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12 <title>GLEP 12 -- Gentoo.org Finger Daemon</title>
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23 [<b><a href="http://www.gentoo.org/">Gentoo Linux Home</a></b>]
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25 [<b><a href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0012.txt">GLEP Source</a></b>]
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27 <div class="document">
28 <table class="rfc2822 field-list" frame="void" rules="none">
29 <col class="field-name" />
30 <col class="field-body" />
31 <tbody valign="top">
32 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">12</td>
33 </tr>
34 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Title:</th><td class="field-body">Gentoo.org Finger Daemon</td>
35 </tr>
36 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">1.1</td>
37 </tr>
38 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Last-Modified:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/glep-0012.txt?cvsroot=gentoo">2003/08/11 14:32:44</a></td>
39 </tr>
40 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Author:</th><td class="field-body">Tavis Ormandy &lt;taviso&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;</td>
41 </tr>
42 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Status:</th><td class="field-body">Draft</td>
43 </tr>
44 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Type:</th><td class="field-body">Standards Track</td>
45 </tr>
46 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Created:</th><td class="field-body">10-Aug-2003</td>
47 </tr>
48 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Post-History:</th><td class="field-body">11-Aug-2003</td>
49 </tr>
50 </tbody>
51 </table>
52 <hr />
53 <div class="contents topic" id="contents">
54 <p class="topic-title"><a name="contents">Contents</a></p>
55 <ul class="simple">
56 <li><a class="reference" href="#abstract" id="id21" name="id21">Abstract</a></li>
57 <li><a class="reference" href="#motivation" id="id22" name="id22">Motivation</a></li>
58 <li><a class="reference" href="#rationale" id="id23" name="id23">Rationale</a></li>
59 <li><a class="reference" href="#implementation-and-security" id="id24" name="id24">Implementation and Security</a></li>
60 <li><a class="reference" href="#example-query" id="id25" name="id25">Example Query</a></li>
61 <li><a class="reference" href="#references" id="id26" name="id26">References</a></li>
62 <li><a class="reference" href="#copyright" id="id27" name="id27">Copyright</a></li>
63 </ul>
64 </div>
65 <div class="section" id="abstract">
66 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id21" name="abstract">Abstract</a></h1>
67 <p>The finger protocol is documented in rfc742 <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id11" id="id1" name="id1">[1]</a> and rfc1196 <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id12" id="id2" name="id2">[2]</a>, a simple
68 protocol that returns a human readable report about a particular user
69 of the system. Typically, the information returned will be details such as
70 full name, location, etc. These details are entirely optional and are obtained
71 from the system passwd file, which of course can be edited or removed with the
72 standard chfn(1) <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id13" id="id3" name="id3">[3]</a> command.</p>
73 <p>The finger daemon will also return the contents of three files from the users home
74 directory, should they exist and be readable.</p>
75 <blockquote>
76 <ul class="simple">
77 <li>~/.project - which should contain information about the project currently being worked on.</li>
78 <li>~/.plan - which might contain work being done or a TODO style list.</li>
79 <li>~/.pgpkey - which would contain a PGP/GnuPG <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id14" id="id4" name="id4">[4]</a> public key block.</li>
80 </ul>
81 </blockquote>
82 <p>The finger protocol is mature, secure and widely used in the UNIX community.
