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Posted on 1997-03-10
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How can I give users access to run a program on a unix machine without having to mainiain logins for them.  The only way I can think of is NFS mounting the drive, but that is not an option here.
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Question by:wspoulin
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pxh earned 50 total points
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Three suggestions with increasing complexity:

Did you think about a guest account? I.e. one account for all users you want to allow access. They all have to use and know the same password.

Next, you might use the .rhosts file. Assume a remote user <ru> on a remote host <rh> who you want to grant access to a local host <lh> under account <lu>.
So you create a .rhosts file on the home directory of <lu> on <lh> and insert a line "<rh> <ru>". You may do this for all users who you allow remote access. This is more save than methode one, but less flexible, since <ru> has to be on <rh> to get access, or you might add an entry for  all remote hosts <ru> might use. You can use filemode settings to dissalow the users to manipulate the .rhosts file.

A sophisticated way would be to install a program as a network service, i.e. any user can start a certain program if he TCP/IP connects with a given port number (this is how ftp, telnet any many other network stuff works). However, this is possible only for special adapted programs (or such which don't do any I/O with the user).

There could be more suggestions if you can specify in more detail what the program(s) are you want to let them run and what other resources are needed to do so.

Hope this helps,

Peter (pxh@mpe-garching.mpg.de)

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