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Re: Questions Re. Appendix G. Securing Svnserve using SSH

From: Simon Large <simon.tortoisesvn_at_googlemail.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 17:22:32 +0100

2008/7/16 Jeff <jsbmsu_at_gmail.com>:
> Referring to the how-to located here:
> http://tortoisesvn.net/docs/nightly/TortoiseSVN_en/tsvn-ssh-howto.html
>
> 1) Am I to understand that this method is intended to support multiple
> SVN users by using a single account rather than placing all users into
> a common user group on the server, and setting the mess of
> permissions? That is, in order to avoid something like...
> $ mkdir repos/
> $ chgrp yetanothersvngroup repos/
> $ chmod g+s repos/
> $ svnadmin create repos/
> $ chmod -R ug+rwX repos/

The setup described here was the simplest svn+ssh implementation I
could find, using ssh solely to secure the link. You can find more
information about this in the subversion book.
http://svnbook.red-bean.com/en/1.4/svn.serverconfig.svnserve.html#svn.serverconfig.svnserve.sshtricks

> 2) Regarding the public key setup discussed in the how-to:
> http://tortoisesvn.net/docs/nightly/TortoiseSVN_en/tsvn-ssh-testing-tsvn.html
>
> a) Does this setup (using the command="..." in the authorized_keys
> file) mean that all users will only be able to use the svnuser account
> for public-key, non-interactive login, which is further restricted to
> invoking the command supplied as command="..."?

I believe so, but see the bit at the end of the section referenced in
the link above.

> b) We have multiple logical groups (senior design teams, research
> groups, class project groups) in my academic department, and would
> like to restrict each group to a specific repository or set of
> repositories. If we have a separate directory for each group's
> repository or set of repositories, can <ReposRootPath> be used to
> strictly enforce this group-level access while still having everyone
> login via svnuser?
>
> And if a user belongs to more than one logical group, would we just
> need an additional line in authorized_keys for each group to which he/
> she belongs, with a different corresponding <ReposRootPath> for each?

I think you are confusing authentication, which is what the SSH key is
doing, with authorization - which repositories you are allowed to
access. AFAIK authz is still controlled by the svnserve.conf file in
the repository, which is where you can add users and groups.

> c) To make sure: will the <author> text override 'svnuser' as far as
> what shows up in the logs and in $Author$ keyword substitutions?

--tunnel-user=harry means that harry is the subversion author, not svnuser.

> d) The blurb about <Comment> being used to map a user's real name: are
> they just saying this is a useful place to document who the key is
> used for to ease future maintenance of the authorized_keys file?

Correct.

> Thanks in advance. This could really be helpful in my academic
> department, where it is impractical to create a new UNIX group for
> every semester-long endeavor.

Do you really need to use SSH? If you are not concerned with data
encryption on the wire, then plain svnserve will do what you want. If
you do need encryption and you have subversion 1.5 you can use SASL
which may be easier.

Simon

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Received on 2008-07-16 18:22:44 CEST

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