SUMMARY: Login menus for users.

From: Richard Allen (
Date: Tue Aug 01 1995 - 10:22:21 CDT

Once again, you sun managers come through for me. I'm sorry for the long
time it took me to write this summary, but thats because I am still reciving
hints and pointers and I am also testing various menusystems.
And some systems I have still not been able to look at, because their
authors are still writing README's and so on.

Those tests I'm conducting are not completed, but because of the sheer number
of "me too's" I'm summarizing now.

My original question:

> Dear managers.
> I've been looking for quite some time for a Login system (something
> that replaces users login shell) and gives users easy access, from menus, to
> the most common programs (elm, nn, irc and so forth) and then the possibility
> to exit it completely to a normal shell if that is what the user wants.
> I've seen a few shell scripts, and even perl scripts, but none are to my
> liking. I would like to know if somebody has ever written a C/curses program
> to accomplish the task.
> Best regards, And I will summarize.

Answers, hints and tips I got. (My thanks to all of the senders.)

> From: Rex McMaster <rmcm@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
> Richard,
> Lynx from University of Kansas can be used for the tasks you describe,
> with the added bonuse of WWW access.

> From: Thomas Chai <>
> try the dmsh
> ----------cut here-------------
> #!/bin/sh

Thomas sent the dmsh (V0.8) to me in that mail. Dmsh's author is, it's available (or so I'm told) on:

> From: (Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child})
> There is a PD program called menu. It sets up a bunch of files and
> lets you navigate thru them. The options pick off programs you want
> run. It was yet another language, and not very fancy, but it did work.
> Dunno about fancy curses/forms stuff though...

> From: (Brett Lymn)
> Not c/curses but I did do a perl/curses menuing system that takes a
> openwin menu file as it's menu specification. We drop this in the
> user's .login (well, not directly but this is the effect) so they get
> the menus when the do not login on a console.

> From: (Anatoly M. Lisovsky)
> Use lynx

> From: Bill Reed <>
> The UCLink menu program sounds like the sort of thing you want.
> I found it in the linux tree at sunsite USA
> but is isn't specifically for Linux. It uses curses.

[This works for other systems than linux... dont know why it's in the kernel

> From: (Clinton Black (184487))
> Have you tried using xdm ?? We are using and configuring it to do various
> things. The O'Reily books on X are good place to start.

> From: scott hollatz <>
> We (University of Minnesota-Duluth Information Services) had written such a
> package over a year ago (I wrote 99% of the code) and it has been in
> production use for a year and few months.
> It is undergoing _some_ revision but I cannot say when it will be done for
> this version, hopefully by Fall. It's written in C, perl, ksh, and csh,
> and allows users to launch their own things, too, via a personal menu.
> It uses curses to display the menus.
> The package is called 'umenu' and has been a hit with our novice Unix users
> (much of the freshmen :-) and faculty). The menus are highly configurable
> and dynamic (can change on the fly by its administrator) and has access
> levels.
> If there is sufficient outcry for it, I will GNU'ize it and put it up on our
> anonymous ftp server.

> From: (Andrej Misik)
> Use FACE. It is part of Solaris 2.x, located in /usr/vmsys/bin,
> and I think it is exactly what you are looking for. I must mention
> it is fully configurable.

[The only drawback on this system, is that I cant use it on SunOS and HP's]

> From: (Scott McBain)
> You can get something called "psh" at the U. of Washington.
> The site is:
> The guy who wrote it is Donn Cave. (

> From: Jeb Weisman <>
> I had one of my students write a very nice, easily configurable login
> menu system. It's know to run under SunOs 413, 413_U1, and OSF/1 v3. It
> also provides a logging daemon (we never run this), "levels of access" so
> that you can determine which users can see which menu items, and the
> ability to keep a user from seeing a particular option. (e.g., a level
> five person can see all the options from level 9 through 5, but you can
> exclude them from seeing some option available to level 7 access folks.
> It's easier to see than to explain).
> There's a welcome page that draws from a text file, and menu
> items can be added or removed on the fly. We use this as our dial-in
> shell and run lynx, telnet, etc., from it.
> It is a work in progress, but secure. You're welcome to look at it, and
> share changes with us, if you'd like.
> Just let me know and I'll send you the code. It has rudimentary
> documentation.

[Jeb asked me not to redistribute their menusystems, and I'm going to honor
 his wishes.]

> From:
> Hi
> Because i have got many requests to ask for a easy-login-menu for
> Solaris , so i send this mail to this list, hope it will be useful,
> I made a menu for our users use C/curses lib, it can be ported to
> any platform which support curseslib(SYSV).There are no shell escape
> in this menu(but i think it is very easy to break in for the cracker..)
> but please don't try it on pur machine.
> If someone want to get a source or binary code of this porgram,please
> let me know, i will write an brief introduction of this menu.
> you can test this menu in this way:
> telnet
> login: test
> password: testtest
> i will keep this account in 2 weeks, so feel free to test it. hope
> you like it.

[I managed to get a look at those menus, and I must say that those menus where
 the best looking one I've seen so far. I still have not recived a copy of
 the source from Liu, but he has told me that he will put it on anon ftp.]

PS: That account is closed now.

> From: Boyd Fletcher <>
> i have a program I been working on the past couple of weeks. Its
> C/curses based and its pretty easy to modify. You can get it from

     Richard Allen, Systems and Network Administrator, Computing Services,
         University of Iceland. Tel: +354 5254903, Fax: +354 5528801
  (Life ? Life is like a hot bath, feels great while you are in it, but the)
           (longer you stay, the more wrinkled you get [Garfield])

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