Replace gnome-system-tools/system-tools-backends

Registered by Kees Cook on 2009-04-28

The system-tools-backends tool suite has caused Ubuntu many problems. This suite needs to be replaced with a more sane and stable system hopefully using PAM and PolicyKit directly. Problems that need to be addressed:
 - whitespace in system configuration files is rewritten for no reason
 - passwords are changed without going through PAM, causing password-hooking things (e.g. ecryptfs) to get out of sync.
 - password creation/changing is not detecting hashing mechanism in a sane or stable manner

Blueprint information

Status:
Not started
Approver:
Rick Clark
Priority:
Undefined
Drafter:
Kees Cook
Direction:
Needs approval
Assignee:
None
Definition:
Discussion
Series goal:
None
Implementation:
Unknown
Milestone target:
None

Related branches

Sprints

Whiteboard

https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-desktop/2008-June/001591.html

- users-admin is the only real useful program, the rest is superseded by e. g.
  nautilus-share, or completely broken (shares-admin)

- circumvents PAM (breaks ecryptfs, etc.), and has a lot of bugs

- unmaintained upstream

- alternatives: system-config-users (totally weird and Fedora specific admin
  privilege system), YaST (too complex for just user admin)

- no capacity for a new upstream implementation in the desktop team

- karmic actions:
  - remove menu items for services, times, shares
  - disallow changing your own password in users-admin, call about-me

- option: system-config-user, run it through gksu and rip out the "local user
  has root" stuff

- future plans:
  - implement Fedora plan after next LTS:
    http://people.redhat.com/mclasen/user-account3.pdf.bz2
    http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-desktop-list/2008-May/msg00006.html

system-config-users uses a library called libuser, which doesn't appear to use pam.
It contains the following "modules": files, krb5

(?)

Work Items