Live, uncut french egg-sauce thingie

The last couple of weeks I have been working on Sabayon, an application that some other Red Hat people started on earlier this year. Its an editor for user profiles, where you can set up settings and add files for a class of users and easily push them out to users. Today I released version 2.12.1, which has a bunch of fixes and new features.

The interesting thing about Sabayon is the way you edit the profile. Instead of using a completely new interface it uses the standard interface you normally use. This is accomplished by launching an actual desktop inside a window, letting you make your changes in that desktop and then save it. You can also look at the changes that has happened in the session and ignore some of them, or make some of them mandatory.

Just describing Sabayon isn’t doing it justice though. To really see how this is different from other similar things you have to see it in action. So, I prepared a screencast
of it.

Once you’ve finished editing your profile it will be stored as a zip file with xml metadata that can easily be applied to a user by running the sabayon-apply tool. There is also support for deploying the profiles from a central http server.

I think this is a really cool app, but I’m a programmer, not really an administrator. I wonder what system administrators think of this? Is it an interesting approach? Is it better than what you’re using currently? Would you use this?

If you want to test Sabayon I recommend you use version 2.12.1. Its currently building in Fedora extras, so it should be available soon.

9 Responses to “Live, uncut french egg-sauce thingie”

  1. GrumZ says:

    I’m an admin and I’d like to say that this seems to be a real cool app. I had noticed it when the developement started and it seems that great work has been done on it since then. I didn’t give it a try yet because we still have old distributions with KDE. But we really have difficulties to setup a clean and standard desktop to all our users on our systems, so this kind of apps are really great. Once we could switch to any more recent distro with a fresh new gnome, I will certainly use it.

    What I’m wondering about Sabayon (and Gnome) is how does it deals with shared homedirs ? When a user have a NFS mounted homedir authenticated with LDAP and log on different machine with possibly different version of Gnome ??

  2. AlexL says:

    In general gnome should handle shared homedir logins fine. GConf settings are meant to be backwards compatible, so that new settings are ignored by old apps. Historically GConf has had some issues with simultaneous logins with the same homedir, but that has been solved now.

  3. michel says:

    it’s really nice sabayon and I’m looking forward to use it

    but

    sabayon-apply is not enough for an enterprise

    we really need some client side system which can apply profiles from a centralized server

    we need default profil for the whole network, specific profil by IP (maybe we don’t want the same profil for user with differents computers) , profil by logon name and profil by some kind of “classes” (a kind of ldap tree with hierarchical differents classes or differents “kinds” of users)

    in fact we need a flexible automatical system to program WHAT profil we want for the users we want.

    I think we need two differents tools :

    one will apply a remote get profil when the user log , the remote server will know what profil to send thanks to an ldap based hierarchical tree.

    a second tool will simply put the profil in the $HOME folder of an user and will not use a automatical remote profil.
    it can be very useful when we know the profil will not need to bu updated and for some performances needs. Sabayon-apply seems to be good for that.

  4. Anonymous says:

    michael: I agree. We need further work on this.

    At the moment what sabayon-apply does is look at /etc/desktop-profiles/users.xml, to figure out what profile to use, which can be either a relative filename (zipfile looked up in /etc/desktop-profiles/) or a http uri which will be downloaded (a local cache used too).

    Furthermore, the xml file can include other xml files that you can pull via a http uri too, so you can do all the setup centrally.

    But I think this is a bit simplistic. It needs to handle more than just username -> profile (i.e. groups, ip, etc. that you mention), and it needs to easily hook up with LDAP in larger networks.

  5. AlexL says:

    Eh, that last comment was from me.

  6. Before this, I have used gconftool-2 –set, –get and other options (made script) to adjust default appearance/behavior for several small office boxes that I administer with several users per box. But it usually ended doing the most of the work manually. Can’t see better approach than this ‘nested window’ used here.

    How about considering automatically ‘surpressing’ some more of those ‘side effects’ like not leaving backup copy of secretary-report.txt~ or similar to make list of changes compact and cleaner?

  7. AlexL says:

    Slobodan: secretary-report.txt~ was already marked as ignored automatically, but perhaps we should remove it from the UI totally.

  8. Lars Damerow says:

    I’m a sysadmin and I’m really looking forward to using Sabayon on our desktops. I think the approach is intuitive and see no reason to do this sort of configuration in a different way.

    As mentioned in previous comments, LDAP integration would be incredibly useful for us.

    Thanks for the great work!
    -lars

  9. Gustavo Carneiro says:

    Please, stop the flash madness! See:
    http://live.gnome.org/Istanbul