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Re: Subversion: existing users

From: Nico Kadel-Garcia <nkadel_at_gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 18:24:23 -0400

On Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 12:16 PM, Bob Archer <Bob.Archer_at_amsi.com> wrote:
>> The most obvious authorization scheme is that of the host server;
>> if
>> there is a user named "andy" on that server with a password
>> "jackel"
>> then I would like to simply be able to talk to the subversion
>> server as
>> user named "andy" password "jackel". This is how ssh and sftp work.
>> But
>> apparently subversion can't handle that. True?
> I would say FALSE.
> BOb

It's feasible, but problematic. The solution involves giving "andy" a
valid account on that machine, one with a local or network password,
because the "andy" account needs to be able to run the "svnserve"
program. And doing this leads to risks of exposing the rest of the
system to all your Subversion users. Also, group ownership to a shared
repository needs to be carefully managed, and it puts the repository
at risk of malcious users simply logging in and deleting bits from the
Subversoin database.

The only well supported solution to this, so far, is to use SSH keys
for a shared account, and to use those keys to use a forced "command"
for that shared account, a "command" that enforces the user's name for
that particular svnserve instance.

I've previously tried, myself, to help set up a restricted shell for
just such access, starting with the "rssh" tool, but didn't get very
far. That would be a significant security improvement, and help
protect the rest of the OS from unauthorized access with valid
Subversion logins with Kerberized or other account access, rather than
SSH keys.
Received on 2011-07-20 00:24:57 CEST

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