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-   -   Multiple Q's: configuration, customization, possibilities (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-newbie-8/multiple-qs-configuration-customization-possibilities-356617/)

Superion 08-24-2005 04:35 PM

Multiple Q's: configuration, customization, possibilities
 
Again, thanks to everyone for their help. I've been fiddling with Mepis for a couple of days now (even did a little manuevering around in the CLI!). And I got my sound to work.

One thing that's annoying the hell out of me is that the system regularly stops me and says something similar to, "You need root privileges to perform this operation". Is there any way to create a sort of "supervisor" account...something in between a normal user and root with specific privileges that wouldn't necessarily harm the system (like adding new users, etc)? On a lesser note, is there anyway to make Mepis use the term "Administrator" instead of "root"(ugh!) ?

Next: I've been doing some reading on the Linux file system, and how it arranges things (in directories like /bin, /usr, etc). Am I forced to use this file hierarchy myself (say, when downloading and saving files), or is this only for the OS and its related files?

I was shocked (and impressed) to find a Palm Application in KDE...they really DID try to include everything! Has anyone tried this palm application? What is your impression of it?

I've been taking a peek at Enlightenment, I've heard that Desktop manager is very highly configurable. However, I still want all the programs that came bundled with KDE. Is there a way to use Enlightenment and keep KDE and its apps?

As for the more theoretical/less important questions:

Does anyone know if someone has found a way to make a video file your "wallpaper"? I didn't know if there was some way to do that in Linux or not.

I love the way the windows animate/appear/look at the Terminator3 website (www.terminator3.com). Yes, I absolutely know its a silly question, but: Is it possible to configure your GUI to behave like that?

Those are the big ones so far. THANKS for your help!

hamish 08-24-2005 06:13 PM

For the administrator thing, you want to look into "sudo"

hamish

Komakino 08-24-2005 06:14 PM

Re: Multiple Q's: configuration, customization, possibilities
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Superion
Again, thanks to everyone for their help. I've been fiddling with Mepis for a couple of days now (even did a little manuevering around in the CLI!). And I got my sound to work.

One thing that's annoying the hell out of me is that the system regularly stops me and says something similar to, "You need root privileges to perform this operation". Is there any way to create a sort of "supervisor" account...something in between a normal user and root with specific privileges that wouldn't necessarily harm the system (like adding new users, etc)? On a lesser note, is there anyway to make Mepis use the term "Administrator" instead of "root"(ugh!) ?

Next: I've been doing some reading on the Linux file system, and how it arranges things (in directories like /bin, /usr, etc). Am I forced to use this file hierarchy myself (say, when downloading and saving files), or is this only for the OS and its related files?

I was shocked (and impressed) to find a Palm Application in KDE...they really DID try to include everything! Has anyone tried this palm application? What is your impression of it?

I've been taking a peek at Enlightenment, I've heard that Desktop manager is very highly configurable. However, I still want all the programs that came bundled with KDE. Is there a way to use Enlightenment and keep KDE and its apps?

As for the more theoretical/less important questions:

Does anyone know if someone has found a way to make a video file your "wallpaper"? I didn't know if there was some way to do that in Linux or not.

I love the way the windows animate/appear/look at the Terminator3 website (www.terminator3.com). Yes, I absolutely know its a silly question, but: Is it possible to configure your GUI to behave like that?

Those are the big ones so far. THANKS for your help!

Okie dokie... well, there's a program called sudo which lets users run particular programs without needing to actually log in as root. For example it might let you do 'sudo adduser myuser' instead of actually being root. By the way, did you know you can just type 'su' to become root without logging out and in again? Oh, and root sounds FAR cooler than Administrator! Not to mention a lot quicker and easier to type. But, if you can't shake that windows feeling, then it may be possible to create an alias for root, though I'm not sure how that would be done (or even if it can).

