[Adduser-devel] Bug#535857: adduser: --backup-to silently ignored without --backup

Zak Wilcox noreply at rosamundcoppen.co.uk
Sun Jul 5 15:53:10 UTC 2009

Package: adduser
Version: 3.110
Severity: important

When you delete a user and want to create a backup of their home directory
in a specific place, a read of the manpage could easily fool you into
thinking that the following would do the trick:
  deluser --remove-home --backup-to /root/deleted-users/ joe
What this actually does is remove joe's home directory without making any
backup or confirming the deletion.  By the time you realise this the contents
of joe's home directory are gone for good.  I found this out the hard way.

 * --backup-to should (verbosely) imply --backup, or
 * --backup-to should loudly refuse to act without --backup
and the man page needs updating.

-- System Information:
Debian Release: 5.0.1
  APT prefers stable
  APT policy: (500, 'stable')
Architecture: i386 (i686)

Kernel: Linux 2.6.26-2-686 (SMP w/2 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=C, LC_CTYPE=C (charmap=ANSI_X3.4-1968)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash

Versions of packages adduser depends on:
ii  debconf [debconf-2.0]         1.5.24     Debian configuration management sy
ii  passwd                        1:4.1.1-6  change and administer password and
ii  perl-base                     5.10.0-19  minimal Perl system

adduser recommends no packages.

Versions of packages adduser suggests:
ii  liblocale-gettext-perl        1.05-4     Using libc functions for internati
ii  perl-modules                  5.10.0-19  Core Perl modules

-- debconf information:
* adduser/homedir-permission: true

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