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synaptic on 17.10


On 1 February 2018 at 13:47, Colin Watson <cjwatson at ubuntu.com> wrote:
>
> Well, to clarify: Wayland is meant to do that.  But it *is* a bug in
> Synaptic, although a non-trivial one to fix
> (https://github.com/mvo5/synaptic/issues/15).

I wouldn't call that a bug. I'm not sure I'd even call it poor program
design. It's a relatively simple program design, as opposed to what
would be a quite complex one.

To draw a rather stretched metaphor -- 30+ years ago there was a lot
of research into "lean burn" engines which would run on substantially
less fuel but produce far less pollution. However, legislation came in
limiting exhaust emissions and the easier, cheaper way to achieve that
was plain old dirty engines with catalytic convertors. This also
contributed to the removal of lead from petrol -- lead poisons the
platinum catalyst in catalytic convertors -- but it was the cheaper
answer. The removal of lead was marketed as being for health reasons,
but that was only part of the story.

There were research efforts into running X.11 as the normal logged-in
non-root user, which would have rendered this security issue moot --
but it never happened, because of the GNOME project's enthusiasm for
its new display server. With a whole new server, there was no need any
more for "rootless X".

That new server is designed not to run apps as root -- but it includes
a backwards-compatible mode for X.11 apps and you can use that to get
Synaptic to run.

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