[Portland] RE: [Desktop_printing] Portland tool: xdg-su (Was: Roleof CUPS and error handling)

Wichmann, Mats D mats.d.wichmann at intel.com
Tue Apr 4 16:11:52 EEST 2006

>With Portland we will provide a set of well defined interfaces such as
>xdg-su together with a reference implementation and Linux distributions
>can adjust these tools as they see fit as long as they maintain
>compatibility with the defined interface. I believe that Kubuntu
>ships a verion of kdesu that uses sudo instead of su, and as a result
>xdg-su will use sudo as well then in that case.
>Note that we encourage software vendors (in this case a printer vendor)
>that want to use xdg-utils to include a copy along with their
>application as fallback but to use the version of xdg-utils that's
>included with the operating system if such version is present. That way
>the vendor will benefit from distribution specific adjustments such as
>the use of sudo instead of su.

It's a little more than "benefit from", the default desktop install
of Ubuntu/Kubuntu leaves the user not even knowing the root password,
so it simply won't work to not pick up the distro version.

>>Probably off-topic, but what about supporting sudo functionality,
>>such that the user only needs to know their own password and not the
>>root password?
>>Seems to be a better choice from a security and usability

but that choice can't be made here; a significant number of
systems will not have the sudoers file configured out of the
box and users will not be able to use sudo; alternatively as
noted above on some other set of systems it's not going to 
work to use su.

it's really important to maintain this abstraction level
so that the distro version can "do the right thing" and not
have the Portland work impose too many constraints.

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