Fwd: Fwd: [K12OSN] Default Settings for Workstations

Steve Hargadon steve.hargadon at gmail.com
Wed Jun 8 20:15:38 UTC 2005

As per the thoughtful Henry Burroughs....

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Henry Burroughs <hburroughs at hhprep.org>
Date: Jun 8, 2005 9:00 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: [K12OSN] Default Settings for Workstations
To: Steve Hargadon <steve.hargadon at gmail.com>


The reason it may not have showed up is because of gconf... did you
try another user for the default/mandatory settings when the other
user didn't change?  It might be a stale gconf process (a purge_user
<username) might fix it. Anyway, you can remove the mandatory/default
settings pretty easily.  You aren't changing the user's gconf files
directly, just the system wide files.  BTW, you can run gconf-editor
as a user and get a registry editor like program to browse that user's
settings (and edit them if you wish).

Think windows registry keys.... and that setup... gconf is very very similar:

If you run this:

gconftool-2 --direct --config-source
xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.mandatory --recursive-list /

That should list all the keys that you have added to the mandatory
configuration source (if you specify /desktop instead of just /, it
displays all keys under /desktop)

Likewise, substituting mandatory with defaults allows you to see all
the default settings.

To unset something, do this:

gconftool-2 --direct --config-source
xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.mandatory --unset

Be careful doing that on the defaults configuration
(gconf.xml.defaults)..., I have no idea what background new users
would get.

This prints out the defaults (not mandatory) for users backgrounds:
gconftool-2 --direct --config-source
xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.defaults --recursive-list

The default picture_filename is
"/usr/share/backgrounds/images/default.png" if you need it.

This is a special trick of mine (you can add shares/connections to the
desktop Computer icon):

gconftool-2 --direct --config-source
xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.mandatory/ --type string --set

Where <number> is just a number given to that object (if you specify
one a user has, your's become priority over it when they log back in)
and the 3 <key> you need are:
display_name        "Share name"
icon                        gnome-vs-share
uri                        "file:///tmp/"

So to set it for the above example (I'm going to abbreviate the
gconftool-2 beginning command for my sanity):
GCONFTOOL="gconftool-2 --direct --config-source

$GCONFTOOL --type string --set
/desktop/gnome/connected_servers/1/display_name "Share name"

$GCONFTOOL --type string --set /desktop/gnome/connected_servers/1/icon

$GCONFTOOL --type string --set /desktop/gnome/connected_servers/1/uri 

Then when you log back in for any user, they will have an icon under
"Computer" to take them to that share (ie: /tmp).  You can create your
own for your own user easier by going to "Computer", and then clicking
on File->Connect to Server (you can setup ftp, samba, etc this way). 
I'm working on a way using local device support and autofs to
automount the local drives (I've gotten that part functional now.. I
didn't like the original way it was done mounting to the user's home
directory... it left too many dangling mounts and that drove me nuts).
  Next I'm integrating a "My Disks" or "Removable Disks" entry for all
users to access their local drives from right under "Computer"!  I
might have it done by the time for the Northeast Linux Symposium...
Fun fun!  Mmm... wine and cheese....fondue....mmmmm......

Of course I'll wikifi anything I do.

If it's ok with you, could you forward this on to the list so it might
help anyone else?

Take it easy Steve and good luck,


On Tue, 2005-06-07 at 19:15, Steve Hargadon wrote: 
I rebooted the server one more time (I'm sure there is a service I
could restart, but I couldn't find it...), and the image took. So
only question #2 is unanswered... Hope I'm not imposing.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Steve Hargadon <steve.hargadon at gmail.com>
Date: Jun 7, 2005 4:12 PM
Subject: Re: [K12OSN] Default Settings for Workstations
To: HBurroughs at hhprep.org

Have you got any advice for me? I ran the code for changing to a
mandatory desktop background, and

1. While the background is now locked, it doesn't show the file I
specified--just a blank background. Does the file need to be in a
certain directory, or specified in a certain way? Does it need quotes
or anything around it?

2. Is there a way to remove the mandatory or default value for *all*
users, and not just one at a time, as the documentation seems to

On 3/10/05, Burroughs, Henry <HBurroughs at hhprep.org> wrote:
> Sez,
> If you are using GNOME, you can set many defaults via GCONF.
> This is for Gnome 2.6, but I think it will work for 2.8.
> http://www.gnome.org/learn/admin-guide/2.6/ch01.html
> Look in the section titled "To Set Background Preferences" for an idea how to set the background for all users (I've done that before). Basically, you can make certain settings mandatory for all users via gconf. You can even not make things mandatory, but change the defaults. Good luck!
> Henry Burroughs
> Technology Director
> Hilton Head Preparatory School
> Hilton Head Island, SC
> www.hhprep.org
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Selzler, Bruce [mailto:SelzlerB at esuhsd.org]
> Sent: Mon 3/7/2005 10:15 AM
> To: k12osn at redhat.com
> Cc:
> Subject: [K12OSN] Default Settings for Workstations
> Hello Team,
> I have a couple of questions. First, is there a way to set up defaults
> on the LTSP server that will be mirrored on all of the workstations?
> I'm thinking of desktop backgrounds, Firefox favorites, menu bars, that
> sort of thing. I would like every user to have a common desktop,
> favorites, etc.
> And once you have those set, is there a way to "lock" those in place?
> We use Deep Freeze on Windows, so if a student puts something
> inappropriate as a desktop background, or puts inappropriate links in
> the favorites a simple restart puts everything back to its original
> settings. I'd like to be able to do something similar with LTSP.
> Any thoughts?
> - Sez
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Steve Hargadon
916-899-1400 direct

Steve Hargadon
916-899-1400 direct

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