why does x work only as root? - BSD

This is a discussion on why does x work only as root? - BSD ; if i try to start it as ordinary user there are lots of error messages (posted in earlier thread already) but seems to work fine as root....

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Thread: why does x work only as root?

  1. why does x work only as root?

    if i try to start it as ordinary user there are lots of error messages
    (posted in earlier thread already) but seems to work fine as root.

  2. Re: why does x work only as root?

    On Fri, 22 Aug 2008 03:23:07 +0100, NVangogh wrote:

    > if i try to start it as ordinary user there are lots of error messages
    > (posted in earlier thread already) but seems to work fine as root.


    Because it needs to open, map and write to the graphics device, and for
    whatever reason it's always been thought that that would be a bad thing
    for unprivileged processes to be able to do. Large chunks of the X
    server tends to blur the destinction between what you would expect to
    find in a device driver and what should be in user space. You certainly
    don't want something as large and gnarly as X to be part of the kernel,
    but you do want it to be able to do some things that usually only kernel
    things can. So it's a special case.

    Often enough people come up with designs for abstractions and what-not
    that would allow for a more traditional server/device split, and that
    would probably allow the server to run untrusted, but historically those
    sorts of things have made the server run slower, and hardly anyone likes
    that.

    --
    Andrew

  3. Re: why does x work only as root?

    On Fri, 22 Aug 2008 04:20:59 +0000, Andrew Reilly wrote:

    > On Fri, 22 Aug 2008 03:23:07 +0100, NVangogh wrote:
    >
    >> if i try to start it as ordinary user there are lots of error messages
    >> (posted in earlier thread already) but seems to work fine as root.

    >

    Ok - so how do i fix it so an normal user can run x?



  4. Re: why does x work only as root?

    NVangogh writes:

    > if i try to start it as ordinary user there are lots of error messages
    > (posted in earlier thread already) but seems to work fine as root.


    Running at a raised securelevel?

    Are you sure the messages you posted earlier are the ones you're
    getting now?

    --
    Lowell Gilbert, embedded/networking software engineer
    http://be-well.ilk.org/~lowell/

  5. Re: why does x work only as root?

    On Fri, 22 Aug 2008 14:54:21 +0100
    NVangogh wrote:

    > On Fri, 22 Aug 2008 04:20:59 +0000, Andrew Reilly wrote:
    >
    > > On Fri, 22 Aug 2008 03:23:07 +0100, NVangogh wrote:
    > >
    > >> if i try to start it as ordinary user there are lots of error messages
    > >> (posted in earlier thread already) but seems to work fine as root.

    > >

    > Ok - so how do i fix it so an normal user can run x?


    There are two options - one run xdm (or similar) from boot so that
    X runs as root and xdm provides a graphical login - two make Xorg setuid
    root (chmod +s /usr/local/bin/Xorg) and use startx.

    --
    C:>WIN | Directable Mirror Arrays
    The computer obeys and wins. | A better way to focus the sun
    You lose and Bill collects. | licences available see
    | http://www.sohara.org/

  6. Re: why does x work only as root?

    On Fri, 22 Aug 2008 16:15:03 +0100,
    Steve O'Hara-Smith wrote:
    > There are two options - one run xdm (or similar) from boot so that
    > X runs as root and xdm provides a graphical login - two make Xorg setuid
    > root (chmod +s /usr/local/bin/Xorg) and use startx.


    Wasn't that what x11/wrapper was for?


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  7. Re: why does x work only as root?

    On 22 Aug 2008 19:37:19 GMT
    jpd wrote:

    > On Fri, 22 Aug 2008 16:15:03 +0100,
    > Steve O'Hara-Smith wrote:
    > > There are two options - one run xdm (or similar) from boot so
    > > that X runs as root and xdm provides a graphical login - two make Xorg
    > > setuid root (chmod +s /usr/local/bin/Xorg) and use startx.

    >
    > Wasn't that what x11/wrapper was for?


    Yes that is indeed what it was for, I could have sworn it had gone
    away with Xorg but it seems it hasn't.

    To the OP - option three install x11/wrapper - preferable to
    making Xorg setuid root.

    --
    C:>WIN | Directable Mirror Arrays
    The computer obeys and wins. | A better way to focus the sun
    You lose and Bill collects. | licences available see
    | http://www.sohara.org/

  8. Re: why does x work only as root?

    On Fri, 22 Aug 2008 14:54:21 +0100, NVangogh wrote:

    > On Fri, 22 Aug 2008 04:20:59 +0000, Andrew Reilly wrote:
    >
    >> On Fri, 22 Aug 2008 03:23:07 +0100, NVangogh wrote:
    >>
    >>> if i try to start it as ordinary user there are lots of error messages
    >>> (posted in earlier thread already) but seems to work fine as root.

    >>

    > Ok - so how do i fix it so an normal user can run x?


    Sorry, I'm a dunce. I didn't see your implied question, in the OP.

