New Frontend for LDAP and Kerberos in Authtool

Patrick Clancy patrick.j.clancy at
Thu Aug 30 02:03:28 UTC 2007


I spent my summer working on a Google Summer of Code project, unfortunately,
because of issues we ran into during the summer the direction of the project
changed quite a few times.  First, I started out trying to write a program
that would install and configure the Fedora Directory Server in Ubuntu, but
I couldn't never get it working correctly.  Then, I tried to write a program
that would install and configure a simple LDAP server.  About a month ago, I
realized that there was already an Ubuntu project (authtool) that did that,
so once again we changed the direction of my project.  I saw a powerful
piece of software that was not presented well, so I settled on writing a
front end that would eventually connect to the authtool backend.

Because I cramped the project into only a few weeks I didn't get nearly as
far as I would have liked, and I need lots of feedback before it's correct.
One the problems I saw with authtool was it's lack of documentation.  I'm
still not exactly sure what it does, so I am hoping to get in contact with
the developers.  That being said, I tried to make the documentation
interactive in my front end, so that the servers would be easier to
install.  For example, when entering and LDAP domain name in a text box, I
put a but next to the box that is labeled "more info".  When the button is
pressed, an explanation of what is required for a legal LDAP domain name is
displayed in a text view box to the right of the text entry box.  In
addition to an explanation, example names are provided, and a regular
expression syntax check is run on the LDAP domain name entered in the text
box.  The result of that syntax check is displayed along with the
explanation and examples.

I thought that adding interactive syntax checks and documentation for each
entry would make authtool substantially easier to use, but it's not yet
complete.  I'm still committed to helping the Ubuntu community, so even
though the summer of code is over, I would like to continue working on this
project, but I need some guidance.  My code is written in python, and I used
glade for the GUI.  I think my code will hook into the authtool backend
pretty easily, but I would like some feedback from the developers.
Additionally, I would be interested in hearing what other Ubuntu users and
developers would like in an automated server tool like authtool.  I think if
a project like authtool is done correctly, Ubuntu could be a very
interesting choice for system administrators setting up servers.

My code is hosted here:

During development I posted some notes here:

I look forward to future work with the Ubuntu community.

Patrick Clancy
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