[Fedora-packaging] packages which add user accounts: is fedora-usermgmt the way?

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at redhat.com
Wed Sep 7 13:20:20 UTC 2005

On Sep  7, 2005, Enrico Scholz <enrico.scholz at informatik.tu-chemnitz.de> wrote:

> These users are created by an rpm, this package contains files owned by
> them and they are set in global configuration files. So, they must be
> system accounts.

Err...  The rpm cpio payload contains user ids encoded in the form of
user/group names, not numbers, I hope, just like tar.  Doesn't it?  If
so, all it takes to get a single, consistent uid is to add the
username to the central uid database before installing the rpms
anywhere, then the system will find the users to exist and install the
contents with the right uid.  If you have your hosts configured to
trust the database over local user info, and you've already installed
rpms before that chose random uids, then you might have to remove the
local user by hand and reinstall the packages.

> There is no way to see whether an rpm package creates an account or to
> determine the parameters of this account.

Should we perhaps think of abstracting out user ids into separate rpm
packages?  It sounds yucky at first, but it would be a clean way to
address the issue of removing lingering accounts or not.  The account
would be brought in as a dependency of the actual package, but
wouldn't be removed automatically when the package is removed, but
there would be a clean, simple, standard way to remove it.

> The uid/gid concept exists on all Posix compliant systems.  'fedora-usermgmt'
> would work fine e.g. on Solaris also.

Heck, it would probably work even on Cygwin :-)

Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}

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