Change request For OpenSSH 3.8p1

John Davidorff Pell johnpell at
Sun Feb 29 05:17:44 EST 2004

On 28 Feb 2004, at 06:14, Darren Tucker wrote:
> John Davidorff Pell wrote:
>> On 27 Feb 2004, at 14:44, Damien Miller wrote:
>>>  No - we will not be making threads easy to use.

>> Who are you, and why do you think you get to decide this?
> You're kidding, right?
> Damien's a modest guy, so let me say on his behalf that he:
> * (co?)founded of the Portable OpenSSH branch
> * is one of the lead developers on OpenSSH (both Portable + OpenBSD)
> * has done more work on Portable OpenSSH that any other individual (by 
> a factor of about 3 if you count LOC)
> * makes and signs the the release tarballs, so literally has the last 
> word on what goes into the releases.

I realise that he is the Big Guy around here, but I assumed that since 
this is Free Software, that no one man can make this decision. This 
seems to be a theme that is becoming dangerous. XFree86 has a very 
small group (I'm not sure if its actually just one individual, though 
from what I read it seems to be) that do Bad Things, is OpenSSH 
following suit?

>> Why are you so against threads? Is there some good reason, or are you 
>> just afraid of them?
> Searched the web for pthreads race.  Results 1 - 10 of about 7,730.
> Every function call of every PAM module on every platform is 
> thread-safe, right?  And any that aren't will never cause any 
> problems, right?

I couldn't care less if OpenSSH uses threads or not, that's not what 
I'm worrying about. I'm concerned that one man can say something that 
appears to be a personal bias without *any* explanation and get 
defended by several others!

There are hundreds, if not more, of things in OpenSSH-portable that are 
extremely platform specific, why not limit pthreads support to 
platforms that have good implementations. Also, all the PAM stuff would 
be done in one thread, wouldn't it, so AFAIK it wouldn't need to be 
expressly thread-safe, since we'd be sure that it is never run in 
multiple threads.

I don't care if threads are supported or not, I'm just wondering why 
this guy can tell the world that not only are they not supported, but 
that they will be removed just because he doesn't want put in the 
effort the thread safe the package.


It's all fun and games 'til someone writes to a NULL pointer!
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