Bug 437462 - /etc/news, which is home directory of user news, does not exist
/etc/news, which is home directory of user news, does not exist
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: setup (Show other bugs)
noarch Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: Phil Knirsch
Fedora Extras Quality Assurance
: Reopened
Depends On:
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Reported: 2008-03-14 07:46 EDT by Michel Samia
Modified: 2015-03-04 20:19 EST (History)
4 users (show)

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Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
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Last Closed: 2008-07-25 12:00:21 EDT
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Description Michel Samia 2008-03-14 07:46:16 EDT
From Bugzilla Helper:
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20080208 Fedora/ Firefox/

Description of problem:
I write tests for fedora security audit tool called sectool (https://fedorahosted.org/sectool). One of my test (called home_dirs) checks whether all home directories in /etc/passwd exist. So I found that user news (some daemon or what?) has home directory /etc/news, which does not exist.

What is the purpose of user news? Which daemon uses it?
I tried 
# cd /; find -owner news
and it found nothing.

We need to have our sectool without any warning on default fedora instalation.

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:

Steps to Reproduce:
1. # sectool -rn home_dirs

alternate way:
1. $ grep news /etc/passwd
2. $ stat /etc/news

Actual Results:
sectool produces
        Warning(04)   Home directory "/etc/news" doesn't exist!

stat: cannot stat `/etc/news': No such file or directory

Expected Results:
No user news in passwd, if is not needed by any package in default fedora instalation.

Or if needed by something,

Additional info:
Comment 1 Phil Knirsch 2008-04-07 17:35:12 EDT
Fixed in filesystem now in the end.

Read ya, Phil
Comment 2 Michel Samia 2008-04-09 12:00:50 EDT
You added /etc/news into filesystem.rpm instead of removing user 'news' from
/etc/passwd and /etc/group.

I *don't* think we need user 'news' by default:
 1) If any daemon uses user 'news' or directory /etc/news, it should create it
during instalation.
 2) Your solution makes Fedora less compatible with the Filesystem Hierarchy
 3) It is dirty

Any reason for keeping user 'news' in /etc/passwd? Other distros don't have it.
I will be happy to see /etc/passwd as clean as can be. So please remove it
Comment 3 Ondrej Vasik 2008-04-10 03:58:54 EDT
Adding myself to CC as I'm inn maintainer. I would say that it is in setup from
historical reasons (the same thing was with missing /sbin/nologin user shell).
I'm not sure if there is some other package which needs news user - if there is
no such package, it is reasonable to have the user news created by inn package.
Anyway - such change should not be done in stable distribution (as it is
reported against F8) - if there is no other package using news user, it should
be ok to move creation of news user to inn package for F10.
Comment 4 Michel Samia 2008-04-10 07:33:18 EDT
I'm sorry for not mentioning it: I don't want this change in F9 or even in F8,
but in rawhide (F9 branching was April 8th). I did a survey about news servers
in Fedora and I found that this change touches only inn, which Ondrej, is ready
to change, and leafnode. So I contacted leafnode maintainer Kevin Fenzi. After I
get the answer from him, we can continue on this. Thank you all for cooperation. 
Comment 5 Phil Knirsch 2008-04-10 07:50:31 EDT
Sounds like a good plan to me.

Just let me know when you want to do the change in inn, Ondrej so i can then
remove the news user from /etc/passwd in setup.

Read ya, Phil
Comment 6 Kevin Fenzi 2008-04-14 22:27:04 EDT
Greetings. I maintain leafnode that also uses a 'news' user. 

I would be happy to add a news user to leafnode as well... 

Note that the correct way to do this is described at: 

Further note that both leafnode and inn (and any other packages that own
/var/spool/news) should all use the 'news' user, so they don't conflict. 

So, just let me know when we want to make this change. 
Perhaps early in the f10 cycle?
Comment 7 Michel Samia 2008-06-09 09:57:10 EDT
Ok, the Sulphur (F9) is out for some days, so we can make these changes (in
rawhide) to close this bug: remove user 'news' from setup package and add adding
it into leafnode and inn. Thanks in advance.
Comment 8 Kevin Fenzi 2008-06-16 18:27:06 EDT
ok. This is my proposed changes to the 'leafnode' package: 

diff -r1.14 leafnode.spec
< Release: 3%{?dist}
> Release: 4%{?dist}
> Requires(pre): shadow-utils
> %pre
> getent group news >/dev/null || groupadd -r news
> getent passwd news >/dev/null || \
> useradd -r -g news -d /etc/news -s /sbin/nologin \
> -c "News server user" news
> exit 0
> * Mon Jun 16 2008 Kevin Fenzi <kevin@tummy.com> - 1.11.6-4
> - Add news user. fixes bug #437462

Ondrej: When do you want to make the inn change? I suggest we try and make
changes to leafnode, inn and setup all in the same day if possible. Just let me
know if the above looks good and when to push a build. 
Comment 9 Ondrej Vasik 2008-06-17 07:42:35 EDT
Looks ok, will use the same in inn, I think it is safe to build anytime as it
will ignore possible existing user/group news. So I would say, push and build.
Comment 10 Ondrej Vasik 2008-06-17 08:50:16 EDT
Inn package built with news user/group as inn-2.4.4-3.fc10.
Comment 11 Phil Knirsch 2008-06-17 11:39:35 EDT
Ok, building a new setup package for F10 then without the user news and a new
filesystem package with a removed /etc/news directory.

Thanks everyone!

Read ya, Phil
Comment 12 Kevin Fenzi 2008-06-17 11:42:06 EDT
Leafnode is done and built: 

Comment 13 Robert Scheck 2008-07-13 08:59:59 EDT
Well, the group "news" still exists in /etc/group. Is this correct?

Comment 14 Phil Knirsch 2008-07-25 11:59:37 EDT
Doh, you're absolutely right, Robert.

Removed it just now, new package is building.

Read ya, Phil

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