Change request For OpenSSH 3.8p1

Darren Tucker dtucker at
Sun Feb 29 12:05:08 EST 2004

John Davidorff Pell wrote:

> Ok, I get the point, he's done a whole lot more than most people. But my 
> point wasn't that he's a nobody. As you pointed out, I have really no 
> idea who he is. however, this being a Free Software package, I expected 
> this kind of decision not to be made by one person, or is Damien the one 
> we worship around here?

What makes you think the other OpenSSH developers don't agree with him 
on this?

> I'm not terribly interested in having threads or not having threads, it 
> was the This Will Never Happen Because I Say So And Am G-d attitude that 
> shocked me.

I think you're reading way more into it than was there.  He said:

"we will not be making threads easy to use." and "As soon as we have a 
better fix for this particular problem, I think we should be removing 
thread support altogether."

The first is a simple statement of fact about something that's already 
been decided, the second is an opinion and statement of direction.

And in a previous message, you also said:
 > 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?

No, and that's not a valid comparison.

The XFree86 change was a unilateral licence change that added 
restrictions.  (BTW OpenSSH recently underwent a license audit to ensure 
that all parts were 2-term BSD, and parts that weren't and could not be 
relicensed were replaced, to *ensure* that you can use it for *any* 
purpose without restriction.)

What we are discussing here is a change for valid technical reasons 
(even if you may not agree with them or the change itself).

 > 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.

It's not just the PAM functions themselves you need to worry about it's 
*any* function that *any* PAM module might call that's not thread safe 
(getpwent() and friends come immediately to mind).

Darren Tucker (dtucker at
GPG key 8FF4FA69 / D9A3 86E9 7EEE AF4B B2D4  37C9 C982 80C7 8FF4 FA69
     Good judgement comes with experience. Unfortunately, the experience
usually comes from bad judgement.

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