[TUHS] There is turmoil in Linux-land - When did rm first avoid going upwards?

Kurt H Maier khm at sciops.net
Tue Apr 25 10:18:29 AEST 2017

On Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 08:06:28PM -0400, Ron Natalie wrote:
> > rm in V6 outsources globbing to /etc/glob, which appears to report
> > no-match if the first character is .
> Actually, it's the shell that calls glob.   Glob then invokes the command
> (in this case rm).
> Anyhow, that doesn't do what you think it does.    It ignores directory
> entries that begin with '.' if the search string doesn't begin with ..
> ".*"  will indeed match ".."
> Of course, the calamity depends on whether you have /tmp on it's own
> filesystem.   V6 didn't go .. off the top of the filesystem, the root ..
> just linked back to the inode 1 (the root itself).

Thanks for correcting my hasty conclusions.  /usr/source/s2/rm.c has an
execl call in the rm() function, but I didn't dig further into the
calling mechanism.  

V7's /usr/src/cmd/rm.c definitely explicitly has a check for '..' and 
an error message dedicated to the task.  

So I think we can conclude that unix got this protection sometime
between V6 and V7 -- in other words, sometime in the late 1970s. 

And systemd is now catching up.  "Those who do not study unix" etc


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