[Dev] User management for multi-user systems

Łukasz Stelmach l.stelmach at samsung.com
Tue Oct 29 10:07:53 GMT 2013

It was <2013-10-28 pon 16:53>, when Karol Lewandowski wrote:
> On 10/28/2013 02:30 PM, Zaman, Imran wrote:
>>>> 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.

It definitley deserves to have one (-;

>> - 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.

Do you mean that AS does not provide a way to support setting these

>> - 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.

This could be improved in AS. Maybe some plugins?

>> - 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.

+1 definitely.

Łukasz Stelmach
Samsung R&D Institute Poland
Samsung Electronics
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