Sudo upgrade from debian-security changes env handling

If you’ve recently update to the latest debian security release of sudo (1.6.8p7-1.3) which amongst other bugs fixes CVE-2005-4158: Insecure handling of PERLLIB PERL5LIB PERL5OPT environment vars then you’ve probably started getting errors like the following:

  • E138: Can’t write viminfo file $HOME/.viminfo!
  • dircolors: no SHELL environment variable, and no shell type option given

Sometimes I wish the changelogs would be clearer and maybe every so often a debconf message would save the hassle of an hours googling vim error codes. “Reverse the environment semantic by forcing users to maintain a whitelist [env.c, Bug#342948, CVE-2005-4158]” isn’t really that informative.

Anyway, the quick fix option is adding Defaults env_reset in /etc/sudoers.

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  1. Chris Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 9:28 am

    Thanks for the tip it works great.

  2. MathieuMa Said,

    February 1, 2006 @ 10:31 pm

    Thanks a lot, that was pretty annoying 😀

  3. Matt Kern Said,

    April 8, 2006 @ 8:39 am

    That had been annoying the hell out of me for weeks! Thanks for the post!

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