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From "Steinar H. Gunderson" <>
Subject mpm-itk and upstream Apache, once again
Date Thu, 19 Jul 2012 14:17:44 GMT

I've asked previously on this list about inclusion of mpm-itk
( into upstream Apache; previously, the requests
have died down, mostly over discussions on security (mpm-itk does
configuration and request parsing as uid 0, although with very limited
capabilities) and arguments along the lines of “there is no need”,
e.g. various people I've talked to feel that there are other adequate
solutions for the problem, including suexec, multiple Apache instances with
reverse proxying, or some GSoC project.
( even claims you can 
keep administrators from reading each others' sites simply by setting
setting chmod 0640, completely ignoring the case where you can run PHP code
or CGI scripts!)

However, since then mod_privileges have entered Apache trunk, which gives
similar functionality (contradicting the arguments about “no need”), is very
similar in terms of security model (contradicting the arguments about “the
model is too insecure”), but is Solaris-specific, has less functionality (it
lacks per-vhost nicing and per-vhost client limits), and generally seems to
be less mature (e.g., as far as I can see, it fails to adequately handle the
case where the client goes to a different-uid vhost and .htaccess thus is
not readable).

Furthermore, Fedora has recently accepted the mpm-itk patch into their Apache
packages. This means that nearly every major distributor of Apache now
supports mpm-itk; in particular, Arch, Debian, Fedora, FreeBSD ports, Gentoo,
Mandriva, openSUSE and Ubuntu all include mpm-itk. I do not know of any
module with a similar status, and having them all integrate the patch
separately instead of simply having it in mainline seems wasteful.

mpm-itk has, despite its non-mainline status, been in production in large
sites for many years (it has been under development since 2005), and should
at this point be considered mature. What would be needed to get it into mainline?

/* Steinar */

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