[Dev] User management for multi-user systems

Karol Lewandowski k.lewandowsk at samsung.com
Mon Oct 28 15:53:15 GMT 2013

On 10/28/2013 02:30 PM, Zaman, Imran wrote:
> Hi Karol!

Hi! :)

>>> Related to our multi-user support proposal, we have now published
>>> sources for the the user management daemon and client library. These are
>>> intended for creating user management GUI where end-user admin can
>>> manage user accounts, groups and possible permissions. It is also used
>>> by the login manager for certain tasks, mostly related to guest users.
>>> The project is still work-in-progress, but we believe in releasing in
>>> early phase to enable discussion and open development model.
>> Could you please give some background information about this
>> project?  Namely, I wonder what is intended difference between
>> this project and freedesktop's AccountsService[1]?
>> For my untrained eye these look very similar.
>>   [1] http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/AccountsService/

> Thanks for your comments..
> Main objective is to provide dbus APIs for creating/deleting/updating users/groups through gumd. 
> There are some similarities between accountservice and gumd from the APIs perspective, but there are some notable differences as well. 
> - accountservice does not provide any APIs for groups creation/deletion/updation.
> - multiple credentials per user (e.g. password and NFC tag) support is also planned to be added to gumd, which does not exist in accountservice. 
> - accounts service is mostly a wrapper around command line scripts (e.g. "/usr/sbin/useradd") and systemd-login APIs, whereas gumd does not depend on any command line scripts.
> - gumd focuses on related functionality of user and groups creation/deletion only, whereas accountservice mixes user creation/deletion, seat related info, login/session info etc into one component.

Thanks for this explanation!  I asked this question because
I was concerned about overlapping functionality that is provided
by AccountService and being actively used by other open source
components we might want to import some day.

I have checked who is currently using AccountService, and there
doesn't seem that many clients.  On my Debian machine I've found
just two applications - gnome-control-center and gdm3.

Still, I think it would be wise to consider fixing and
extending Accounts - today's redundant functionality
might be useful for us tomorrow (seat info wrt to multiuser
works), missing bits can be provided and bugs fixed in common
code so that all of OSS would benefit.

My 2c. :)

Best regards,
Karol Lewandowski

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