SOLVED in 7.2: Perl problems on FreeBSD (again)

Sanderson4 sanderson4 at
Sun Nov 15 19:59:01 GMT 2009

Unfortunately, the issue is MailScanner and not Perl.  When a user sets "Run
As Users" and "Run As Group" in MailScanner, it forces Perl to run in taint
mode because Perl was directed by MailScanner to run as a different user.
For security reasons this causes Perl to be very sceptical as to what tasks
the assigned user can perform.  MailScanner has not been updated to resolve
these tainted tasks (ie load custom function files or chown).

The reason you don't see the Linux community compain about Perl is because
they use a packaging system that doesn't force a user to upgrade to the
latest version of Perl each time they upgrade MailScanner.  FreeBSD's
portmaster and portupgrade check each dependancy of MailScanner and will
upgrade any dependancy that has a newer version available.  I know with
portmaster you can include the -x argument to "avoid building or updating
ports that match this pattern."  Unfortunately I don't use portupgrade so I
don't know how to exclude an upgrade.  Please refer to the man page for a

With that said, we as a FreeBSD community need to submit bug requests to
Jules so he can resolve these programming constraints that newer versions of
Perl produce.



On Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 12:18 PM, Drew Marshall <
drew.marshall at> wrote:

> On 15 Nov 2009, at 14:03, Mog wrote:
> Hi,
>> I followed the procedure you described exactly. I'm guessing the other
>> people who are experiencing the same problem did the same thing as well (as
>> mentioned on the ports mailing list). I'm using that exact version of perl
>> you mentioned and used the perl-after-upgrade call as always. As it turns
>> out, to get the mail server back up and running again I had to revert to the
>> packaged version perl-5.10.0_2.tbz and ignore the upgrade (like last time
>> this happened).
> Yup, same here. Make sure you continue to be vigilant when running
> portupgrade again or else you will be right back again.
>> I can only assume that either you did something extra we haven't to make
>> it work, or ... Actually there is no or, I'm out of ideas. I have no idea
>> why it should work for a few people but not dozens of others (unless you're
>> using portmaster and we're using portupgrade or something). Nor do I know
>> what actually is the cause of the problem.
> I have upgraded to 5.10.1 and had to roll back too. I have no idea what
> could be causing the issue but it's a right pain.
>> I can't see any logical reason why every so often a perl upgrade will
>> cause MailScanner to break. Presumably either it's a recurring problem with
>> the FreeBSD port, the upgrade process, or within perl itself.
> It's not a problem within the same version but every so often a new version
> pops out and having gone through the upgrade, then reinstalling all the p5-*
> ports (portupgrade -f p5-* I always do that as I don't find the the
> perl-after-upgrade script does the job fully but then I have never run it
> with the -f option so I'll try that next time) to find that something borks
> MS and then you have to downgrade again is a right pain :-(
> I really like FreeBSD but I just can't see what is causing this to happen.
> Surely perl is perl and therefore it should work for everyone or no one? Or
> have I missed something (Probably!)?
> Drew
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