group access to local devices on shared networked machines

Scott James Remnant scott at
Fri May 8 17:45:46 BST 2009

On Fri, 2009-05-08 at 11:36 -0500, Patrick Goetz wrote:

> Scott James Remnant wrote:
> > Provided they are on the same physical console as the local optical
> > drive, this is done automatically.
> > 
> Well, we need to retain the option of people ssh'ing to the machine and 
> using the optical drive remotely; however even for users logged in on 
> the console, this most definitely was NOT working in Hardy -- we found 
> out the hard way when users starting showing up complaining that they 
> were getting "permission denied" when trying to access the optical 
> drive.  Note that our users are network users authenticated using LDAP, 
> not local users.
It should not matter how your users are authenticated, provided that you
are using an LDAP Name Service Switch - they will appear equivalent to
local users.

This should have worked in Hardy:

With one of the users logged in, could you run "ck-list-sessions" ?

Likewise, with a user logged in via ssh, could you run
"ck-list-sessions" ?

Users logged in by gdm will be registered in ConsoleKit as local users
(is-local = TRUE); users logged in by ssh will be registered in
ConsoleKit as non-local users.

> Is this a change for Jaunty?  If so, this basically my question:  how is 
>   it being done?  If there is now a canonical way (pun intended) for 
> network users to get permission to use local devices, then we can drop 
> our /etc/security/groups.conf work around.
System -> Administration -> Authorisations

Scroll down to the /org/freedesktop/hal/device-access/Directly access
optical drives authorisation, and select it.

In the right-hand pane, you can adjust the parameters - and for example,
grant additional explicit authorisations

Scott James Remnant
scott at
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