Setting different shells for different users

Posted on 2004-10-17
Last Modified: 2012-05-05

I would like  to be able to set winlogon\shell to different programs depending upon the user who is loggong into the computer. Is this something that is possible to do?

I was thinking of using the group policy where I see there is a setting that determines if a logon script exeutes before or after the shell is started.  So if I can execute the logon script before the shell starts maybe I could then set the shell to the approriate program.

Will this work?

Does anyone have any other suggestions?
Question by:mhertz
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12333202
Sounds like this is the same as you already know:


Author Comment

ID: 12333242

I am new to this. So what I don't understanfd from the link you poited me  to is how does it get defined individually to the user logon. I understand how to replace the shell for the entire computer but not  for an individual user.

LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12333290
The HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry key defines settings specific to the individual user.
The HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry key defines settings that are used for all users.
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Author Comment

ID: 12333447
So are you saying that the changes that occur in  HKEY_CURRENT_USER  will apply to the current user that is logged on. And if I want to set a different user first I have to logon  as that user and then make the changes again.

LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12333570
That SHOULD work.

Another idea might be to use mandatory profiles.  Create a user with a roaming profile.  Then Adjust the user so they use the shell you want them to.  Then rename the ntuser.dat (in the roaming profile directory on the network) to  You should then be able to assign the mandatory profile to several users, saving the time of doing it per user.

Author Comment

ID: 12339943

I have not done it yet. But can it work on XP home or does it need XP professional? I ask because the group policy editor I though is a function of XP Pro.

Thanks for your help

LVL 95

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 350 total points
ID: 12340270
Both XP Home and XP Pro have User settings and system wide computer settings.  HOWEVER, management of XP home is NOT easy to automate because Microsoft EXPECTS and WANTS businesses to spend more money on Pro.  So setting the shell should be possible, it won't necessarily be easy to do MANY at in an automated manner.  

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