mysterious error messages, part 2

Here’s one that I just ran into; the results from a google search aren’t exactly helpful (no, you don’t need to reinstall the package because of this error).

After installing proftpd 1.3.0a, using a mostly-default /etc/proftpd.conf, on CentOS 4.4, you try to start it up and get the following error message:

- Fatal: ScoreboardFile: : unable to use '/var/run/proftpd.scoreboard': Operation not permitted on line 58 of '/etc/proftpd.conf'

The unhelpful error message doesn’t explain, like the comments in the source code do, that the scoreboard file should not be in a world-writeable directory. On CentOS 4.4, /var/run is world-writeable with the sticky bit (like /tmp) so that processes that don’t run as root can put their lock files in there.

Solution: create a new directory (I chose /var/lib/proftpd), chown it to the same user that proftpd runs as (the User directive in /etc/proftpd.conf), and make sure it’s mode 775 or similar. Then change the following line in /etc/proftpd.conf:

ScoreboardFile /var/run/proftpd.scoreboard

to

ScoreboardFile /var/lib/proftpd/proftpd.scoreboard

I should probably submit a patch to make a more helpful error message. But that won’t help the users with default installs who just run into this error.

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