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parental controls blocking licensing for CS3/CS4?

Posted on 2011-02-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Ok, this little gem has been driving me crazy...

First, the environment:  
      This is a imac lab in a high school, so security is an issue.  Currently there is an account set up for the students to log into (generic login) which is a standard account managed via parental controls by the teacher.  The machines have adobe dreamweaver cs3 running with individual licenses (17 copies) and InDesign cs4 running on a lab-license using the flex net licensing.

The Issue:
      When in this account, managed through parental controls, InDesign cs4 will load up and gather a flex net license as it is supposed to if it is the first item to open.  If dreamweaver cs3 is opened on the machine, it asks for the admin password to allow it to access fnplicensing (or something to that effect)  which when you allow access to, it simply tells you that the licensing has expired.  
     The part that drives me crazy is once you do that it breaks the indesign flex net and that no longer opens either, the computer needs to be restarted and then it'll allow indesign to work again.

We've narrowed it down to the point that we know it is a parental control management issue because if we create a new account and try both programs under that account, both programs run correctly.  But being in an insecure environment full of teenagers that think it's funny to break machines, we cannot allow for this lack of security.  

Anyone have any idea how to allow the machines to run the cs3 and cs4 under the parental controls umbrella so that we can maintain our security while allowing functionality of both programs?

thanks in advance

swpsit
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Question by:swpsit
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by:rxfoster
ID: 34872640
Is the parental control software a 3rd party package?

If so, what is the name/version?

There may be a way to exempt certain programs or sites in the options.
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by:swpsit
ID: 34872745
parental controls is built into mac osx under the accounts settings.  a managed account basically means you can't change the dock and it eliminates the option for that user to get into the system preferences and botch up the system.

It's an OS X tool that seems to be what is binding us up here.

thanks

swpsit
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by:rxfoster
ID: 34872761
If this is inside Tiger/Snow Leopard's built-in parental controls, make sure the fnplicensing service as well as the Adobe Applications you want allowed are listed in the System tab, and then check your Content settings (are they set for deny by default, (Allow only...) or Try to limit access).

Are you just trying to filter web content?
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by:rxfoster
ID: 34872817
Sorry, posted that as you were responding.

Can you post any pertinent information from the logs tab?
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by:swpsit
ID: 34872861
it doesn't seem like the fnplicensing service is actually a running service that you can see in the system activity monitor.  It's actually a simple little script that pulls down a license from the server when it is started up and the license is released once the program is closed.

the problem is that for some reason while the accounts are being managed this script or simple program is not allowed to run.

no we are not filtering web content.  The accounts are managed so that the kids cannot accidentally or otherwise compromise the system by changing settings, causing me to constantly be restoring, reimaging, etc.

parental controls is built-in in the accounts tab under system preferences.  It is a standard option with OSX and frankly is necessary in this case for us to manage the iMacs.
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by:rxfoster
ID: 34872964
What version of OSX are you on?

And I am not at all advocating the removal of this software, and am in full agreement with you that in your case it is a very wise thing to have enabled.

Check and see if you can find this: /Library/Application Support/FLEXnet Publisher/Service/.*/FNPLicensingService'

You should be able to run:

#!/bin/sh
list=$(/bin/ps ax | grep '/Library/Application Support/FLEXnet Publisher/Service/.*/FNPLicensingService'

With the right permissions.

If that does not work, you can try something like:

#!/bin/sh
list=$(/bin/ps ax | grep FLEX

Or see if the "find" command works (find / | grep FLEX)

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by:swpsit
ID: 34873033
These machines are running 10.6.xx snow leopard.

I have found that file (there are 3 of them in different places actually) and they do run under administrator and a standard account that is not managed.  I have given rights to "everyone" under these files to no avail (write & read).  So in all logic it SHOULD allow me to run these files under the restricted account, but for some reason it still hangs up.

I have enabled several utilities in the parental controls, including adobe air, made sure licensing was allowed as well.  These machines are not locked down that far, and it amazes me that this seemingly simple problem is causing us so much headaches.

oh and by the way, Adobe basically told us we're on our own as they do not service cs3 or cs4 anymore.  Thanks adobe >.<

thanks for your help!

swpsit
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by:rxfoster
ID: 34873123
WOW.... no doubt, THANKS ADOBE.

Can you confirm that the "Allow supporting programs" option is enabled inside parental controls?

Are any specific C3 or CS4 apps showing up in the applications list?

These might be under "other", I am not sure.  I know you said that you had utilities allowed, but I just wanted to check and make sure that every possible CS related App you need is explicitly allowed.
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by:swpsit
ID: 34873167
i will double check and let you know

thanks for the help
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by:rxfoster
ID: 34873173
And to confirm web content, I know you said that you are not filtering, but you have "Allow unrestricted access to websites" selected under parental controls, correct?
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by:rxfoster
ID: 34873178
Yeah, we will kill this if it kills us!
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by:swpsit
ID: 34873443
i'm at one of the machines now... i cannot find any application in the system that even relates to adobe that is not fully allowed.  web content access is allowed so it shouldn't have a problem seeing external servers... stumped.  

know anything about com.apple.qmaster.statusmen... seems to run every time indesign fails...


thanks
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by:rxfoster
ID: 34873449
Just to leave no stone unturned, can you disabled parental controls on an account that currently has them enabled, restart, try the program.

Assuming it works, renable parental controls and try it again.

Were these machines upgraded in-place or were they fresh installs?  Were parental controls enabled, if upgraded, before the upgrade?

Has this ever worked?  I.e., did the problem manifest itself after functioning properly, or are you attempting to enact controls as a new security procedure and running into this issue?

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by:rxfoster
ID: 34873632
I am getting a lot of the same stuff when I research parental controls, and that is a lot of problems hahaha...

I just wonder if we can get the security functionality you need within the OS, outside of parental controls.

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by:swpsit
ID: 34873926
to answer a few of your questions, i tried the disabled parental controls and it worked fine... figures.

these were brand new machines installed this summer with 10.6.3 on them.  They currently have 10.6.4 fully updated.

the parental controls were set up by the instructor. He is usually on his own, and we do not (we being the district IT dept) don't usually intervene.  I don't think this has ever worked since CS3 was installed on the machines, though i believe cs3 was installed after the cs4 was.  Note that these are single stand alone products and are not full suites so they shouldn't interfere... unless adobe is installing something ridiculous in the background.

and yes parental control research shows these problems all the time.   Trying to find out exactly what it is they do to restrict and try to fix it.  I mean frankly, if the system worked the way it was supposed to, when it asks to allow, and you click "always allow" and authorize it, it should simply work for the rest of the time...  I don't know... i'm going to start looking for a work around i think unless you've unearthed any other ideas?

thanks for your time
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rxfoster earned 500 total points
ID: 34874837
I know this isn't the best solution, if it even works, but can you try this (assuming you have the time, resources)

If you log in as a user with parental controls enabled, on a system that does not have CS3 installed, can you install it AS that user?  I am just wondering, if the app was installed while logged in as an admin account, if there are some system level permissions working against us here.

If that will even allow install, as the user using admin credentials when prompted, will it then run?  I would probably isolate CS3 first.

I am still looking into this, but after reading another thread (with no clear cut resolution, of course haha) it brings up a good point with how permissions are originally set with the logged in account during the install.
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Author Closing Comment

by:swpsit
ID: 34896915
Looks like we are going to have to find a work around, but wanted to thank you for all of your help in fighting with this silly issue.
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