Friday Aug 21, 2009

Sun Ray "YUV" Icon Modernization

Some new features in SRSS 4.2, like client authentication and support for the Sun Display Access Client (SDAC) required new server policy (aka "YUV") icons. The server needs a way to tell you that it is configured to reject SDAC connections or that it doesn't accept your client keys.

So a while back I got together with Matthias to design the missing icons, but after looking at the existing YUV icons, we couldn't get ourselves to create more of the same. Instead Matthias set out to create a new theme for these icons. To show you why, here are some examples of old icons and their new counterparts:

Old IconNew IconMeaning
Old Insert Card Icon: Sun Ray 1, tiny white card, thick green arrow pointing from card to DTU, all on purple beveled button.New Insert Card Icon: Smart card at entry to slot. Status code 60.Insert Card (No access without card)
Old Card Error Icon: Sun Ray 1 with card, yellow triangle with exclamation mark, crooked black arrow pointing from triangle to DTU, all on purple beveled button.New Card Error Icon: Smart card with question mark. Status code 63.Card Not Recognized
I wonder what users who have never seen a Sun Ray 1/1G in its purple stand have been thinking about these tilted squares with the purple triangle...
Old No Entry Icon: Red circle with white horizontal bar ('no entry' traffic sign) on purple beveled button.New No Access Icon: Stylized screen with cross in the middle. Status code 46.No Access for this token due to server policy.


('No Entry' sign, as above, in SRS5 EA1)

No Access For SDAC Icon: Stylized window on desktop with cross in the middle of the window. Status code 47.No Access for SDAC due to server policy.

The new icons:

  • Have a consistent style, but don't imitate the firmware OSD.
  • Should blend into the DTU background almost seamlessly
  • Have status codes for better supportability. No more wondering why SDAC is reported to show a red ball (that must have been the 'no entry' icon).

To see them all, look at their brand-new documentation. Thanks Paul!

If you have looked at our SRS 5 EA1 release, you may wonder why you haven't seen the new icons. The answer is that they didn't make EA1 - but you will find them in the upcoming EA2 release.

BACKGROUND: Sun Ray Icon Types
SRSS has two kinds of troubleshooting icons:
On Screen Display (OSD) Icons
These icons are produced by the DTU and inform about DTU status or error conditions. The DTU overlays these icons over the usual display contents sent by the server. These icons were modernized serveral releases of SRSS ago.
Server Policy ("YUV") Icons
These icons are sent by the server to signal why a DTU does not get normal session access. They are called "YUV" icons, because the server sends icon data in YUV format to the DTU. This does not require a regular session with a full X server. Instead a low-footprint yuvfile process sends the pixels directly to the DTU. This program has much less sophistication than the SRSS Xnewt server, so features like NAT traversal or detection of lost pixels don't work for YUV icons.

Friday Jun 26, 2009

Using different Kiosk Sessions for different tokens

Original Sun Ray Kiosk Mode or its predecessor CAM only allowed one Kiosk configuration that applied to all kiosk sessions on a server. Since SRSS 4.1 there is a little known feature that allows adding additional kiosk configurations and selecting one them based on the token.

Unfortunately configuring this feature currently requires using the utkiosk and utkioskoverride tools on the command line. This probably is the main reason why add-on solutions to do the same, like Daniel Cifuentes's Meta-Kiosk are still popular.

For those not afraid of the command line, here is a short how-to

  1. Create a kiosk session configuration.

    You first need to create a file (named UserSession.conf here, but you can freely choose a name) containing your kiosk session configuration. Of course you can simply create it as a text file, after reading the session.conf(4) man page. But if you prefer to use the SRSS Web Admin GUI for this step, you can do it as follows:

    • Configure the session settings on the Edit Kiosk Session page
    • If you are using the JDS desktop session, add the applications you want to see in the menu.
    • Save your changes
    • Get a root shell on one of the servers and use it to save the configuration to a file:
      # cd  # Make sure your are in a reasonable directory to store your configurations
      # PATH=${PATH}:/opt/SUNWut/sbin    # Save yourself (and me) some typing
      # utkiosk -e session -s > UserSession.conf
    • If you have configured applications, also save the application list to a file:
      # utkiosk -e session -a > UserSessionApps.list

  2. Store your kiosk session configuration in the Sun Ray data store.

    You now need to store your configuration in SRDS, so it can be used for Sun Ray kiosk sessions. You can store each configuration under a name you choose. This example will use UserSession. Use a name that starts with a capital letter - all-lowercase names are reserved.

    If you don't need an application list, you can simply upload your UserSession.conf file like this:

    # utkiosk -i UserSession -f UserSession.conf

    If you did create an application list, the command looks like this:

    # utkiosk -i UserSession -f UserSession.conf -A UserSessionApps.list

  3. Configure individual tokens to use this kiosk session configuration.

    You now need to assign this configuration to selected tokens. I'll show this here for the imaginary CleverCard.0123456789 card token. You can assign kiosk setting to selected DTUs (when used without a smart card) in the same way.

    • In order to apply special kiosk setting to the token, it needs to be registered (even if you don't use a "registered" access policy). If the token isn't registered yet, you can do this now without leaving the command line:
      # utuser -a "CleverCard.0123456789,localhost,0,John Doe,"
    • Now you can assign the UserSession configuration to the token:
      # utkioskoverride -r CleverCard.0123456789 -s kiosk -c UserSession 
      Note: This will enable Kiosk Mode for this token, even if it isn't enabled globally.

    • If you have stored multiple session configurations, you can view them using:
      # utkiosk -l
      The session configuration is the default kiosk configuration, which is used for all kiosk session that haven't been assigned an override.

Musings about my work in the (virtual) desktop space and whatever else moves me.

Keep on your desktop at all times.

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Oracle


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