One home for multiple users?

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
As screen estate is not always easy to come across on a 12" PB I thought it might be pretty cool if I could use Panther's fast user switching feature to essentially have more than one desktop.



For example: user one could be working on something in photoshop, user two could be answering some mails, user three could be running mlmac (would it continue downloading after switching user?), user four could be displaying weather and news konfababulator widgets, and so on.



I want to be all these users! Does anyone know the simplest way to assign the same Home folder to each of them, so they can all read and write to the same library folder by default? Alternatively, is it possible to sync one or more library folders, so that app preferences are shared between users?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    What you're describing is virtual desktops.



    I use the CodeTek Virtual Desktop and *love* it. Not quite perfect, but very nice to keep screen estate clean, and more importantly, my headspace clean.



    Window management is so much nicer with Expose that I almost ditched virtual desktops as a management solution, but there's something about having a desktop associated with your work windows, and one with your 'fun' windows (iChat, Mail, etc) that keeps me in work mode. "Oh, I've been seeing the 'fun' desktop for a while now... I need to get back to work."



    CodeTek's product works beautifully.
  • Reply 2 of 9
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    To give you a free option you can get immediately, try http://wsmanager.sourceforge.net/



    I use it and like it a lot. It does exactly what it needs to do and does it well.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Window management is so much nicer with Expose that I almost ditched virtual desktops as a management solution, but there's something about having a desktop associated with your work windows, and one with your 'fun' windows (iChat, Mail, etc) that keeps me in work mode. "Oh, I've been seeing the 'fun' desktop for a while now... I need to get back to work."



    I'm totally addicted to virtual desktops. It's such a nice way to organize multiple applications running at once, to the point that there is almost zero thought when switching between them. cmd-tab, by contrast, actually requires me to look at icons. Desktop Manager gives a little image in the menu bar, which is the easiest graphic representation possible:



  • Reply 4 of 9
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Cool beans. One to watch. FWIW, CodeTek's product has a free two-desktop capability before registering. Since that's all I really need, I use it that way.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    Thanks, these are both great suggestions - I'll try each out for a while and see which I prefer. It's a shame neither of them uses the tres swank cube effect to switch workspaces.



    Does anyone know if my original suggestion is even possible, or particularly advisable? Is there a dirty hack that would let you switch users without needing a password? It's one for the NetInfo Manager experts, I expect.



    Cheers.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Possible? Yes.



    Advisable? Nope.



    The above solutions give you the functionality you're looking for without resorting to user-level trickery. The simpler, the better.
  • Reply 7 of 9
    Quote:

    Originally posted by leethomson

    Does anyone know if my original suggestion is even possible, or particularly advisable? Is there a dirty hack that would let you switch users without needing a password? It's one for the NetInfo Manager experts, I expect.



    Cheers.




    Very possible, not easy though. Just like Kickaha said, the simpler the better. You can set up multiple accounts and switch between them without a password, if you don't set a password for them, but that leaves you open to all sorts of bad things happening. It poses even more of a security risk due to the fact that yours is a portable computer. Go for the virtual desktops, much easier, and more secure.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    dobbydobby Posts: 796member
    Setup 3 dummy users.

    Go into netinfo or use nicl (terminal) and change the property home to be the same for all 3 users.

    The problem will be that the uid and gid will probably be different. Gid is not a prob that can be common group.

    You can give them a common user which doesn't cause too many problems from the unix side but I had preferences problems when doing this on 10.1.5.

    First give them a common gid and change do a chmod -hR 777 on the home dir.



    There is no reason not to try it.



    Dobby.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Other than it's a total PITA, gets you not bloody much at all in the end other than three logins chewing up three times the basic resources, all sorts of behind the scenes trickery that may or may not extend to 10.4 (NetInfo is being replaced with LDAP, slowly but surely), and requires the user to learn all sorts of admin tools that they don't need to?



    Nope, no reason at all.
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