Re: propagating desktop settings across accounts and machines

lavalamp burghcom com (2000-12-31 at 1911.35 -0500):
> Sure, easy.  Use the skel file mechanism.  This ease of flexibility is why

Not so easy.

> one would run UNIX over windoze.  What you can do is setup a test user on
> your workstation, customize GNOME/X-window-manager to your liking for that
> test user.  Once your are happy, you would copy the appropriate files from
> that user's ~/.gnome and ~/.x-window-manager to the skel directory
> (/etc/skell, or /usr/share/skell).  Then when you create accounts for
> students on workstations, they will automatically get a copy of the default
> appropriate configs.

The skel system works when the apps use data that do not refer to the
user name or homedir directly, like when instead of foo it has $HOME
or ~ (shell rc files do this, and if they do not, wrong).

GNOME does not follow that rule so you have to check all the files for
problematic text. Search the list archives, it has been discussed to
death (and if some users were allowed, that includes the death of the
coders that had that "nice" idea :] ).

Another cases that collide with GNOME is when an user want to change
login name, or when you have to move home dirs. I have suffered both
cases. Argh! Kill! Kill! <- Read that with "happy, but GNOME coders
should learn from old shells rc files" voice (go figure which voice it
is). :]

> But as you mentioned, this could be a nightmare to setup, but it's worth a
> shot!

Some sed / perl / whatever scripts should be all you need.

> Ideally, in a terminal based environment, you'd use something like Kerberos
> or NIS authentication and NFS mapped /home file systems.  In this setup, a
> user can use any workstation in a cluster and maintain their profile
> settings.

That has also been discused, and the conclusion I got (due the mail
and personal experience) is that not centralicing home dirs is bad.
You can have local scratch areas to do temp work or as cache, but the
core must be the same whatever terminal you use (that means in a
central server or cluster). Another note was that NT solutions are
wrong too many times (hard to do right? inexperience? we had bad luck
and only found "the rotten eggs"? I dunno).

Using Linux in a network requires some study of Unix solutions. And
due GNOME problems, the implementation of workarounds. First study and
plan, then do. It can seem a waste of time, but it will be less than
acting without planning.


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