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#1 2019-12-02 22:56:29

xerxes_
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 135

[Solved] Run Xterm on tty, not on pts in i3wm

I have 2 machines: one laptop with original Arch Linux installed and desktop with Antergos, but now it is like Arch. I on both use i3-wm, and on both use the same i3 config.
I set to run xterm for mod+return key press:

bindsym $mod+Return exec xterm

And now it is interesting thing:
When I run xterm with previous shortcut on desktop and run 'last | less' I see:

...
user     pts/8        :0               Mon Dec  2 16:49 - 16:49  (00:00)
user     pts/5        :0               Mon Dec  2 16:15 - 16:15  (00:00)
user     pts/5        :0               Mon Dec  2 15:51 - 15:51  (00:00)
user     pts/7        :0               Mon Dec  2 14:01 - 16:48  (02:47)
user     pts/5        :0               Mon Dec  2 13:43 - 15:51  (02:07)
user     tty1                          Mon Dec  2 12:50 - down   (08:19)
...

tty1 is my login terminal (startx), pts is xterm (and same for urxvt) started on X, also the same if started by dmenu:

bindsym $mod+d exec dmenu_run

When I run xterm with previous shortcut on laptop and run 'last | less' I see only one tty1 and no pts for any amount of xterm, urxvt (all started on X).

How can that be?
Where to look for to change from pts to tty on desktop for xterm, urxvt (and possibly others) configuration?
I want to do it on desktop the same as it is on laptop, but don't know how.

Last edited by xerxes_ (2019-12-07 12:05:41)

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#2 2019-12-03 08:21:39

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 13,080

Re: [Solved] Run Xterm on tty, not on pts in i3wm

stat /usr/lib/utempter/utempter
stat /var/run/utmp

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#3 2019-12-03 17:39:28

xerxes_
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 135

Re: [Solved] Run Xterm on tty, not on pts in i3wm

This is from my desktop:

LC_ALL=C stat /usr/lib/utempter/utempter
  File: /usr/lib/utempter/utempter
  Size: 9992      	Blocks: 24         IO Block: 4096   regular file
Device: 802h/2050d	Inode: 3671554     Links: 1
Access: (2755/-rwxr-sr-x)  Uid: (    0/    root)   Gid: (  996/    utmp)
Access: 2019-12-02 13:43:56.380195618 +0100
Modify: 2018-06-04 15:56:56.000000000 +0200
Change: 2019-01-28 12:55:09.017024514 +0100
 Birth: 2019-01-28 12:55:09.017024514 +0100
LC_ALL=C stat /var/run/utmp
  File: /var/run/utmp
  Size: 768       	Blocks: 8          IO Block: 4096   regular file
Device: 16h/22d	Inode: 14854       Links: 1
Access: (0664/-rw-rw-r--)  Uid: (    0/    root)   Gid: (  996/    utmp)
Access: 2019-12-03 18:24:30.622571829 +0100
Modify: 2019-12-03 18:23:56.279272983 +0100
Change: 2019-12-03 18:23:56.279272983 +0100
 Birth: -

Would you want output of the same commands from laptop?

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#4 2019-12-03 20:24:45

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 13,080

Re: [Solved] Run Xterm on tty, not on pts in i3wm

If you don't want the terminals to show up in utmp, "{urxvt|xterm} -ut" should do (you can also set that in the resources) - the laptop either has these flags enabled or the permissions between the two mentioned files are off and utempter cannot write into utmp.

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#5 2019-12-03 21:20:22

xerxes_
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 135

Re: [Solved] Run Xterm on tty, not on pts in i3wm

I have one more question: from security or other reasons should every terminal which logged in user be displayed by last or similar command or not? Or maybe it doesn't matter? How do you think?

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#6 2019-12-03 21:33:25

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 13,080

Re: [Solved] Run Xterm on tty, not on pts in i3wm

The degree to that you surveil your users is to your personal favour (and the local laws), but utmp isn't the best way to do this.
In this context it's
a) rather meaningless (another terminal window inside a login is no new login and more a matter of convenience)
b) voluntary ("xterm -ut" will omit it, the user already has a login)

Also there's a full audit system to track certain user actions, https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Audit_framework - eg. if they run an interactive text shell etc.

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#7 2019-12-05 12:12:48

xerxes_
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 135

Re: [Solved] Run Xterm on tty, not on pts in i3wm

This is output from my laptop:

LC_ALL=C stat /usr/lib/utempter/utempter
  File: /usr/lib/utempter/utempter
  Size: 9992      	Blocks: 24         IO Block: 4096   regular file
Device: 19h/25d	Inode: 3799127     Links: 1
Access: (2755/-rwxr-sr-x)  Uid: (    0/    root)   Gid: (  996/     git)
Access: 2019-12-02 23:19:17.148009541 +0100
Modify: 2018-06-04 15:56:56.000000000 +0200
Change: 2018-06-08 13:31:56.385695472 +0200
 Birth: 2018-06-08 13:31:56.385695472 +0200
LC_ALL=C stat /var/run/utmp
  File: /var/run/utmp
  Size: 768       	Blocks: 8          IO Block: 4096   regular file
Device: 16h/22d	Inode: 18898       Links: 1
Access: (0664/-rw-rw-r--)  Uid: (    0/    root)   Gid: (   20/    utmp)
Access: 2019-12-05 11:31:54.820032481 +0100
Modify: 2019-12-05 11:31:01.309713905 +0100
Change: 2019-12-05 11:31:01.309713905 +0100
 Birth: -
ll /usr/lib/utempter/utempter
-rwxr-sr-x 1 root git 9992 2018-06-04  /usr/lib/utempter/utempter
ll /var/run/utmp
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root utmp 768 12-05 11:31 /var/run/utmp

Permissions look the same, only group differs for utmp. So I only have to change the group for utmp on desktop?

seth wrote:

The degree to that you surveil your users is to your personal favour (and the local laws), but utmp isn't the best way to do this.
In this context it's
a) rather meaningless (another terminal window inside a login is no new login and more a matter of convenience)
b) voluntary ("xterm -ut" will omit it, the user already has a login)

So I wont use utmp for security reasons.

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#8 2019-12-05 14:57:42

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 13,080

Re: [Solved] Run Xterm on tty, not on pts in i3wm

only group differs for utmp

Yup, that's the cause.
https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/58306

So I wont use utmp for security reasons.

nb. that there's no security issue w/ utmp, it just won't allow you to reliably track anything in this context and what you could track is also pretty meaningless.
So if you want to track your users actions, you should use a different approach, otherwise  you don't have to care about xterm entries in the utmp log at all.

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#9 2019-12-06 18:45:15

xerxes_
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 135

Re: [Solved] Run Xterm on tty, not on pts in i3wm

To summarize all:

System should display that someone is logged on pts terminal by commands: w, who, last, if xterm is run.
So /usr/lib/utempter/utempter (like /var/run/utmp) must be in utmp group and have setgid set by commands:

chown root:utmp /usr/lib/utempter/utempter
chmod 2755 /usr/lib/utempter/utempter

chmod command is needed, because change of group reset setgid.
/var/run/utmp permissions should be 0644.

So if someone don't want to work this, he should change group utmp of /usr/lib/utempter/utempter to some other group or remove setgid.

As a side note, I have no idea why on laptop /usr/lib/utempter/utempter belongs to git group. Maybe some weird packages settings? I didn't mess with it. And laptop installation is much older than desktop.

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