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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:00 am 
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Established UberStudent User

Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:22 am
Posts: 11
Hey guys! I have one semi-serious issue with UberStudent and then a question that I hope will have a fairly simple answer.

First, I navigated to Settings > Users and Groups and created a new user (I named it guestuser as I was trying to create a guest account). I then changed my status to "Administrator." After testing the guestuser account, I was dissatisfied with the way I set the account up. I logged out of the account and back into mine and I am now unable to change anything in Settings > Users and Groups. I cannot add a user, delete one, or click ANY options. The Advanced Settings, Add, Delete, Manage Groups, and all Change buttons do nothing. The only button that works is Help. Right clicking on users brings up a few options, but they don't do anything either.

My second question is, once I get my first issue fixed, how can I create a guest account that a user can simply click on and it will log in? I need it to have NO password attached, the user needs to be able to click on the Guest User icon and be presented with the UberStudent desktop. I also need for this account to behave as an Ubuntu or Lubuntu guest account does and delete all information at logout. It should display a message to the user at the beginning of their session informing them that their files should be saved to an external device if they wish to keep them. I assume this is a really simple task, but I haven't found anything about it in the forums.

I am installing UberStudent in a computer lab that will have half Windows XP machines and half UberStudent machines and ALL of these stipulations are must-haves, so a half-way solution will not work. If users do not understand how to log in immediately or if it does not delete information upon logging out, I might as well use Lubuntu instead. I love UberStudent for its pre-installed programs and user-friendliness and dislike Lubuntu because it asks for a password in a guest session (users have been confused at why it asks for a password to log in and they just move to a Windows PC instead), so UberStudent would be perfect if it can do what I need it to.

Thanks in advance for your responses! Hopefully you guys can help.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:15 am 
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UberStudent Founder and Lead Developer
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:54 am
Posts: 958
Location: UberStudent Headquarters
Hi Trinica, please send me an email at ewens@uberstudent.com so I can give you my contact info so I can get a better handle on your setup, and without the delay of numerous forum posts.

_________________
UberStudent Must Become Self-Sustaining. If UberStudent and my dedicated support of it has benefited you, it's important to make a donation. Thanks!

The UberStudent Headquarters:
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    * Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 3.4GHz
    * RAM: G.SKILL 8GB DDR3 1600
    * Graphics: MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
    * Drive: OCZ Vertex SSD
    * Case: Rosewill ATX Mid Tower
    * Monitors: 2 x Dell UltraSharp
    * With UberStudent 4.3 Development Build
You should build your own computers, too!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:46 pm 
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UberStudent Founder and Lead Developer
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:54 am
Posts: 958
Location: UberStudent Headquarters
NOTE: The below directions are deprecated in an UberStudent 4.0 or above. Simply apply all updates. You only need make an account [b]guest to have a guest account. [/b]

To create a perfectly configured guest user account in UberStudent, please take the following steps:

1. Open a terminal (hit F12 in UberStudent)

2. Run the following:
Code:
sudo apt-get update

3. Next, in the terminal run the following:
Code:
sudo apt-get install uberstudent-guest-account-config

4. Pay attention to the terminal output! Several steps require your input, as explained below.

Please note that this package:

- Must be run upon each machine upon which you wish to configure
a guest user account, unless you are running LTSP or similar.

- Creates the guest user account with the username guest.

- Requires you to initially create a password for the user guest
account. The password requirement will be removed a few seconds later.
You WILL NOT need to use a password to access guest after this
package completes its installation. You just have to initially set a
password.

- Restores UberStudent to its default state at each logout and log back
in. This includes deletion of all files and history left behind by the
last logged in guest account user.

- Displays a warning prompt each time to each user who logs in to
guest, stating that they must save their files to an external disk
or they will be deleted, gone, after they log out.

- Removes the account guest when it is uninstalled.

Let me know how this works out for you! Please feel free to have a look at the source code to learn exactly how this is doing what it is doing.

_________________
UberStudent Must Become Self-Sustaining. If UberStudent and my dedicated support of it has benefited you, it's important to make a donation. Thanks!

The UberStudent Headquarters:
    * Mobo: MSI 870-G45
    * Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 3.4GHz
    * RAM: G.SKILL 8GB DDR3 1600
    * Graphics: MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
    * Drive: OCZ Vertex SSD
    * Case: Rosewill ATX Mid Tower
    * Monitors: 2 x Dell UltraSharp
    * With UberStudent 4.3 Development Build
You should build your own computers, too!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:03 pm 
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Established UberStudent User

Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:22 am
Posts: 11
Hey Stephen!

I don't know where your second reply went (I can't see it on my desktop, luckily I kept it open on my phone), but it worked perfectly! Looks like the guest account has exactly the functionality I need. I will now be deploying UberStudent in the computer lab at my workplace. Hopefully it will not be met by much resistance. Thanks for including the source code, I'm a computer science major and I love that stuff!

Do you have any idea what may have been causing the first issue I encountered? It's fixed now, but I really don't know what it might have been.

Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:59 pm 
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UberStudent Founder and Lead Developer
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:54 am
Posts: 958
Location: UberStudent Headquarters
Account creation is finicky in Linux. Every single step has to be perfect or issues happen. The .drmc prison you were locked in is usually caused by an account that was created, incompletely removed, and then recreated with the same user name. For flawless account creation and removal, use the command line and it avoids most errors. It's actually very straightfoward. The package uberstudent-guest-account-config scripts commands for account creation, plus more. :geek:

At any rate, I'm glad the new package is working for you as requested. :mrgreen: :geek:

One more thing:

Per your emailed descriptions, each machine in your lab has one administrative account and one guest account, and the number of non-guest accounts may grow over time.

Given that, you will probably want to change read permissions for the user directories of all non-guest accounts. Here's how:

Let's assume the username is mrgreen, so there exists for the account a folder at /home/mrgreen.

In your administrative account run:

Code:
sudo chmod -Rv 740 /home/mrgreen

And then, very importantly (!):

Code:
sudo chmod 644 /home/mrgreen/.dmrc

Obviously, you have to adjust the username accordingly.

This is something that you just have to do manually, initially, as part of your normal tasks as a Linux system administrator, and it's much preferable to use the terminal to do it. You can automate this with bash scripts as your lab grows. I have them, just ask. :geek:

_________________
UberStudent Must Become Self-Sustaining. If UberStudent and my dedicated support of it has benefited you, it's important to make a donation. Thanks!

The UberStudent Headquarters:
    * Mobo: MSI 870-G45
    * Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 3.4GHz
    * RAM: G.SKILL 8GB DDR3 1600
    * Graphics: MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
    * Drive: OCZ Vertex SSD
    * Case: Rosewill ATX Mid Tower
    * Monitors: 2 x Dell UltraSharp
    * With UberStudent 4.3 Development Build
You should build your own computers, too!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:28 am 
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Established UberStudent User

Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:22 am
Posts: 11
Ah, that was going to be my follow-up question since I noticed the guest user had some permissions that I didn't want it to have. But getting stuck would make sense if that is the cause. I added and removed accounts several times, giving them the same name each time. Probably should have just asked how to create a guest account in the first place. ;)

I saw someone using one of the PCs in my computer lab today with UberStudent on it and they appeared to stay on that machine the whole time they were in there, so maybe they decided they liked it more than the Windows PCs. =o Either that or they didn't notice a difference and just thought someone made it look different. In either case, I'm counting it as a win.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:16 pm 
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UberStudent Founder and Lead Developer
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:54 am
Posts: 958
Location: UberStudent Headquarters
Yea, I guess there is one more thing or two. :lol:

In Ubuntu-based machines, like UberStudent, make sure you are using adduser and not useradd. (I know, I know, these fine lines can sometimes be a little frustrating, :roll: this is why we have forums and such where we don't have to go it alone. :) ). Basically, just the few lines of documentation under the Command-line section here has most of the info most people ever need.

Please do feel free to seek any future support here, and sooner rather than later. As UberStudent's lead developer, I typically fix any issues within 24 hours, usually less and frequently much less, just a few hours, sometimes even less than one hour. And any serious, practical feature requests, such as yours, I usually implement in around 48 hours, as with this. ;)

I actually had this request done in 24 hours and posted about it, but then decided I wanted an extra 24 hours to review and test my code to make sure it worked without flaw, as you found to be the case. That was the reason why I deleted my earlier post about this package. I wanted to make doubly-sure I got it right! I then re-posted, as seen above. :geek:

Attentiveness by lead developers to user concerns is a serious strength of smaller projects, like UberStudent, but not only for smaller projects, if they are well-managed. For example, while developing UberStudent, the Chromium/Google Chrome developers fixed issues for their product(s) within UberStudent (and elsewhere) on three different occasions, each within less than 24 hours. Such a pattern of high-level support will continue to mark UberStudent as it grows. You're welcomed to become involved in this project. :)

_________________
UberStudent Must Become Self-Sustaining. If UberStudent and my dedicated support of it has benefited you, it's important to make a donation. Thanks!

The UberStudent Headquarters:
    * Mobo: MSI 870-G45
    * Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 3.4GHz
    * RAM: G.SKILL 8GB DDR3 1600
    * Graphics: MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
    * Drive: OCZ Vertex SSD
    * Case: Rosewill ATX Mid Tower
    * Monitors: 2 x Dell UltraSharp
    * With UberStudent 4.3 Development Build
You should build your own computers, too!


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 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:06 pm 
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Established UberStudent User

Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:22 am
Posts: 11
Stephen Ewen wrote:
Yea, I guess there is one more thing or two. :lol:

In Ubuntu-based machines, like UberStudent, make sure you are using adduser and not useradd. (I know, I know, these fine lines can sometimes be a little frustrating, :roll: this is why we have forums and such where we don't have to go it alone. :) ). Basically, just the few lines of documentation under the Command-line section here has most of the info most people ever need.

