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"Huang, Tao" 09-13-2010 02:56 AM

Fwd: Updating files in /etc Remotely (and automated)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hal Vaughan <>
Date: Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 11:52 PM
Subject: Re: Updating files in /etc Remotely (and automated)
To: "Huang, Tao" <>

On Sep 12, 2010, at 9:33 AM, Huang, Tao wrote:

> On Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 5:15 AM, Hal Vaughan <> wrote:
>> I will be working with a server on the Internet that uses rsync and is running Debian. *I will be setting up initial /etc/rsyncd.conf and /etc/rsyncd.secrets files on it. *But along the way, whenever a new user is added, they'll need to be updated. *I can use ssh on this system, but, of course, I don't want to allow root access.
>> I'd like to be able to have these files updated automatically when I add a new user to another system. *I could create new copies of the files locally, where the users are added and use scp to copy them to a directory on the server. *But that's where there are problems. *How can I chown the files to root, copy them to /etc, and chmod as needed for rsync to use them automatically?
>> I don't see a way to do that without security issues. *I need to somehow ssh in and do an su or run three commands as sudo (I need to mv the file, chown it, and chmod it).
>> I am far from an expert in security, but I can see that if I have anything in place to make this easy, then anyone hacking my user account could easily mess up anything in the system.
>> Is there some way I can set this up so I can update rsyncd.conf and rsyncd.secrets only automatically when I have the newer versions on my local system to be uploaded?
> what about setting up a root cron job that scans a specific folder,
> let's say /home/some/where, read the changes ( in a predefined format)
> and update files in /etc. that folder can be owned by any unprivileged
> user, and further checkings (such as gpg signatures verifying) can be
> done in the cron script before any root file is writen.
> when new users are added, just rsync the files to /home/some/where,
> and wait for the root cron script to notice the update, verify, and

I don't know why I hadn't thought of that! *There's one other idea
someone suggested, using an automatic command with the authorized key
for ssh, but I think that would still be an issue because I don't see
how it would get around me typing in the password.

A cron job could easily run every five or ten minutes or hour and that
would still mean a new client would be up and running pretty quickly.




Ooops, i didn't mean to send u a private message. now i'm forwarding
it to the list.


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