Re: Read a file with only execute permission?

From: Barry Margolin (
Date: 12/27/01

From: Barry Margolin <>
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 18:54:11 GMT

In article <>,
 <> wrote:
> I am trying to find a way to view the source of a shellscript
>to which the author has granted only execute permission. He wants his
>Unix version of this utility to be the only way to perform the task --
>I want to just write it into a Windows program I'm writing and save
>the trouble of logging into the Unix server to perform *one* step in a
>complex process. Surely there is some way I can view a file if I have
>rights to execute it, right?

You seem to have a pretty low opinion of Unix security if you think there
"surely" must be a way to bypass its access checks.

If it's on an NFS server and you have root access on an NFS client he
exports to, you could su to his userid and read it. Or you could patch the
NFS client so it doesn't perform access checks before sending the read
request to the server; NFS servers have to allow someone to read a file if
they have execute permission, because there's no way for the server to know
whether the page is being read for the purpose of viewing or executing, so
the server depends on the client making this distinction.

> This is a UnixWare7 server. Any help
>appreciated. Since it's ego and not practicality that drives him to
>keep this secret, I'd like to get at it despite his efforts and knock
>him down a notch. TIA!

This seems extremely presumptuous of you. If someone wishes to keep
something a secret, why can't you respect his wishes. He may be
egotistical, but you're rude.

Barry Margolin,
Genuity, Woburn, MA
Please DON'T copy followups to me -- I'll assume it wasn't posted to the group.

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