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awe 31st August 2009 22:08

Ubuntu Hardy server + OpenLDAP + Samba PDC. Simple question about groups.

I have one question that may be silly, but still... I have a number of installations of Ubuntu 8.04 + Samba PDC + OpenLDAP for centralised authentication on the server, all working fine. In one of them, the worksations are Ubuntu 9.04. In a recent update of the worksations, sound capabilities disappeared in them and all sound was sent to Null Audio Output. PulseAudio does not seem to be running. All workstations authenticate correctly agains the LDAP server, and all users on the LDAP tree do not have any sound. There is one local user in each workstation (a local "PAM" user used for system administration only) and this user does have sound on each computer. Seemed to me like there was some sort of permission issue, i investigated, and found out that after some update users were joined to the "PulseAudio" groups 114, 115 and 116. This was automatically done by the update tool on the local PAM user, but was not done to the users in the LDAP tree.

And here come my questions:
- Can I make users of the LDAP tree to be members of more than one group?
- How?
I use LdapAdmin PHP scripts to manage the LDAP tree, and it will allow me to put only group per user.

Sorry if the question is silly, but the problem is BIG. In this company they use Skype for contacting customers, so you can imagine the problem of not having sound... I pushed them to move from Windows to some free distro of Linux and I would not want to get into trouble because of my suggestion!

matey 1st September 2009 14:48

sorry I dont know any LDAP but Thanks for a useful post and I hope you get your answer quick,
I was just wondering if you have tried to give (local) users more rights to /etc/pulse/ directory?(there are couple or more config files there )

you can try and log in as a regular user to test it!

Hopefully someone with the right answers will reply soon.
good luck.

matey 1st September 2009 17:53

I think you should post this thread on different forums so you may get the right answer faster.

In any case this is what I found out about PulseAudio:
When I log in as my regular user I get this msg:


matey@ubuntu9:~>/usr/bin/pulseaudio --start

I: caps.c: Limited capabilities successfully to CAP_SYS_NICE.
I: caps.c: Dropping root privileges.
I: caps.c: Limited capabilities successfully to CAP_SYS_NICE.
N: main.c: Called SUID root and real-time and/or high-priority scheduling was requested in the configuration. However, we lack the necessary privileges:
N: main.c: We are not in group 'pulse-rt', PolicyKit refuse to grant us the requested privileges and we have no increase RLIMIT_NICE/RLIMIT_RTPRIO resource limits.
N: main.c: For enabling real-time/high-priority scheduling please acquire the appropriate PolicyKit privileges, or become a member of 'pulse-rt', or increase the RLIMIT_NICE/RLIMIT_RTPRIO resource limits for this user.
But when I run it as root user I get this:


root@ubuntu9:etc>/usr/bin/pulseaudio --start
W: main.c: This program is not intended to be run as root (unless --system is specified).
So I am not sure if the system at the boot time installs the pulse-audio (drivers) with root privileges or
it does not matter who logs in and what rights they have, it will work regardless?

You can also do a
/usr/bin/pulseaudio --help
to see the diff. switches.
good luck.
(and please post the solution)

awe 3rd September 2009 13:20

Well, it seems like I have a workaround that works for this particular installation, probably for other installations too.

In a fresh installation of Jaunty, sound works for all users, including those that reside on the LDAP tree. It seems that sound for LDAP users goes with some particular update. I rememberd that one of the upgrades included PulseAudio, so I decided to do a fresh installation and then upgrade everything but PulseAudio. In this installation there is barely anything stored on the local hard disks, nearly all is stored on the server because all files that are worked on must be shared. So, easy, repartition the hard disks and reinstall the OS from scratch, there are almost no local files to backup. Then do all the upgrades ***EXCEPT*** PulseAudio, and disable upgrades. Reconfigure Samba and PAM to fetch users from the LDAP server. And all working. Then restored Evolution config (what a useful feature!), reinstalled the accounting software (simple double-click on a .deb file) and Skype, "et voilą". Apartment management software (they rent apartments) is just a set of PHP scripts on a server declared as a VirtualHost (works as a website) so nothing to install on workstations.

I would not call this a solution, it is tedious and lengthy, but it works. I wonder what will happen when the time comes to upgrade to Ubuntu 9.10.

And I leave a though to share with you. It is hard to make companies move to Linux. When they do, it's because they trust me and I must not leave them down. When I face situations like this, it makes me utter quite a few curses. I don't know who in Canonical (or wherever else) has coded an upgrade that left LDAP users without any sound, but:
1) This person definetely did not think of corporate users. What other surprises can I have if Canonical thinks of private users only? I am very upset.
2) If I met this person I'd have a word or two to say. Polite, but concise.

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