Wednesday Apr 08, 2009

Running Privileged Applications in the OpenSolaris GNOME Desktop

gksu(1) says:

     This manual page documents briefly gksu and gksudo

     gksu is a frontend to su and gksudo is a frontend  to  sudo.
     Their primary purpose is to run graphical commands that need
     root without the need to run  an  X  terminal  emulator  and
     using su directly.

Unfortunately the man page doesn't currently (I'm logging a bug) say anything about the changes made for integration with OpenSolaris RBAC (LSARC/2006/348).

If the user has an RBAC profile entry to run the command, given as the argument to gksu, then gksu will execute the command using pfexec(1).

If the user doesn't have a direct RBAC profile entry for the command but the user can assume a role that does have an RBAC profile entry then gksu prompts for the role password and uses the role. In this case gksu is doing the exec using embedded_su(1M) (which is really a hardlink to /bin/su).

Failing all that then gksu prompts for the root password; which will fail it root is a role that the user can't assume.

Menu entries for things like packagemanager, updatemanager, printmanager on OpenSolaris already do use gksu(1)

gksu by default does a full X keyboard and mouse grab while prompting for the password.  It also passes on the users X magic cookie so GUI programs work well.

gksu can also use sudo as the back end instead of OpenSolaris RBAC or embeded_su, that is standard gksu behaviour though not something specific to OpenSolaris.

Friday Aug 03, 2007

Welcome back xterm all is forgiven

Until about a year ago I had been using good old xterm, (I used it under at least olwm,olvwm,twm,tvtwm,ctwm,fvwm,CDE,GNOME). I switch to using gnome-terminal since it appeared to be good enough, it was the default under GNOME (by current desktop of choice) and it had a few features I really liked (though some I sorely missed from xterm too).

    Those I like from gnome-terminal and actively use are:
  • Profiles - mainly for different coloured foreground (green,amber,white)
  • "Right click ->Open Terminal" is very helpful since usually I can't see the desktop root window

    Things I don't like about gnome-terminal:
  • It can be slow compared to xterm when large amounts of text need to be written. For example the output of make going by really quickly
  • It seems to be very sensitive to your local cwd becoming unavailable so much that all gnome-terminal windows lock up - even those with remote logins

    Things I missed from xterm while using gnome-terminal:
  • Different colour cursor (not the mouse pointer or shell prompt) from the main foreground colour
  • Keyboard grab - I have this bound to the stop key on a Sun keyboard.

So why is it welcome back xterm ? Basically it is the performance. I use Sun Ray most of the time now, and Sun Ray at home over a 1Mbps ADSL line is perfectly usable providing I use xterm and not gnome-terminal.

I should also say that my xterm config isn't default and it is customised so that the Sun keyboard Copy/Paste keys work

The only think I'm really missing from gnome-terminal now I've switched back to xterm is the ability to change which profile (colour basically) a given window is in while it is running

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DarrenMoffat

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