In an often heated exchange, Torvalds accused security programmers of being too concerned with theoretical problems and not enough with practical applications.
Smack uses Linux Security Modules (LSM) which some researchers believe could be used to aid attacks on systems using the code. The researchers would prefer to see Security-Enhanced Linux as the option of choice.
"If LSM remains, security will never be a first class citizen of the kernel, " said Linux developer James Morris.
"Application developers will see multiple security schemes, and either burn themselves trying to support them, or more likely ignore them.
"On a broader scale, we will miss the potential of Linux having a coherent, semantically strong security architecture."
But this set Torvalds off on a rant about the impossibility of satisfying the demands of security researchers.
"You security people are insane. I am tired of this 'only my version is correct' crap," he wrote.
"The whole and only point of LSM was to get away from that. And anybody who claims that there is 'consensus' on Security-Enhanced Linux is just in denial."
Torvalds got so riled that he started posting some comments in block capitals, which in discussion terms represents shouting.
"If you guys had been able to argue on hard data and be in agreement, LSM would not have been needed in the first place. BUT THAT WAS NOT THE CASE," he wrote.
"And perhaps more importantly: BUT THAT IS *STILL* NOT THE CASE. Sorry for the shouting, but I am serious about this."
Torvalds concluded by stating that LSM will stay in the kernel and that this is his final decision.
He added that he might change his mind if security people made decent arguments, but that this was as likely as "hell freezing over or pigs nesting in trees".
Torvalds irate over Linux Smack
By Iain Thomson on Oct 3, 2007 7:26AM