Zsh Mailing List Archive
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Re: need help establishing safety of zsh to sysadmin

> I've been using zsh for over a year now, but it seems that it has
> recently come to the attention of the sysadmin who wants me to stop
> using it on the grounds that "it is not a supported shell" on the
> machines I work on.
> I'm hesistant to give up zsh and all its great functions, which I've
> come to depend upon, so I was hoping some of you could give me some
> specific examples of how zsh has not caused problems for you sysadmins
> out here.
> I need to make a pretty convincing argument if I'm going to keep this
> thing.  Any help appreciated.

Well, if it makes any difference, I (the previous maintainer) and Zoltan
(the new maintainer) are both sysadmins.  So we have thought about the
security of zsh.  I don't think zsh poses any more of a security risk
than any other shell.

Also, considering that zsh now uses autoconf, it is trivial to build.
So what is there to support?  We (the mailing lists) do all the support
and maintenance work.

But if your sysadmin just wants to be lazy and remove zsh (so that he
doesn't have to answer questions about it), you can always build it
yourself and put it in your own ~/bin directory.  This doesn't require
any special privileges on your machine. Then create a trivial startup
file for whatever shell (probably csh or ksh) that your sysadmin has
made you use, that doesn't nothing but `exec' zsh.

Richard Coleman

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