[Sugar-devel] Enhancing Sugar to support multiple users

Simon Schampijer simon at schampijer.de
Mon Sep 6 10:30:33 EDT 2010

On 09/06/2010 10:14 AM, Tomeu Vizoso wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 6, 2010 at 02:24, Samuel Klein<meta.sj at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> On Sun, Sep 5, 2010 at 5:28 PM, Sascha Silbe
>> <sascha-ml-reply-to-2010-2 at silbe.org>  wrote:
>>> Excerpts from Christoph Derndorfer's message of Sun Sep 05 21:57:09 +0200 2010:
>>>> I just created a new ticket (http://bugs.sugarlabs.org/ticket/2292) to get
>>>> some discussions started on what changes need to be made to Sugar to work
>>>> well in an environment where multiple users will work on the same machine
>>>> (which is how Peru's next 300,000 XOs will be used:
>>>> http://www.olpcnews.com/countries/peru/peru_between_one_laptop_per_child_and_seven_children_per_laptop.html
>>>> ).
>>> I don't think we should change anything in Sugar, for two orthogonal reasons:
>>> 1. There is already an existing, proven, well-working mechanism to
>>>    support multiple users on the same machine that's way older than
>>>    Sugar: user accounts. Check out any computer lab at a university
>>>    to see how it works (though I suppose you already know).
>> Supporting user accounts is not a novel mechanism, and probably
>> sufficient, but doing it in a Sugar-like way would still benefit from
>> child-focused design and input.  It's something that would be good to
>> see as part of / a flavor of Sugar one day, rather than as an external
>> hack by people trying to use Sugar "as nature never intended".
> I'm confused by this, Sugar's architecture follows closely that of
> other modern X11-based desktops which also means it will just work
> fine in a multi-user system.
> Running parallel instances of Sugar each on its own account is
> something that should be completely supported by Sugar's architecture
> and not a hack at all.
>>> 2. If the Peru government wants Sugar to adapt to being used by multiple
>>>    users (in what way exactly?), let _them_ do the work.
>> The question of the right way to support multiple users on a single
>> Sugar instance (usb key, computer) is separate from "who will do the
>> work".
>>>    (If OTOH you use one account per child, there's nothing to change in
>>>    Sugar, so no reason for a ticket).
>> I don't think you can give Sugar an accountname as a startup
>> parameter, so there's at least something to change.
> When you start Sugar, you are already in an user account, so you don't
> really need to give it an username.
> What is going to allow the user to choose an account with which to log
> in is a display manager and you have several implementations to choose
> from. All should work fine with Sugar.
> I believe Simon has used this deployment mode in his pilots in Berlin.
> Regards,
> Tomeu

Yes, we [1] use GDM to login. The school server uses the school's LDAP 
server to authenticate the learner. NFS is used to bind network drives; 
hence to make the learner's Sugar profile available.

So either you have several accounts on one machine or you use a remote 
authentication system.


[1] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Planetarium/en

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