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Re: Application name patch - v4

From: Joshua Tolley <eggyknap(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: Dave Page <dpage(at)pgadmin(dot)org>,PostgreSQL Hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Application name patch - v4
Date: 2009-11-29 00:27:14
Message-ID: 20091129002714.GL3803@eddie (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 06:47:49PM -0500, Tom Lane wrote:
> Dave Page <dpage(at)pgadmin(dot)org> writes:
> > Updated application name patch, including a GUC assign hook to clean
> > the application name of any unsafe characters, per discussion.
> 
> Applied with assorted editorialization.  There were a couple of
> definitional issues that I don't recall if we had consensus on:
> 
> 1. The patch prevents non-superusers from seeing other users'
> application names in pg_stat_activity.  This seems at best pretty
> debatable to me.  Yes, it supports usages in which you want to put
> security-sensitive information into the appname, but at the cost of
> disabling (perfectly reasonable) usages where you don't.  If we made
> the app name universally visible, people simply wouldn't put security
> sensitive info in it, the same as they don't put it on the command line.
> Should we change this?
> 
> (While I'm looking at it, I wonder why client_addr and client_port
> are similarly hidden.)

I vote for showing it to everyone, superuser or otherwise, though I can't
really say why I feel that way. 

> 2. I am wondering if we should mark application_name as
> GUC_NO_RESET_ALL.  As-is, the value sent at libpq initialization
> will be lost during RESET ALL, which would probably surprise people.
> On the other hand, not resetting it might surprise other people.
> If we were able to send it in the startup packet then this wouldn't
> be a problem, but we are far from being able to do that.

Nothing I've written uses RESET ALL, but if it did, I expect it would be
because whatever the connection was being used for in the past differs
substantially from whatever I plan to use it for in the future, which seems a
suitable time also to change application_name. I vote against
GUC_NO_RESET_ALL.

--
Joshua Tolley / eggyknap
End Point Corporation
http://www.endpoint.com

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Subject: Re: Application name patch - v4
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