If you've downloaded something and you only want your user to be able to use it, then 9/10 times you can simply stick it in a subdirectory of your home directory and run it from there....HOWEVER, I think the versatility and usefulness of the linux filesystem layout has passed you by somewhat. Having all executable files in certain places (/bin, /usr/bin, /usr/local/bin etc) means that there are only a finite number of places the computer needs to look (its 'path') when you type a filename. This means you can just type a program name and run it. In windows the executables are scattered throughout the system (typically in the program's own directory) meaning that either:
1. you add every directory to the path and constantly have to update the path, or:

2. you have to type the full path name in or navigate to that program's directory.

Trust me, the linux way is better. The same principle applies with shared libraries: there are only a finite number of places to search for libraries when programs run. The linux way of having a global path also means that the program will be available to all users. If you're installing programs from packages (via apt-get for example) then you have little say and they will almost certainly be put with the binary in /usr/bin, the libraries in /usr/lib and the rest in /usr/share.

Installing enlightenment will not impact KDE or its apps in any way. Many users change window manager as often (sometimes more often) as they change their underwear. KDE applications require only that certain KDE libraries be installed - not that KDE actually be used as your window manager. You can, for example, run gnome as your WM and use Kopete as your IM client. As long as the necessary libraries are on the system for kopete to use, it will run fine.

There are many programs that can draw to the root (i.e. the main) window. Among them are several of the xscreensaver apps. I believe also that the movie player MPlayer can render direct to the root window and so should be able to loop a video file as your backdrop. Quite why you'd want to is a different matter!

Superion 08-25-2005 12:57 AM

Re: Re: Multiple Q's: configuration, customization, possibilities
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Komakino
Okie dokie... well, there's a program called sudo which lets users run particular programs without needing to actually log in as root.
Yes, I've heard of su(do) and such. To avoid all that, though, I wanted to create an "intermediate authority" account. It's more than just a matter of convenience: I was thinking of creating such an account for certain friends who use my network. That way, they can perform only the Administrator actions I specify, without being a true "superuser" and potentially wrecking the system. Since no one has answered affirmatively, am I correct in assuming this cannot be done?

Quote:

Originally posted by Komakino
Oh, and root sounds FAR cooler than Administrator! Not to mention a lot quicker and easier to type. But, if you can't shake that windows feeling, then it may be possible to create an alias for root, though I'm not sure how that would be done (or even if it can).
From your sig, you sound like a Writer/English-major. ;-) I write, so you'll probably understand me when I say that it doesn't have anything to do with Windows: I just like the way 'Administrator' sounds, and it fits. To me, a "root" is something that trees stick into the ground. ;-P

As for the file system: Yes, I can see how the arrangement fits system files: stuff like executables and all...I'm not too concerned about those. I'm just trying to figure out how it works for ME. If I download several files off the net - say a new program "package", a few background pics, and a song - are they gonna automatically get shuttled off to places where I'll have to look for them? Or, if I save a document created in OpenOffice, does that mean I don't have a choice where I can put it? I'm just used to having more control over where my files go in situations like these.

Thanks for answering the questions on the Windows manager. I'm still trying to see if there's any way it can be configured the way I mentioned.

Quote:

Originally posted by Komakino
There are many programs that can draw to the root (i.e. the main) window. Among them are several of the xscreensaver apps. I believe also that the movie player MPlayer can render direct to the root window and so should be able to loop a video file as your backdrop. Quite why you'd want to is a different matter!
Hmmmm. ;-) I'll have to try that! THANKS!

Anybody else got any answers?

geeman2.0 08-25-2005 11:05 AM

Quote:

Yes, I've heard of su(do) and such. To avoid all that, though, I wanted to create an "intermediate authority" account. It's more than just a matter of convenience: I was thinking of creating such an account for certain friends who use my network. That way, they can perform only the Administrator actions I specify, without being a true "superuser" and potentially wrecking the system. Since no one has answered affirmatively, am I correct in assuming this cannot be done?
The /etc/sudoers file exists for exactly this purpose. It lets you set up exactly which users can use which root commands, which sounds like exactly what you need.
What's your beef with sudo?

