Should /usr/bin/Xorg (still) be setuid-root?

Andrew Lutomirski luto at
Wed Jan 8 21:14:08 UTC 2014

/usr/bin/Xorg is, and has been, setuid-root just about forever.  I'm
wondering whether there's any good reason for it to remain

Some arguments for setuid-root:
 - People who still use startx or similar scripts need it.
 - It's vaguely useful for testing xorg.conf changes.

Some arguments for clearing the setuid-root bit:
 - People who use display managers (i.e. almost everyone) doesn't need
it to be setuid-root.
 - Xorg is a giant attack surface.  Without setuid-root, only users
sitting in front of the keyboard can try to attack it.

I suspect that most people would notice the difference if
xorg-x11-server-Xorg got rid of the setuid-root bit.

Another option would be to only let users in a new xorg group run Xorg
and to keep it setuid-root.

Thoughts?  If people are generally in favor, I'll submit a change
proposal.  Despite the fact that the change would be a one-liner, it
seems like a systemwide change.

(On a related note: what's the F21 change proposal submission
deadline?  I can't find it anywhere.)


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