customizing ubuntu desktops for a group of users

Kumar Goswami kumar.goswami at
Sun Oct 26 17:49:49 UTC 2008

On Sun, Oct 26, 2008 at 8:02 AM, Aart Koelewijn <aart at>wrote:

>  On Sat, 25 Oct 2008 10:42:49 -0700, Kumar Goswami wrote:
> Don't know if I understand your question well, but here goes:
> with all Linuxes I know the standard home directory of a user is
> /home/[username] . The personal configuration files off a user are in the
> hidden files (those with a dot before the filename) in that directory. If
> a user is added to the system in the official way (which may differ for
> different distributions) this directory is made and whatever is in
> /etc/skel/ is copied to it.
> Many users prefer /home on a separate partition, but it could be on a NFS
> mounted partition on a server.
> When you have a great number of users you might want to use a number of
> servers, for instance, my ISP uses /home/[letter]/username where [letter]
> is the first letter of the username. Each /home/[letter] is a separate
> disk (afaik) which is automatically mounted when the user logs in. So,
> such a set-up is possible, but you will have to write your own scripts
> when you want such a thing.
> Aart

Thanks!  This is very helpful.  I wasn't sure if it would be like other
Linux systems and unix variants.  This answers the question regarding how to
set up a home dir where a specific users files are kept.  What about look
and feel of the desktop?  With Windows, you can move the icons around and
arrange the look and feel of your desktop.  This info is stored in some
windows profile and kept in Active Directory (roaming profiles) allowing
different people to log onto the machine and yet get their desktop.

Just to be sure, in your answer are you saying that these are kept in "dot"
files inside the user's home directory?  Do you know what the specific files
are, by any chance, that store the look and feel info?

Finally, I like what your ISP is doing .. do you know where I can find some
help on writing these scripts? .. some documentation on the internet?

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