of serious problems. The
above message is not the result of a serious problem (it is merely one person's
idea of a possible problem perhaps under certain largely improbable circumstances).
If programs emit silly gratuitous messages on stderr then users are likely to
start redirecting stderr to /dev/null and as a result will miss the real useful
error messages for which stderr is specifically reserved.
For goodness sake ... will we start seeing "bash" start emitting such pointless
messages? Because running "bash" with redirection as root is also possibly not
recommended because one could accidentally clobber a file. So is using "rm -fr"
and so on, and ad infinitum, and ad absurditum.
This warning is legitimate in my point of view and I will not differentiate from
Feel free to discuss your ideas at email@example.com or at
Maybe all programs should emit an error message "WARNING: In all likelihood a
dickhead is running this program" on stderr. That is what stderr is for - isn't
it? To tell people the obvious? To provide a serious error message that
indicates a serious problem.
Maybe bash could do likewise: "WARNING: Running as root is discouraged."
Thanks, Vitezslav, for so effectively communicating your ability to rationalize.