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Re: Questions on pserver authentication

From: Jim Hyslop
Subject: Re: Questions on pserver authentication
Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 16:33:36 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2 (Windows/20050317)

Todd Foster wrote:
I am trying to determine how pserver authentication works. I understand when you do a cvs login that it creates ~/.cvspass file. Therefore, I'm guessing that whenever you are running cvs commands cvs blindly combines the USER from whichever method wins (either using the pserver info found in the local working copy or in the $CVSROOT or in the -d) and uses the password from the ~/.cvspass of whoever is running the commands. Is this correct?

No, there is nothing "blind" about this. CVS determines the user ID from the CVSROOT information. It searches for the CVSROOT information in this order:

1) the global -d option
2) the file ./CVS/Root
3) the CVSROOT environment variable

CVS then parses the CVSROOT information, and if the :pserver: method is specified, it looks up the CVSROOT in $(HOME)/.cvspass (note that it is not necessarily ~/.cvspass - $HOME is frequently set to ~).

So, if user1 goes into a cvs directory created by user2 and tries to do cvs commands in there, it uses the username found in the local working copy (user2) and combines that with ~user1/.cvspass and authentication fails.

One way around that is to override the user explicitly to user1 with the cvs -d option. However, this is a very annoying way to get around the problem.
You could delete the file CVS/Root, and make sure each user has the CVSROOT environment variable is set.

If you're using *NIX, you could create an alias:

alias cvs=cvs -d :pserver:address@hidden:/path

on a per-user basis.

Or you could wrap CVS in a script:

cvs -d :pserver:$(USER)@server:/path $@

(or whatever the syntax is for 'all command line arguments - I'm not very experienced at shell scripts)

and get everyone to use instead of cvs.

What I'm really wondering, is what does the pserver authentication do if the username is omitted from the pserver CVSROOT, then what happens?
I haven't tried it, but you'll probably get an error, since the CVSROOT format for :pserver: requires a user name.


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