INN's install program

Russ Allbery rra at
Mon Nov 22 01:52:59 UTC 1999

I'm looking at upgrading and fixing the libtool stuff, and it occurred to
me to take a look at the standard install-sh script that most autoconf
packages use.  The differences between our script and that
one appear to be the addition of -O and -G flags that check with whoami
and only do chowns and chgrps if the user is root and the addition of the
-b flag to create backup files.

The standard script, on the other hand, seems a bit more portable and
supports things like leaving off the file name of the destination path and
assuming it's the same as the source file name.  Unfortunately it already
has a -b option that does something else.

I don't really understand the purpose of the -O and -G options; INN
depends a lot on the right ownership of files and wants things to be
installed setuid root, so trying to support non-root installs seems to be
a bit iffy.  Plus, it uses whoami to figure out if the user is root, and
whoami isn't a standard binary on Solaris (you have to install the ucb
compatibility stuff, which I never do any more).  I'd be worried that an
install as someone other than root would just be more likely to result in
obscure problems.

I could fairly easily patch the -b support into the standard install-sh
(probably as -B) and modify INN to use it instead, which would as an
advantage mean not having to keep around a useless install-sh file to make
configure happy.


Russ Allbery (rra at         <URL:>

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