    My advice: run xdm (by frobbing /etc/ttys) or (my current preference)
    install and run gdm, which is the GNOME way. I'm pretty sure there's a
    KDE way too, but I'm not familiar with it. Using gdm instead of xdm
    means that you don't have to manually maintain an .xinitrc and other such
    config/startup scripts. The downside is some slight opaqueness and
    random magic, but that's a small price to pay. Starting it from the
    command line (with startx) is for slackers who don't really want the GUI
    experience, or who don't get the virtual terminal notion. :-)

    Cheers,

    --
    Andrew

  9. Re: why does x work only as root?

    On Sat, 23 Aug 2008 09:52:14 UTC, Andrew Reilly
    wrote:

    > My advice: run xdm (by frobbing /etc/ttys) or (my current preference)
    > install and run gdm, which is the GNOME way. I'm pretty sure there's a
    > KDE way too, but I'm not familiar with it.


    kdm!

    --
    Bob Eager
    UNIX since v6..
    http://tinyurl.com/2xqr6h


  10. Re: why does x work only as root?


    > To the OP - option three install x11/wrapper - preferable to
    > making Xorg setuid root.


    I dont no what to do now cause i dont know what exactly you are advising
    me to do. You told me to change the permissions for Xorg. I did 'chmod 777
    Xorg'. This still does not make it work as a ordinary user and when i
    started x it asked me to delete Xorg.conf.log - which i did. now the
    system hangs whether i am root or a ordinary user.

    How can i simply put it back to how it was before i typed what you advised?

    thank you

  11. Re: why does x work only as root?

    On Sat, 23 Aug 2008 20:04:27 UTC, NVangogh
    wrote:

    >
    > > To the OP - option three install x11/wrapper - preferable to
    > > making Xorg setuid root.

    >
    > I dont no what to do now cause i dont know what exactly you are advising
    > me to do. You told me to change the permissions for Xorg. I did 'chmod 777
    > Xorg'.


    Show us where you were told to type that. You weren't told to 'change
    the permissions'.

    > This still does not make it work as a ordinary user and when i
    > started x it asked me to delete Xorg.conf.log - which i did. now the
    > system hangs whether i am root or a ordinary user.


    Don't know why it would ask that...are you sure you have that name
    right?


    --
    Bob Eager
    UNIX since v6..
    http://tinyurl.com/2xqr6h


  12. Re: why does x work only as root?

    On Sat, 23 Aug 2008 21:04:27 +0100
    NVangogh wrote:

    >
    > > To the OP - option three install x11/wrapper - preferable to
    > > making Xorg setuid root.

    >
    > I dont no what to do now cause i dont know what exactly you are advising
    > me to do. You told me to change the permissions for Xorg. I did 'chmod 777
    > Xorg'.


    No I suggested making it setuid root - "chmod +s Xorg". I did *not*
    suggest chmod 777 Xorg - that would be a bad thing to do.

    > This still does not make it work as a ordinary user and when i
    > started x it asked me to delete Xorg.conf.log - which i did. now the
    > system hangs whether i am root or a ordinary user.


    For starters put the permissions on Xorg back where they were
    (chmod 555 Xorg seems likely). You may have lost your configuration - I
    don't recall ever seeing an Xorg.conf.log but then I usually just take vi
    to /etc/x11/xorg.conf to configure X.

    > How can i simply put it back to how it was before i typed what you
    > advised?


    Go back and look at my post again, you did not do what I advised.
    What you did do should be harmless enough though unless someone took
    advantage of the relaxed permissions to modify your Xorg binary.

    My revised suggestion (on learning the x11/wrapper is still around)
    was to install that port.

    --
    C:>WIN | Directable Mirror Arrays
    The computer obeys and wins. | A better way to focus the sun
    You lose and Bill collects. | licences available see
    | http://www.sohara.org/

  13. Re: why does x work only as root?

    On 23 Aug 2008 09:52:14 GMT
    Andrew Reilly wrote:

    > Starting it from the
    > command line (with startx) is for slackers who don't really want the GUI
    > experience, or who don't get the virtual terminal notion. :-)


    Or who want to be able to boot their machine without starting X
    sometimes, or who want to be able to start a second (or third or fourth) X
    server sometimes.

    --
    C:>WIN | Directable Mirror Arrays
    The computer obeys and wins. | A better way to focus the sun
    You lose and Bill collects. | licences available see
    | http://www.sohara.org/

  14. Re: why does x work only as root?

    On Sat, 23 Aug 2008 20:11:36 +0000, Bob Eager wrote:

    >> > To the OP - option three install x11/wrapper - preferable to
    >> > making Xorg setuid root.


    I installed the wrapper & x starts as a normal user. But am not sure if it
    is stable. It has cut out twice when i have opened a web browser and
    caused a re-boot.

  15. Re: why does x work only as root?

    On Sun, 24 Aug 2008 20:31:21 UTC, NVangogh
    wrote:

    > On Sat, 23 Aug 2008 20:11:36 +0000, Bob Eager wrote:
    >
    > >> > To the OP - option three install x11/wrapper - preferable to
    > >> > making Xorg setuid root.

    >
    > I installed the wrapper & x starts as a normal user. But am not sure if it
    > is stable. It has cut out twice when i have opened a web browser and
    > caused a re-boot.


    Actually, I didn't write that - although I agree that it is a solution.
    --
    Bob Eager
    UNIX since v6..
    http://tinyurl.com/2xqr6h


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