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Re: Mysql -> Postgresql pitfalls

From: "Chad N(dot) Tindel" <chad(at)tindel(dot)net>
To: Lamar Owen <lowen(at)pari(dot)edu>
Cc: "Chad N(dot) Tindel" <chad(at)tindel(dot)net>, Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>,pgsql-docs(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Mysql -> Postgresql pitfalls
Date: 2003-08-04 17:54:15
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-docs
> > I didn't say "require them to run as a non-root user".  I said "Give them
> > the choice to decide what is correct for their environment".  In the case
> > of apache, there are many internal webservers that are not exposed to the
> > threat of the public internet; for such servers, it may be appropriate to
> > run apache as root because it simplifies the administration and automation
> > of tasks.
> It also simplifies a bug in apache crashing your box and scribbling all over 
> your disk.  Apache does have bugs, you know. (as do MySQL and PostgreSQL, but 
> that's another story).

True.  There are good reasons to not run apache as root.  There are also
perfectly valid reasons to run it as root, for such users who want to make
an informed decision.

> The postmaster will not run as root.  That is just the way it is, and has 
> been, for quite some time.  It is foolish to run an RDBMS server (or any 
> other server that doesn't need root's permissions) as root when it is not 
> necessary. It is lazy  to run things as root to 'simplify' administration; 
> properly administering a box isn't that hard, and user protections and 
> permissions should be used to their intended effect in the course of routine 
> administration.  That's just basic Unix sysadmin practice that is well 
> accepted by the vast majority of sysadmins.  We just encourage the best 
> practice in a more direct way than other servers, that's all.

My posts to the list are not going through.  I am NOT advocating running
postmaster as root.  I never was.

> As to the subject matter of this thread, there are a great number of 
> educational opportunities in such a migration/pitfalls document.  The MySQL 
> 'way' and the PostgreSQL 'way' are very different, and at points don't even 
> have a common frame of reference.  This issue is one of them; a thorough 
> explanation, written in a direct non-condescending style, of why postmaster 
> won't run as root would be a nice addition.

I don't think there is a non-condescending way to tell an administrator that
you think you know what is better for their operating environment than they do.

Everybody understands the pitfalls of running root daemons; I don't think there
is any more explanation required.

I definitely think there is benefit to starting an official "how to migrate"
document.  There is already a lot of information up on the techdocs website
that someone pointed me to.  I've found answers to all the questions that 
I needed by looking around, but it might be nice to create a more coherent
explanation of the "mysql way" vs. the "postgresql way".


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Subject: Re: Mysql -> Postgresql pitfalls
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