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Bug #62881 posix_getpwnam("") && posix_getgrnam("") didn't return false on Mac OSX 10.8
Submitted: 2012-08-21 16:54 UTC Modified: 2012-08-22 04:57 UTC
From: reeze dot xia at gmail dot com Assigned:
Status: Wont fix Package: POSIX related
PHP Version: Irrelevant OS: Mac OSX 10.8
Private report: No CVE-ID:
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 [2012-08-21 16:54 UTC] reeze dot xia at gmail dot com
In Mac OS X 10.8 mountain lion, getpwnam() && getgrnam() didn't return NULL
when empty string supplied. this is a bug of 10.8.0

since uid 0 an gid 0 most belongs to root, this might have security issue.

and this breaks these test cases:
posix_getgrnam(): Basic tests [ext/posix/tests/posix_getgrnam.phpt]
posix_getgrnam(): Basic tests [ext/posix/tests/posix_getgrnam_basic.phpt]
posix_getpwnam(): Basic tests [ext/posix/tests/posix_getpwnam.phpt]
posix_getpwnam(): Basic tests [ext/posix/tests/posix_getpwnam_basic.phpt]

here is reproducible code from: Andreas Fink <>:
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <pwd.h>
#include <uuid/uuid.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

#define	MAYBE_NULL_STRING(a)	(a ? a : "(NULL)")

extern int errno;

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
	errno = 0;
	struct passwd *pwdstruct = getpwnam("");
	printf("errno = %d\n",errno);
	if(pwdstruct == NULL)
		printf("pwdstruct == NULL\n");

	printf("pw_name: %s\n",MAYBE_NULL_STRING(pwdstruct->pw_name));
	printf("pw_passwd: %s\n",MAYBE_NULL_STRING(pwdstruct->pw_passwd));
	printf("pw_uid: %d\n",pwdstruct->pw_uid);
	printf("pw_gid: %d\n",pwdstruct->pw_gid);


$ ./a.out 
errno = 0
pw_uid: 0
pw_gid: 0

Test script:

Expected result:

Actual result:
array(7) {
  string(0) ""
  string(0) ""
  string(0) ""
  string(0) ""
  string(0) ""
array(4) {
  string(0) ""
  string(0) ""
  array(0) {


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 [2012-08-21 17:06 UTC] reeze dot xia at gmail dot com
  I'v sent a pull request for this bug:

 [2012-08-22 03:02 UTC]
-Status: Open +Status: Wont fix
 [2012-08-22 03:02 UTC]
same comment copied from the pr:

we don't fix bug doesn't belong to php
Linux man page of posix_getpwnam doesn't specific the situation about empty 
Posix functions are buggy in mac os. so, won't fix for this, leave it to apple .

after a quick google, seems you have file a bug to apple, then file another bug 
to ruby..

and the ruby guy told you the same thing I told.

why you still think it should be fixed in php self?
 [2012-08-22 03:18 UTC]
To reiterate what I said on GitHub: I think we could put a workaround in just for those OS X versions behind an appropriate #if guard (blank user and group names are valid in at least some POSIX OSes, so we don't want to hardcode the behaviour for posix_getgrnam('')), but it's probably not worth the code clutter in the grand scheme of things.
 [2012-08-22 03:43 UTC]
it's no need:

1. first it's a knew bug of apple, apple will fix that

2. as you said, you can create a group with empty string in ubuntu.

we have no reason to introduce such a temporary fix
 [2012-08-22 03:45 UTC] reeze dot xia at gmail dot com
Hi, aharvey
  how did you made it? by a tricky way?. :)
 [2012-08-22 03:50 UTC]
Yeah, I had to edit /etc/passwd directly to do it, but it's possible, and once created, the account works normally on Linux:
 [2012-08-22 04:10 UTC] reeze dot xia at gmail dot com
OooK... by hacking /etc/passwd  hmmm. $ useradd didn't allow that.

so technically uid could be -1, etc heh.

anyway, there always trade off, I prefer it get fixed.
 [2012-08-22 04:57 UTC]
you think we should fix this, then after apple fixed their bug, we remove this fix 
 [2012-08-22 05:19 UTC] reeze dot xia at gmail dot com
NO, I don't mean that. PHP isn't always running on lastest OS.
It just a conditional workaround for buggy api.

Since there are not that much application running on OSX.
I'm ok if you guys think we didn't fix that.
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