How to start up cygwin so all users use the same home dir and environment?

Jesper Vad Kristensen
Sun Feb 6 07:30:00 GMT 2005

Dear Dave,

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: cygwin-owner On Behalf Of Jesper Vad Kristensen
>> Sent: 03 February 2005 14:18
>> I'm trying to do something odd (I'll explain the "why" later), but
>> here's what I would like to do:
>> All users here are in the same Windows Domain, and I would like an
>> unknown number of users to be able to log into this one Windows
>> server, and when they start cygwin there I would like them all to
>> use, say, /cygdrive/c/cygwin/home/shareduser as home dir (~/).
>> I.e. no matter who logs into the windows box they all share the
>> one and same cygwin environment.
>  Ok, so after you've run "mkpasswd -d > /etc/passwd", edit 
>the resulting file and set the home directory field for
>every user to your chosen dir.  Bingo: all users get same
>home drive, same .rc files and so on.  Only catch is that you
>have to remember to re-edit the file any time you re-generate 
>it again in the future.  That would be quite a simple job to
>do with a script that pipes the mkpasswd output through sed.

Yeah that might be one way to do it. What I'm afraid is that the domain
server may have some 15.000+ users in it (real and administrative ones),
and it seems to take forever to extract the data from the domain. It's
been running half an hour and it's fetched approx. 250 lines into the
passwd file.

So I'd rather not have to do all the regeneration thing. It's not that
it's not pretty easy to just parse the /etc/passwd file (assuming it'll
ever finish generating it). It's just that I envision some day where
"the new guy" is put to the task of pushing something to production,
only to realize he ain't in the not-so-up-to-date /etc/passwd.

That's why I'm looking for more an, uhm ..., hack on this one :)

>Or set up ssh and have them all log in as the same username, regardless
>their domain logon.

In the long run, it's perhaps the better solution - but a single Windows
logon would be so too. But it gets me in conflict with the Gods of
Security, because in our company such a shared account must be owned by
one person, and that owner must ONLY pass on the password to the account
by word of mouth. I can't for the world imagine why someone couldn't
make a password vault for such passwords so that operations could just
look'em up when they need to do something, but that's not how the Powers
That Be feels about it ... *grmbl*

Anyway, thanks for the advice :)


Jesper Vad Kristensen
Aarhus, Denmark

Unsubscribe info:
Problem reports:

More information about the Cygwin mailing list