If you really think it's too much trouble for them to type "sudo command", then you could make aliases, like
Code:

alias whatever="sudo whatever"
Quote:

As for the file system: Yes, I can see how the arrangement fits system files: stuff like executables and all...I'm not too concerned about those. I'm just trying to figure out how it works for ME. If I download several files off the net - say a new program "package", a few background pics, and a song - are they gonna automatically get shuttled off to places where I'll have to look for them? Or, if I save a document created in OpenOffice, does that mean I don't have a choice where I can put it? I'm just used to having more control over where my files go in situations like these.
If you're using packages to install these programs, then they usually put the programs in the usual standardized places. But most package managers allow for some flexibility I believe, but that varies from distro to distro.
If you don't want to use prebuilt packages, then you can ignore the existing conventions and install programs whever you want.
You could compile open office from source yourself, and stick it in /sponge/bob/ if you so chose to, but you'd then have the additional problems of setting up paths/changing config files/ etc...

corfe 08-25-2005 12:21 PM

In general, all your personal files should go in your home directory, or in some cases on a mounted drive (I store a bunch of music and movies on a mounted network partition, accessible from any computer in my home). Of course the system can be configured to let you store files wherever you want, but this isn't the way it was meant to work.

This might sound like a lack of flexibility, but think of it this way, if someone was learning windows and they asked you why they shouldn't store all their pictures and documents in c:\winnt\system32. It's possible to do, it works fine, there's nothing technically wrong with it, but it will become a hassle and every windows program is designed for your documents to be in my documents, it's the most easily accessible place, it's the most likely folder for programs to look for them, etc. etc.

Actually, I rather like the home directory system now that I'm used to it. You can always copy your home folder to a USB drive, mount it as your home directory on another system, and get all your user settings exactly the same as on the other system. A while ago, I cloned my user profile so all my settings were copied from my desktop to my (newly formatted to linux) laptop. No special programs required, just "cp", the same way you copy any other files.

There is a tendency when trying something new to try to make things as similar as possible to the old way. Try to go with the flow for a little while, try to appreciate the new way. You might find it's for you.

As for the movie file playing option, both mplayer and xine can be set to run as the root window (that'll be your background) - try something like this:

(Mplayer :)
mplayer -ao null -wid `xwininfo -int -name 'Desktop' | grep 'Desktop' | awk -F' ' '{ print $4 }';` foo.avi

Or if you prefer xine, try:

xine -R -I -f -A null foo.avi

Edit: I should probably mention I got the commands above from the gentoo forums (I forget which post). I'm not a gentoo user, but it's a good place to go if you want to find people messing around, seeing what's possible with linux.

I haven't actually tried these myself (I'm in windows right now between games of TFC :P), but these should be in the ballpark of what you want. If they don't work for you, I can switch to my debian installation and figure out which one works for me. Since these are all text commands, you could easily hook them up to menu options or buttons on your GUI, or even write a script that randomizes what file to be played over time. Good luck, and have fun!

Komakino 08-25-2005 12:41 PM

Re: Re: Re: Multiple Q's: configuration, customization, possibilities
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Superion
Yes, I've heard of su(do) and such. To avoid all that, though, I wanted to create an "intermediate authority" account. It's more than just a matter of convenience: I was thinking of creating such an account for certain friends who use my network. That way, they can perform only the Administrator actions I specify, without being a true "superuser" and potentially wrecking the system. Since no one has answered affirmatively, am I correct in assuming this cannot be done?

Ahhh, so you just want to give certain people permissions for certain things that they cannot by default do? In that case you want to look at creating some groups, giving those groups permission to write to certain directories or to execute certain files (more likely write permissions in most cases) and then add your 'trusted users' to those groups. Shouldn't be too hard. Look at the groupadd command.

Edit: as a proof-of-concept I've just tried creating a group called 'themer' by doing:
groupadd themer
as root. I then added my normal user account to this group by doing:
usermod -G themer sab300
also as root. Then I changed the group owner of the /usr/share/themes directory to themer by doing:
chown :themer /usr/share/themes
(the : is important, without that it changes the actual owner of the folder, not just the group). Finally I did chmod:
g+w /usr/share/themes
to give anyone in the themer group write permission to that directory. You should be able to accomplish something similar to what you want by creating a group called something like 'trusted', adding your trusted users to that account, and then giving any folders or programs you want them to have permission to use (write/execute) that group as their owner.


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