Re: 'Switch User' action

Calum Benson wrote:
On Fri, 2003-12-05 at 18:15, Mark McLoughlin wrote:
That's how it works on XP.  I make no further comment :)

To re-iterate Mark's point... what's the actual requirement/typical
usage scenario for this feature?  Or are we just considering it "because
we can"?

I'd like to throw in some ideas too. I work in an Academic/Research group. Maybe there are ways to do some of the stuff I'll mention already. If not, then it is just more data. :)

We use Linux and Solaris primarily. GNOME on each. It would be best if the Switch User function was not Linux specific.

For these purposes I will identify a few classes of systems: user laptops, user workstations, public workstations, servers.

Our laptops are probably much like most home machines. Users have permission to change many but not all system settings via RedHat's consolehelper (which I think is great, by the way). So, I'll call these home systems.

Home systems:

Changing users should be as easy as switching profiles in Mozilla. So much of the benefit of using a unix system is lost when sharing accounts. Sharing accounts, bad. However, that means we should really try to lower the barrier. It can be a bit of a pain for home users to create new accounts and do the logout/in dance to change. If it is hard then they won't do it (that is life). It could be simplified with a New User setup assistant, and a Switch User function. One of the main reasons for not offering a list of users on the GDM screen is for security. But if a user is already logged in then they are already privileged enough to see user names and there isn't really any reason to just drop them back to the GDM screen. Something that lets them choose from a list of the most active users to switch to might be nice. Actually they shouldn't ever need to see the GDM screen at all. It should prompt for username and password right there. If they can't provide it then nothing happens. Of course there should be appropriate logging and the whole successive login failures business.

Perhaps there could also be an option to logout of the existing session as you switch. The only benefit here is that you avoid the really unnecessary GDM step.

The screen lock/saver should not prohibit another user from logging in. In fact it could display a list of logged in users by their real names. That way usernames are not exposed. The username could just be clicked on and an authentication dialog would be displayed.

User Workstations:

The screen lock/saver should prohibit another user from logging in and using resources, not to mention someones chair.

Public Workstations:

The screen lock/saver should not prohibit another user from logging in. However, I would also like to see a way for a locked session to autologout after a period of inactivity. I suppose this requires some DBUS magic. This would prevent someone from either forgetfully or maliciously locking up a system for ever (and requiring sys admin intervention).


When GNOME is even run on a server it should strictly enforce the screen lock. It is very likely that virtual consoles will be disabled.

I would love to hear your comments.


[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]