So I have been kicking around an idea for a while now and thought I would develop it but its out of my league. The FreeIPA community is very very active in pam/sssd/ldap/so on and so on so I thought I would float the idea here before I made a Trac [RFE] ticket.
** Would anyone else find it useful to store environment variables in LDAP? In the environment (no pun intended) I work in we have a few thousand servers all authenticating to LDAP and a home grown LDAP+sshPublicKey implementation which is great. But we have a bunch of different distros which all have different default editors. Unless I feel like touching a lot of servers or using cfengine3 to distribute my preferred environment variables I am at the mercy of the editor on the system. How wonderful would it be to set EDITOR=vim, LESS='-S', TZ='America/Hawaii', LANG='Klingon' in LDAP and have pam/sss pull/store that information for me. Sort of like pam_env but backed by LDAP. So this got me thinking the other thing that would be wonderful to store in LDAP would be shell profiles... Consider having your ~/.profile or ~/.bashrc or ~/.my.cnf or what-have-you in LDAP? Maybe this modified pam_ldap could do things like append, remove, replace or unset environment variables. Consider: dn: uid=me,dc=example,dc=com objectClass: posixAccountEnv ... # replace EDITOR posixEnv: EDITOR=vim # unset TZ posixEnv: TZ-= # append PATH posixEnv: PATH=+:~/bin # prepend PATH posixEnv: PATH+=/opt/foo/bin: Further perhaps the PAM module could be configured to only allow certain environment variables to be manipulated this way admins can control which variables users can set. /etc/ldap/pam_ldap.conf: ... # allow pam_allow_env_vars PATH,EDITOR # deny pam_deny_env_vars PATH,TZ # wildcards? regex? pam_allow_env_vars LC_*,PATH,EDITOR pam_deny_env_vars TZ So if we're storing environment variables in LDAP why not profiles or small files? ~/.bashrc, ~/.my.cnf, ~/.ssh/config? Sure there's some overlap with env vars because you could set them in your profile but with both options an admin is free to choose. I can think of a couple of ways to implement this. 1. create subortinate objects to the user object dn: cn=~/.bashrc,uid=me,dc=example,dc=com ... objectClass: posixAccountProfile posixProfile: <octet string> Advantages: The advantage of this setup is that the profileScript class could contain any number of attributes, perhaps a modified time so that the script isn't rewritten if the subordinate object hasn't been modified since the script was last modified. Disadvantages: Kinda kludgy. Extra objects (more lookups). 2. Use LDAP attribute options (See http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2251.txt RFC 2251 "4.1.5. Attribute Description" if not familiar) dn: uid=me,dc=example,dc=com ... posixProfile;~/.bashrc: <octet string> posixProfile;~/.my.cnf: <octet string> Advantages: No extra objects, makes use of oft unused LDAP attribute options :), can have ACI's applied to them. Disadvantages: Only modified time to track is modified time of the LDAP object not individual profileScript attrs In both cases it might be wise to consider how file names are specified. Perhaps leave off the ~/ and make everything relative to ~ no matter what. Or make everything relative to ~/ even if it starts w/ a '/'. Maybe simply reject anything that begins with '/'. dn: uid=me,dc=example,dc=com ... posixProfile;.bashrc: <octetString> posixProfile;.foo/foorc: <octetstring> Plus I don't know if / and . are legitimate characters in attribute options. So thanks for sticking with me if you got this far. What do you think? Regards, -Alan
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