Please do feel free to seek any future support here, and sooner rather than later. As UberStudent's lead developer, I typically fix any issues within 24 hours, usually less and frequently much less, just a few hours, sometimes even less than one hour. And any serious, practical feature requests, such as yours, I usually implement in around 48 hours, as with this. ;)

I actually had this request done in 24 hours and posted about it, but then decided I wanted an extra 24 hours to review and test my code to make sure it worked without flaw, as you found to be the case. That was the reason why I deleted my earlier post about this package. I wanted to make doubly-sure I got it right! I then re-posted, as seen above. :geek:

Attentiveness by lead developers to user concerns is a serious strength of smaller projects, like UberStudent, but not only for smaller projects, if they are well-managed. For example, while developing UberStudent, the Chromium/Google Chrome developers fixed issues for their product(s) within UberStudent (and elsewhere) on three different occasions, each within less than 24 hours. Such a pattern of high-level support will continue to mark UberStudent as it grows. You're welcomed to become involved in this project. :)


This is certainly a huge strength of projects like UberStudent, I love the quick responses and rapid fixes. They are certainly appreciated. I would absolutely love to become involved with the project, but I have an insane workload this semester (plus I don't know a whole lot about Linux beyond how to install and use it). I did bookmark the thread on how to become involved with UberStudent though and I will most definitely do what I can! I'm working on learning more about Linux every day and my eventual goal is to create my own distribution that meets a need - even if it's just for me. This is probably a few years away, but I'm working on getting there.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:22 pm 
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Established UberStudent User

Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:22 am
Posts: 11
Okay, new problem: The guest account actually does NOT appear to be deleting files once a user logs out. Got a complaint that someone's pay stubs in .pdf format stayed on the desktop after they logged out and came back later. I checked into it and it appears that no one's files are deleted once they log out of the guest session. I just tested it myself (though I could have sworn I did this when I created the guest session on each computer) and it does not, in fact, delete anything. In addition, ANY changes the user makes are now being saved. They can move button locations, change themes, mess with the wallpaper, etc. In an ironic twist, I sometimes cannot delete the user's files - even though it seems to save all changes under this session, I can delete a file and it's sometimes still there when I log back in.

I thought maybe it was just one PC, and I could swear that they did not do this at first, but it appears that all 3 of my test subjects are now keeping user-made changes. Any solution?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:58 pm 
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UberStudent Founder and Lead Developer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:54 am
Posts: 958
Location: UberStudent Headquarters
I just now went and installed uberstudent-guest-account-config on another computer in my house with UberStudent 4.0 on it.

I clicked in to the guest account. I made and saved files in multiple places. I browsed the internet in both browsers. I rearranged the panels. I deleted panel items. I added a different desktop background. I saved references in Zotero. Then I logged out and back in. All the files I left behind were gone. The browsing history was gone. The panels and desktop background were restored to their default state. I did this multiple times. I rebooted and did it all again, and then did it all yet again, each time leaving behind files and rearranging the desktop. Each and every time, the default desktop was restored and no files or history was left behind, as expected. This was the same behavior I got before I released the uberstudent-guest-account-config package.

The only thing I can think of is that some of the specific computers you're using are perhaps really quite tired, and are having trouble fully executing the code in xinitrd that is responsible for the guest account. So, let's try slowing way down how the code is executed. If everything works again as expected, we will have isolated the issue and I can then make you a package to apply the fix.

On one of the computers in question, in your administrator's account, please do the following:

1. Download this xinitrc file to your home directory at /home/yourusername and extract (decompress) it there.

2. Hit F12 to open a terminal and run the following commands (copy and paste them), one line at a time:

Code:
sudo cp -f $HOME/xinitrc /usr/share/uberstudent/guest-acccount/xinitrc
sudo cp -f $HOME/xinitrc /etc/xdg/xdg-uberstudent/xfce4/xinitrc
sudo cp -f $HOME/xinitrc /etc/xdg/xfce4/xinitrc

Code:
sudo chmod 755 /usr/share/uberstudent/guest-acccount/xinitrc
sudo chmod 755 /etc/xdg/xdg-uberstudent/xfce4/xinitrc
sudo chmod 755 /etc/xdg/xfce4/xinitrc

3. Now log out and log in to the guest account (it will take several seconds longer to log in to) and test the account numerous times by saving and leaving behind files, deleting items from the panel, adding a new desktop background, etc., and then logging out and back in to the guest account. Do this several times. Then reboot and do it all again a time or two. Then, let me know how it went. I'll make a package you can install if slowing down the script fixes the issue. What I'd probably end up doing is both slowing the script and raising its priority by running it trough nice.

_________________
UberStudent Must Become Self-Sustaining. If UberStudent and my dedicated support of it has benefited you, it's important to make a donation. Thanks!

The UberStudent Headquarters:
    * Mobo: MSI 870-G45
    * Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 3.4GHz
    * RAM: G.SKILL 8GB DDR3 1600
    * Graphics: MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
    * Drive: OCZ Vertex SSD
    * Case: Rosewill ATX Mid Tower
    * Monitors: 2 x Dell UltraSharp
    * With UberStudent 4.3 Development Build
You should build your own computers, too!


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