[ConsoleKit] Impact of ConsoleKit deprecation

Lennart Poettering mztabzr at 0pointer.de
Thu Jan 26 18:26:22 PST 2012

On Thu, 26.01.12 19:36, Brian Cameron (brian.cameron at oracle.com) wrote:

> How was the decision made that CK does not matter and needs to be
> deprecated?  It seems odd to deprecate an interface that your
> announcement says only 1 distro (Fedora) has concrete plans to move
> away from.  The announcement says Mageia and openSuse will "likely"
> follow, but this hardly sounds definite.

The deprecation of CK was decided by its former maintainer and its
current maintainer, i.e. Jon and me.

Ubuntu plans to take over maintainership (more precisely Martin Pitt
from Canonical), to maintain it as long as they still need it, and will
change the name while doing so.

> The topic of ConsoleKit deprecation was last discussed on the
> ConsoleKit forum last May[3].  At that time, I asked questions and
> highlighted the importance to to have ongoing ConsoleKit support in GDM
> on Solaris.  Nobody seemed to make a real effort to respond to me, and
> it does not seem that my comments were taken much into consideration as
> decisions were made.  Really, it does not seem there was really much
> public or transparent community discussion about this, or did I miss
> it?

gdm retains CK compat.

> Although D-Bus, ConsoleKit, and systemd may all be FreeDesktop
> specifications, is there harmony between various popular display
> managers, how they work, and what standard interfaces they plan to
> support?  Do we know of plans for display managers like GDM, KDM or
> LightDM to standardize on common freedesktop.org interfaces?  Can you
> point to  serious discussion amongst the maintainers of free display
> managers about these topics?  Or is everybody doing their own display
> manager thing under different "FreeDesktop" projects?

systemd is not a spec, it's more a very basic building block of the
lower parts of our OS. We kinda expect that the various display managers
are ported over to it sooner or later, and as long as that didn't happen
they will continue to pull in CK, though CK isn't installed by default
anymore, since the default WM in Fedora doesn't need it.

There's one important change from CK to systemd here though: Note that
unless a display manager wants to take benefit of multi-seat there's no
special systemd support needed at all in them, as systemd registration
is done exclusively via the PAM session stack, and hence all direct
linking to systemd can simply be dropped. Or in other words: in most
cases porting a DM to systemd just means building it without CK support.

Yay for simplification!

> >Now, one distribution expressed interested in maintaining ConsoleKit,
> >but under a different name. It will still use the same API (dbus name,
> >etc). However, their interest is likely solely focussed around their
> >distribution and not anything else.
> Solaris has delivered GNOME 2.30 on Solaris 11 with ConsoleKit, and
> will likely be supporting this for years to come.  Is Solaris the "one
> distribution" you refer to, or are there others? 

We are referring to Ubuntu here.

> If there are more than one distro planning to continue using GDM with
> ConsoleKit, then there may be opportunities for us to work together.

Yes, please contact Martin Pitt as soon as I handed CK over to him. I am
sure he'll be happy to work with you.


Lennart Poettering - Red Hat, Inc.

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