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Re: [PATCH] Introduce AuthzSVNGroupsFile configuration option for mod_authz_svn

From: Evgeny Kotkov <evgeny.kotkov_at_visualsvn.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2013 13:07:51 +0400

Philip, sorry for the delay in response (I was out of office).

I have carefully considered the include-based approach for this feature,
however, there probably are some drawbacks compared to the approach with the
groups file directive:

- Potential security issues in certain delegation scenarios. Consider a
  case when there is a Subversion server with multiple per-project repositories,
  an administrator, who performed its initial configuration and project
  managers, who are responsible for configuring the access rules for
  those repositories:

  * With includes in the configuration files an evil-doer could perform
    cross-repository configuration includes. That theoretically allows
    examininig the authorization rules for restricted repositories (e.g. via

  * As far as I understand, including huge arbitrary files for a single
    repository could potentially hang the whole server.

  * Includes add dynamic behavior in the authz scheme. Without them, the
    server administrator configures a static set of files used for the
    authorization process. With includes, however, this set it is no longer
    static users can tell the server, which files it should use to perform
    the authz process.

- Includes might require merging of access rules and configuration chunks from
  multiple files. With merging the whole authorization scheme could easily
  become unobvious and sort of counterintuitive.

- Finally, the solution with a new directive follows the pattern already used
  (just add a new option as it was done with AuthzSVNReposRelativeAccessFile).

Evgeny Kotkov

On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 2:30 PM, Philip Martin
<philip.martin_at_wandisco.com> wrote:
> Ivan Zhakov <ivan_at_visualsvn.com> writes:
>> On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 7:27 PM, Evgeny Kotkov
>> <evgeny.kotkov_at_visualsvn.com> wrote:
>>> When AuthzSVNReposRelativeAccessFile directive is being used and
>>> authorization rules are stored per-repository, it is usually required to
>>> have a single set of groups for all repositories.
>>> In other words, there can be a 'developers' group, whose members should
>>> have access to all repositories. To avoid the duplication of the 'developers'
>>> group definition across multiple authz files, it would be great to have a
>>> single place to define these groups.
>>> The attached patch adds the 'AuthzSVNGroupsFile' option to specify the
>>> dedicated file where the group definitions are stored.
>> Committed in r1438407. Thanks!
> Are administrators going to want both relative path and absolute path
> versions of this directive?
> I wonder if we should implement some sort of generic include mechanism
> instead. Trac uses an INI compatible mechanism:
> [inherit]
> file = path/to/another/file
> we could
> [inherit]
> file = path/to/another/file
> relative_file = path/to/another/file
> and combines the values from the other files with the current file.
> I suppose this approach would break the meaning of existing authz files
> already using '[inherit]'. Another approach would be to use some
> non-INI syntax to define include files.
> --
> Certified & Supported Apache Subversion Downloads:
> http://www.wandisco.com/subversion/download
Received on 2013-01-28 10:08:45 CET

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