83 There are clients available for all major operating systems, and web-based
84 clients for those that dont.</p>
85 </div>
86 <div class="section" id="motivation">
87 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id22" name="motivation">Motivation</a></h1>
88 <p>Gentoo developers are already aware of the importance of User Relations <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id19" id="id5" name="id5">[9]</a> .</p>
89 <p>It is essential to keep the community up to date with current goals, status
90 updates, and information from the development team. Currently it is suggested
91 users track mailing lists, monitor the Gentoo bugzilla, developer IRC
92 channels and cvs commits.</p>
93 <p>While the resources to track developer progress and activity are made
94 available to users, they are not in a form usable to many people. Keeping
95 track of development is a tedious challenge, even for developers. For
96 non-technical users wishing to track the progress of a developer, using
97 mailing lists and bugzilla may not be a practical option.</p>
98 <p>Developers may also need a way to quickly find out the progress or activity of
99 other developers, different time zones sometimes makes it difficult for
100 developers to catch each other on IRC, and making already high-volume mailing
101 lists even more cluttered with status updates is not desirable.</p>
102 <p>A method that would allow individual developers to keep a log of their
103 activities and plans that were instantly accesible to anyone who was
104 interested would be desirable, I propose running a finger daemon on
105 gentoo.org, or dev.gentoo.org and forwarding requests there from gentoo.org.</p>
106 <p>Running a developer finger daemon would improve inter developer communication,
107 user communication and relations, and reduce workload on developers who have to
108 respond to queries from users on project status updates.</p>
109 <p>In the future, it is foreseen that portage will require a cryptographically
110 secure means of verifying ebuilds aquired from an rsync mirror are identical
111 to those checked into the portage tree by a developer <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id20" id="id6" name="id6">[10]</a> . Making developer keys
112 available to users for manually checking the integrity of files, or patches
113 sent to them is important. It has long been known that encouraging the
114 use of gpg among developers is desirable <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id15" id="id7" name="id7">[5]</a> .</p>
115 <p>Should a security vulnerability of a serious nature ever be reported,
116 standard procedure <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id16" id="id8" name="id8">[6]</a> is to inform vendors before releasing the information
117 to full disclosure security discussion lists. Making the relevant maintainer's
118 key easily obtainable will allow reporters to encrypt their reports.</p>
119 </div>
120 <div class="section" id="rationale">
121 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id23" name="rationale">Rationale</a></h1>
122 <p>Providing a finger daemon will allow users to instantly access information on
123 developers, and all details of that developers current projects that they decide
124 to share.</p>
125 <p>GPG keys for all developers will be instantly availble, and the output of the
126 finger <a class="reference" href="mailto:devname&#64;gentoo.org">devname&#64;gentoo.org</a> command can be piped into gpg --import to instantly
127 add it to the users keyring.</p>
128 <p>The following projects use finger for user-developer communications,:</p>
129 <pre class="literal-block">
130 Latest kernel releases, and developer information.
131 $ finger &#64;kernel.org
132
133 Developers and organisers are encouraged to keep .plans about their
134 activity.
135 $ finger nugget&#64;distributed.net
136
137 Latest NASA news, and information from engineers.
138 $ finger nasanews&#64;space.mit.edu
139
140 Slackware developers.
141 $ finger volkerdi&#64;slackware.com
142
143 FreeBSD developers.
144 $ finger nakai&#64;freebsd.org
145 </pre>
146 </div>
147 <div class="section" id="implementation-and-security">
148 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id24" name="implementation-and-security">Implementation and Security</a></h1>
149 <p>Some admins are concerned about the security of running a finger daemon on their
150 machines, the class of security issues involved with the finger protocol are
151 commonly referred to as &quot;information leaks&quot; <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id17" id="id9" name="id9">[7]</a>.</p>
152 <p>This means an attacker may be able to use a finger daemon to identify valid
153 accounts on their target, which they would then try to obtain access to.</p>
154 <p>This scenario does not apply to this implementation, as the gentoo developer
155 names are already well publicised. <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id18" id="id10" name="id10">[8]</a></p>
156 <p>No security issues have ever been reported with the fingerd available in gentoo
157 portage. Finger is used worldwide by universities, unix systems, and development
158 projects.</p>
159 <p>Adding dummy users, will be trivial and allow projects such as gentoo-docs,
160 gentoo-alpha, gentoo-ppc, etc to maintain .plans and .projects. This will allow
161 the projects to maintain more technical details or status updates not suitable
162 for their project webpages.</p>
163 <p>Adding data to a plan is a lot simpler than updating webpages.</p>
164 </div>
165 <div class="section" id="example-query">
166 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id25" name="example-query">Example Query</a></h1>
167 <p>Should a user want information about the author, this might be the output of
