Re: [sabayon] Tools for working with Evolution's GConf information


On Tue, 2005-04-12 at 14:32 -0400, David Malcolm wrote:
> (cross-posted to the evolution hackers list and to the sabayon list)

	... and now showing on gconf-list too :-)

> I've written some Python scripts to make it easier to work with
> Evolution's configuration information, in the hope of automating mass
> deployments of Evolution.
> A source RPM is available here:

	Since, its never fun to only have a single solution to a given problem,
I've written a backend for GConf which pulls the mail account
configuration from the user's LDAP entry. See the appended README for
more details. The code is in evolution-gconf-tools in GNOME CVS.

	Feedback on either this or Dave's scripts would be much appreciated.


Evolution Mail Account LDAP Backend For GConf

  This is a special-purpose backend for GConf which enables default
mail accounts for Evolution to be configured using each user's LDAP
entry. By setting each user's mail address and incoming/outgoing mail
server addresses in the user's LDAP entry, Evolution will be
automatically configured with the user's mail account.

Getting it Going

  Once installed, you first need to point the backend at the
appropriate LDAP server. Edit /etc/gconf/2/evoldap.conf:


  <host> should be pointed at your LDAP server, <port> should usually
be left blank (it defaults to 389, the standard port for LDAP) and
<base_dn> should point to the location in LDAP where your user entries
are stored.

  You then need to store the mail account information in your user's
LDAP entries. Using the default template (see below for details on the
template) you need to install the LDAP schemas from in your LDAP
server gconf-evolution-mail-account.schema.

  How you install the custom schema depends entirely on the LDAP
server you're using, but with the openldap server, you can just edit
/etc/openldap/slapd.conf and add

    include /etc/openldap/schema/gconf-evolution-mail-account.schema

  somewhere near the top of the file. You then install the .schema
file in /etc/openldap/schema and restarted slapd.

  Once the schema is installed, you need to modify the LDAP entries to
add the "evolutionMailAccount" objectClass and set the cn, mail,
evolutionMailSourceURI and evolutionMailTransportURI attributes. You
can use any method you like to modify the LDAP entries e.g. a
graphical LDAP editor like "gq" or a slapd.replog script with

ldapmodify -x -W -D cn=Manager,dc=blaa,dc=com -h <<EOF
dn: uid=markmc,ou=people,dc=blaa,dc=com
add: objectClass
objectClass: evolutionMailAccount

dn: uid=markmc,ou=people,dc=blaa,dc=com
cn: Mark McLoughlin
mail: markmc blaa com
evolutionMailSourceURI: imap://markmc mail blaa com/;use_ssl=always
evolutionMailTransportURI: smtp://

  You should then be able to verify that the backend is generating the
correct value for the /apps/evolution/mail/accounts GConf key:

[markmc blaa ~]$ gconftool-2 --direct --config-source=evoldap:readonly:/etc/gconf/2/evoldap.conf -g /apps/evolution/mail/accounts
Resolved address "evoldap:readonly:/gnome/head/INSTALL/etc/gconf/2/evoldap.conf" to a read-only configuration source at position 0
None of the resolved addresses are writable; saving configuration settings will not be possible
[<?xml version="1.0"?>
<account name="markmc blaa com" uid="1113478550 9037 0 blaa"
        <name>Mark McLoughlin</name>
        <addr-spec>markmc blaa com</addr-spec>
        <signature uid=""/>
      <source save-passwd="false" keep-on-server="false" auto-check="false" auto-check-timeout="10">
        <url>imap://markmc mail blaa com/;use_ssl=always</url>
      <transport save-passwd="false">
      <auto-cc always="false">
      <auto-bcc always="false">
      <pgp encrypt-to-self="false" always-trust="false" always-sign="false" no-imip-sign="false">
      <smime sign-default="false" encrypt-default="false" encrypt-to-self="false">

  Finally, in order to make GConf pull from this configuration source,
you need to add it to the GConf path file in /etc/gconf/2/path by
adding the configuration source address -
"evoldap:readonly:/etc/gconf/2/evoldap.conf" - after the user's
configuration source - e.g.

# Give users a default storage location, ~/.gconf

# Pull default Evolution account from LDAP

Getting More Complex

  Although this default method of setting things up should work for
most people, the configuration file does give you a fair number of
options if e.g. you didn't want to (or couldn't) add the custom
evolutionMailAccount schema to your LDAP server or if you wanted to
have multiple default accounts per user.

  The default template looks like:

  <template filter="(&amp; (uid=$(USER))(objectClass=inetOrgPerson)(objectClass=evolutionMailAccount))">
    <account name="$(LDAP_ATTR_mail)" uid="$(ACCOUNT_UID)" enabled="true">
        <signature uid=""/>

  The first configurable part is the "filter_str" attribute. This can
be any valid LDAP filter which the backend uses to query the LDAP
server using the base DN specified earlier. You can test the filter
from the command line with:

ldapsearch -x -h -b ou=people,dc=blaa,dc=com "(& (uid=markmc)(objectClass=inetOrgPerson)(objectClass=evolutionMailAccount))"

  (Note that you need to unescape the ampersand and use a valid
   username when testing the filter)

  The next configurable part is the variables sprinkled around in the
snippet above. There are three types of variables:

  - $(USER) is the username of the user running evolution
  - $(ACCOUNT_UID) is an account UID generated by the backend in the
    same format as Evolution uses
  - $(LDAP_ATTR_*) is the name of an LDAP attribute

  Each of these variables can be used anywhere in the filter - well,
you can't use the $(LDAP_ATTR_*) variables in the filter - or template

  The value of the /apps/evolution/mail/accounts key is generated by
applying this template to each of the LDAP entries returned by
searching using the filter string in the specified base DN. The value
of the $(LDAP_ATTR_*) variable is determined by looking up the
attribute value on then entry to which the template is being applied.

  Effectively, this means you can don't need to use the custom schema,
you can store the account data anywhere in the directory and you can
have multiple accounts per user.


  - In the short term, the configuration file format, schema etc. are
    all still subject to change

  - The backend uses GConf internals which are also subject to
    change. If you distribute a compiled version of this backend, its
    recommended that you distribute it in the same package as the
    GConf library itself so that upgrading the GConf package at a
    later date doesn't break the backend.

  - This hasn't yet seen much testing. If you try this out, feedback
    is much appreciated whether it be good or bad.

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