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Old 09-18-2009, 01:43 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2004
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Question Multiple Accounts - Common home directory - Not with Yast!!!

I have a SUSE Enterprise 10 server that I am using as an FTP server for multiple users. The catch is that I need each individual account to have the same Home Directory (for uploads).

When I add accounts from a console. Things work perfectly. I can do the following and have all three accounts have the same Home Directory. So far, so good! Exactly what I want.

useradd -g group -d /home/ftp user1
useradd -g group -d /home/ftp user2
useradd -g group -d /home/ftp user3

However, when I attempt to add users through Yast2 (either from Gnome or the console) I get an error stating "The home directory is used by another user. Try again"

Any thoughts on why I can create the accounts as desired directly in a terminal session. Yet, Yast prevents the same parameters from working?
Old 09-19-2009, 05:05 AM   #2
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Normally you don't want multiple users to share the same home directory, since there
are files that should remain unique to each user (such as .bash_history and .ssh).
Also you may run into permissions problems unless you carefully prepare the directory
permissions and the users' umask.

I'm sure Yast is just trying to prevent these problems. If you're not concerned about
them, you could let Yast create the user account with the default home directory, then
edit the /etc/passwd file to change it to /home/ftp.
Old 09-19-2009, 05:24 AM   #3
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@n8tgc: You might want to re-think your ftp strategy.

As carltm already explained, you will probably run into permission/owner problems if you set it up the way you want.

Depending on how you have set up ftp, you might want to try one of the following:

1) Create a dedicated upload/download user and let the other users use that account,
2) Set up a dedicated anonymous upload/download site,
3) If the users that needs uploading/downloading already have an account on your box, create a link to a dedicated directory from within their homedirs.

Just my 2c.
Old 09-19-2009, 10:03 PM   #4
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The .bash_history and .ssh files aren't necessary as none of these users will ever log on locally, they will ONLY access via FTP. As a result, the files are not necessary. Yast even provides this with the "Empty Home" option. And, yes, the directory permissions are all set accordingly.

Carlt & Druuna,
If I create the accounts from the console things work EXACTLY as I desire with all of the necessary permissions. If I have to manually edit /etc/password, I might as well continue to manage accounts via the console.

I just wanted to the YAST interface to accomplish the same thing. Yes, it appears that Yast attempts to take some of the work out and "prevent problems" I just wish Yast could trust me that I know what I want.

I find it odd that Yast will not let me create an account if the desired account has the same Home Directory as another account. Yet, if I create two accounts from the console, both with the same Home Directories, THEN go into Yast and view the accounts, Yast doesn't complain then that the two accounts are sharing the same directory.

Thanks just the same.
Old 09-25-2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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On a hunch I'd say there is probably a switch somewhere or "expert options" since in my experience you can do almost everything in YAST. Why don't you ask at the SuSE / Novell site (and post the results here, of course )?


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