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Re: superuser unable to modify settings of a system table

From: Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>
Cc: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>, Gurjeet Singh <singh(dot)gurjeet(at)gmail(dot)com>, PGSQL Bugs <pgsql-bugs(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: superuser unable to modify settings of a system table
Date: 2011-02-05 18:44:40
Message-ID: AANLkTi=xtxLCdbh3KWXGQkjiDjRtOb4zGU5WSp8+5-RU@mail.gmail.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-bugs
On Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 10:45 PM, Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us> wrote:
> Tom Lane wrote:
>> Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com> writes:
>> >  Is there really a use case for users fiddling with pg_proc, pg_class,
>> > etc. directly?
>>
>> There's a use case for *superusers* to fiddle with them, yes.
>> (Superusers are presumed to be adults.)  I think I recommend a quick
>> UPDATE on some catalog at least once a month on the lists.
>>
>> You might care to consider the fact that no modern Unix system prevents
>> root from doing rm -rf /, even though that's "obviously" disastrous.
>> Yet (stretching the analogy all out of shape) there's no convenient user
>> tool for rearranging the contents of all the inodes on a filesystem.
>>
>> > At any rate, I'd be happy to drop that part of the proposal.  It would
>> > be a step forward just to permit (even without
>> > allow_system_table_mods) those changes which don't alter the structure
>> > of the catalog.  For ALTER TABLE, the SET STATISTICS, (RE)SET
>> > (attribute_option), SET STORAGE, CLUSTER ON, SET WITHOUT CLUSTER, and
>> > (RE)SET (reloptions) forms are all things that fall into this
>> > category, I believe.
>>
>> It would be far less work to just drop allow_system_table_mods to SUSET.
>> And we wouldn't get questions about which forms of ALTER TABLE require
>> it.
>
> Are we going to make the allow_system_table_mods to SUSET change?  Is it
> a TODO?

I'd rather not drop it to SUSET.  If we're going to make an effort in
this area, I'd rather do the work to distinguish the
destroy-your-database cases from the ones that are reasonable for an
admin to want to do.

I wouldn't make it a TODO, though.  We have no consensus on what, if
anything, is worth doing.

-- 
Robert Haas
EnterpriseDB: http://www.enterprisedb.com
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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