168 a finger query:</p>
169 <pre class="literal-block">
170 $ finger taviso&#64;gentoo.org
171 Login: taviso Name: Tavis Ormandy
172 Directory: /home/taviso Shell: /bin/bash
173 Last login: dd-mmm-yyyy
174 Mail last read dd-mmm-yyy
175 Project:
176
177 Currently working on implementing XXX, and porting XXX to XXX.
178
179 Plan:
180
181 dd-mmm-yyyy
182
183 Investigating bug #12345, testing patch provided in #12236
184
185 Write documentation for new features in XXX.
186
187 dd-mmm-yyyy
188
189 Contact acmesoft regarding license for xxx in portage.
190
191 PGP Key:
192
193 -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
194 Version: GnuPG v1.2.1 (Linux)
195 (...)
196 -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
197 </pre>
198 </div>
199 <div class="section" id="references">
200 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id26" name="references">References</a></h1>
201 <table class="footnote" frame="void" id="id11" rules="none">
202 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
203 <tbody valign="top">
204 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id1" name="id11">[1]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc0742.txt">http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc0742.txt</a></td></tr>
205 </tbody>
206 </table>
207 <table class="footnote" frame="void" id="id12" rules="none">
208 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
209 <tbody valign="top">
210 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id2" name="id12">[2]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1196.txt">http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1196.txt</a></td></tr>
211 </tbody>
212 </table>
213 <table class="footnote" frame="void" id="id13" rules="none">
214 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
215 <tbody valign="top">
216 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id3" name="id13">[3]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/dyn/pkgs/sys-apps/shadow.xml">http://www.gentoo.org/dyn/pkgs/sys-apps/shadow.xml</a></td></tr>
217 </tbody>
218 </table>
219 <table class="footnote" frame="void" id="id14" rules="none">
220 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
221 <tbody valign="top">
222 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id4" name="id14">[4]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.gnupg.org">http://www.gnupg.org</a></td></tr>
223 </tbody>
224 </table>
225 <table class="footnote" frame="void" id="id15" rules="none">
226 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
227 <tbody valign="top">
228 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id7" name="id15">[5]</a></td><td>&lt;<a class="reference" href="mailto:20030629040521.4316b135.seemant&#64;gentoo.org">20030629040521.4316b135.seemant&#64;gentoo.org</a>&gt;</td></tr>
229 </tbody>
230 </table>
231 <table class="footnote" frame="void" id="id16" rules="none">
232 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
233 <tbody valign="top">
234 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id8" name="id16">[6]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.oisafety.org/process.html">http://www.oisafety.org/process.html</a></td></tr>
235 </tbody>
236 </table>
237 <table class="footnote" frame="void" id="id17" rules="none">
238 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
239 <tbody valign="top">
240 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id9" name="id17">[7]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://search.linuxsecurity.com/cgi-bin/htsearch?words=information%20leak">http://search.linuxsecurity.com/cgi-bin/htsearch?words=information%20leak</a></td></tr>
241 </tbody>
242 </table>
243 <table class="footnote" frame="void" id="id18" rules="none">
244 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
245 <tbody valign="top">
246 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id10" name="id18">[8]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/devlist.xml">http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/devlist.xml</a></td></tr>
247 </tbody>
248 </table>
249 <table class="footnote" frame="void" id="id19" rules="none">
250 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
251 <tbody valign="top">
252 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id5" name="id19">[9]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/user-relations.xml">http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/user-relations.xml</a></td></tr>
253 </tbody>
254 </table>
255 <table class="footnote" frame="void" id="id20" rules="none">
256 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
257 <tbody valign="top">
258 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id6" name="id20">[10]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/20030407-newsletter.xml">http://www.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/20030407-newsletter.xml</a></td></tr>
259 </tbody>
260 </table>
261 </div>
262 <div class="section" id="copyright">
263 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id27" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
264 <p>This document is released under the Open Publications License.</p>
265 </div>
266 </div>
267
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