Re: bluesky admin requests

Havoc Pennington wrote:

On Wed, Aug 20, 2003 at 04:50:33PM -0400, David T Hollis wrote:
You raise a couple of points that get my brain working a bit. One thing that would be really cool (and maybe it's possible with GConf already, but I doubt it) would be a way to enforce administrative policies. Hate to bring up the Redmond folks, but System Policies/Group Policies whatever you want to call them provide this to provide a way to assign/enforce system settings. My understanding of the under-the-hood process is that when a call is made for a registry value such as getting the desktop background, the first location is Group Policy 'tree' in the registry. If the value is not defined, than the current user's setting is checked. With this design, even if the user went and hand-edited their registry setting, it isn't going to make a difference because the policies are checked first.

Definitely agree. We already have this for just enforcing a setting,
such as desktop background. For GNOME 2.4, George is fixing a lot of
bugs so that apps will behave properly when a setting is locked down;
GNOME 2.2 can freak out if certain things are locked.

It would be great if GConf could support this ability so that admins are not editing the package schemas under /etc/gconf/schemas which naturally get overwritten on upgrades. Some way to provide administrative policies in a different location that get consulted before reading the users specific value would be a great way to enable some real desktop administration.

Yikes, you aren't supposed to edit the .schemas files. ;-)
Instead, if you set a value in the /etc/gconf/gconf.xml.mandatory
database, it will always be preferred over values the user sets.  See
the gnome admin guide at or the gconf info at

GNOME 2.4 should be significantly more graceful about handling the
locked-down settings (disabling the UI for the locked settings for example, and not popping up error dialogs about them).

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Even better! The support via GConf is there with the gconf.xml.mandatory. I suppose a next step for getting some real desktop management would be the ability to generate desktop policies and assign based on user or group or some other criteria. As en example, if you have a system acting as a kiosk (say it just lets employees punch in and out or something) so you lock it down real nice, now if the admin logs on, he's locked down as well! Or maybe the payroll person needs to log on to get the information or gennerate a report or something like that, you may want them to have a more relaxed policy setting. Certainly not 2.4 stuff, but the kind of stuff that is really helpful in the enterprise.

Note - the scenarios are just examples, I know a lot of those are 'access the data over the network' etc etc type of things....

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