SUMMARY: Supporting PCs and script issue

From: Thomas Wong (
Date: Wed Dec 24 1997 - 11:32:04 CST

1) Many thanks to the following Sun Managers for their replies:

Jim Harmon
Charlie Mengler
Jochen bern
Derek Mallard
Joseph S.D. Yao

2) My original 2 part question was as follows:

We are (were) running a Sun camp with mixed PC and Sun workstations.
Fileserving is provided on a Solaris 2.5.1 box, using Totalnet for the PC
clients. The problem comes when a user wants to change file permissions to a
file/directory. We don't want to ask the PC users to telnet onto the system and
run chmod or chgrp since the UNIX services is suppose to be transparent. How
are other admins tackling this problem?

One solution is for me to put together a simple web page with userID and
password entries, which runs a perl script which can then rsh to run chmod. But
I tried doing this and ran into a problem with rsh. If I have a command like
chmod as a parameter into rsh, then it won't ask for the password and will look
for entries in .rhosts or hosts.equiv only. But I do want to login as the user
so that the script runs as the user hence gains access to chmod for the user's
directory. And I don't want to use hosts.equiv for security reasons any which
way. But rsh will only ask for the password if there are no parameters so I'm
stuck. Any suggestions? Anyone else have a better solution than creating this
web page? Thanks in advance.

3) The answers to my first question: Re: PC support are summarized as follows:

- Forget it, PC & Suns don't mix
- "Security,ownership,&permission as a group and PC are an oxymoronic
combination". WFW/Win95 don't support group/security. Get NT instead but will
still have problems with chmod/chgrp functions between NT & Sun.

The answers to my rsh script programming problem are as follows:

- Use hosts.equiv or .rhosts. No way around the password problem otherwise.
- Instead of doing it via web/perl, set it up so that the PC users can telnet
onto the machine. Replace the shell with a menu driven program which will do
any chmod or chgrp you want to give users access to. This way the users are in
fact logging onto the machine and are limited by the menu functions only.

Thanks to all those who replied.


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