Feature Requests item #885021, was opened at 2004-01-26 15:22
Message generated for change (Comment added) made by lschiere
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Category: None
Group: None
>Status: Closed
Resolution: None
Priority: 5
Private: No
Submitted By: Stephen Tihor (stihor)
Assigned to: Nobody/Anonymous (nobody)
Summary: Relocatiing configuration files

Initial Comment:
In order to use GAIM in a secure appliance it is 
necessary to move the configuration directory to a 
location selected and setup by the secure wrapper.  

This style of activation is also natural in network 
applicance and Kiosk applications where user state is 
maintained externally to the traditional UNIX file system.

The normal Unix approach woudl be to set the 
Environment variable HOME to point to the containing 
directory for the .gaim tree.  However GAIM appears to 
use the GNOME glib library's g_get_homedir call which 
ignores all environmental options and onyl retursn the 
contents of /etc/passwd with no options to override or 

The motivations for this choice were unexpected 
behavious in some su/sudo like contexts for naive users.
(In some cases when changing UID if the wrapper is not 
well written one might end up with a read only HOME 
directory or an unreadable one.  As a security 
professional I can easilly imagine circumstnaces where I 
might want either of those, redirecting or disabling 
features requiring a writable home directory as 

The solution to permit well written applications to 
maintain UNIX semantics was for the applications using 
gtk+/glib (such as gaim) to make the appropriate 
g_getenv("HOME") calls themselves if they want to have 
the normal UNIX sematics.  (Or perhaps use an 
application specific environment variable to locate their 
configration file if it is not in the usual place and then let 
that file instruct the application where to fine everything 

We will be glad to try and assist in developing a solution 
that works well for the naive GAIM user as well as KIOSK 
and other hardened deployment environments if you 
need assistance or find the method recomended by the 
GNOME developers (calling g_getenv("HOME") first and 
only invoking g_get_homedir if that returns NULL) is not 

(I appologize in advance for notbeign able to search the 
archives to see if this is already addressed in the bug 
list, I do not appear to have search access at the 


Comment By: Luke Schierer (lschiere)
Date: 2007-04-20 10:55

Logged In: YES 
Originator: NO

As we are closing this tracker, please submit any feature request that is
still valid to http://developer.pidgin.im.  Thanks. 


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