Re: Questions about PAM, GDM and gnome-screensaver

On Wed, 2007-12-19 at 14:05 -0600, Brian Cameron wrote:
> So, from this perspective, the idea of merging GDM and gnome-screensaver
> into one program makes more and more sense.  One nice thing about GDM is
> that it is already keeping track of displays, has Xauth knowlege to be
> able to run a GUI program as the "gdm" user on any display running as
> another user. and already has a  mechanism for passing username/password
> information from a GUI running as a system user to a root-running daemon
> that talks to PAM.  Also, why have two daemons when one will do fine?
> The more I think about it, the more this direction seems to make
> sense from a "make sure its as difficult as possible to disclose
> sensitive information from the lock screen" perspective.

On of the issues that we had discussed with this is idea that X itself
has effectively loadable modules, user configuration and is simply a
huge codebase to secure.

This is one of the reasons that we restart X on logout on Linux (I'm not
sure what Solaris does).  That way GDM is always getting a clean X
instance that hasn't been modified or configured by the user.  This
wouldn't be the case if GDM was being run on the user's X server.

Also, from a usability perspective, any dialog that appears in a users
session we'd want to have the user's themeing.  So this would include
things like GTK+ theme engines.  I'm not sure how this could be worked


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