utmp and wtmp

Archaic archaic at indy.rr.com
Tue Apr 29 12:02:24 PDT 2003

According to the manpage:

Warning: utmp must not be writable, because many system programs
(foolishly) depend on its  integrity.   You risk faked system logfiles
and modifications of system files if you leave utmp writable to any

But then:

BUGS: This manpage is based on the libc5 one, things may work differently

Then from info utmp:

The user accounting database typically lives in `/etc/utmp',
`/var/adm/utmp' or `/var/run/utmp'.  However, these files should
*never* be accessed directly.  For reading information from and writing
information to the user accounting database, the functions described in
this section should be used.

Which brings me to /etc/rc.d/init.d/cleanfs:

echo "Creating new /var/run/utmp..."
touch /var/run/utmp && chmod 644 /var/run/utmp

Should we perhaps change it, or is this sufficient? Also, what about
deleting and re-creating wtmp? It's all still a little fuzzy with that


The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government
off the backs of the people.

- Justice William O. Douglas

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