Bug#490136: Please provide a mechanism to determine the result of the target program

Chris Lamb chris at chris-lamb.co.uk
Thu Jul 10 06:10:31 UTC 2008

Package: gksu
Version: 2.0.0-5
Severity: wishlist

gksu should provide a mechanism to allow programs to determine the result of
both the priviledge escalation and the target program.

Currently if a program needs to gain superuser access, it may call upon gksu
to execute a particular program, but it cannot determine the return code of
the target program nor know whether the password-entry stage was successful
as gksu returns zero in all cases. (!)

Workarounds I am currently employing involving writing to a seperate status
file and reading that upon returning from gksu. It is important to
distinguish between an escalation failure and a non-zero exit code from the
target binary as calling programs need to know whether to retry execution.

At the very least, gksu should return with an exit status matching that of
the called program, perhaps using a reserved and rarely-used exit code to
denote an inability to escalate the user's priviledges and other such errors.

(As this could still cause a collision, an additional (or specified) file-
descriptor could be employed to obtain the exit status of the target binary.)


Chris Lamb, UK                                       chris at chris-lamb.co.uk
                                                            GPG: 0x634F9A20
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