Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Sep 2006 16:05 UTC, submitted by sogabe
Zeta IsComputerOn.com takes a first look at the ZETA's multiuser capabilities currently under development. This is "a first beta, usable but still incomplete and with bugs" reports ICO. The article uses screenshots to show what multiuser looks like in ZETA, and describes how to create user accounts, as well as some of the existing problems with the implementation which, hopefully, will be fixed before release. As Magnussoft told us a few days ago, multiuser support will be available as an update to the upcoming ZETA 1.21, but no release date is mentioned.
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what happened to yellowtab?
by nivenh on Thu 14th Sep 2006 16:36 UTC
nivenh
Member since:
2005-07-06

granted i don't keep up with zeta as much as i like, what happened to yellowtab? i notice magnussoft is doing the MU support, etc. did the bankruptcy thing awhile back muck things up?

Reply Score: 1

RE: what happened to yellowtab?
by Pierpaolo on Thu 14th Sep 2006 16:44 UTC in reply to "what happened to yellowtab?"
Pierpaolo Member since:
2005-07-11

Bern Korz is developing Zeta; Magnussoft is the reseller.

http://berndsworld.blogspot.com/

Reply Score: 1

Reboot?
by bogomipz on Thu 14th Sep 2006 16:58 UTC
bogomipz
Member since:
2005-07-11

Why does the system need a reboot after creating a new user? Not even Windows requires that.

Also, it's a bad idea to let the root user login on a desktop system. It would be more elegant if only mortal users were able to login. You would then elevate your privileges only for certain tasks, like installing software system wide or changing settings for all users. That said, this is a great leap forward, considering you were running as root (or Baron, as UID 0 was named on BeOS) the whole time prior to this.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Reboot?
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 14th Sep 2006 17:14 UTC in reply to "Reboot?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

or Baron, as UID 0 was named on BeOS

I hope they change all references to superuser from "root" to "baron". Baron is the only proper term for superuser in BeOS.

Keep the root thing for UNIX machines.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Reboot?
by digitaldisaster on Thu 14th Sep 2006 17:28 UTC in reply to "Reboot?"
digitaldisaster Member since:
2006-01-02

it probably just needs more development, although BeOS/Zeta was designed to be POSIX complaint (and thus support multiple users) it was also implemented with a single user in mind and all previous multiple users solutions have been hack-ons. There is probably a large amount of things that need to be changed to support multiple users and so for now it is easier to ask for a reboot after creating a user and focus on getting the rest of MU support working correctly

Edited 2006-09-14 17:32

Reply Score: 1

RE: Reboot?
by bogomipz on Thu 14th Sep 2006 17:52 UTC
bogomipz
Member since:
2005-07-11

Well on BeOS, *you* were Baron. As the owner of the house, you needed a proper title, right?

Here's what I would suggest if I had any saying in these matters:

- The root user is not allowed to login. A good name would be System, by the way, because it's the owner of all system files.
- Some users are administrators. These are the only users that are allowed to run processes with System privileges, after giving a password.
- Not even administrators are allowed to change system files directly.
- On installation, a default admin user, Baron, is created.

Normally, you would be the admin on your own computer. You decide whether to use Baron or create another account for yourself. When giving other people access to your system, you probably want to make them non-admins. They will be able to make just as much use of the computer as yourself, but they are not allowed to change the system, so they may only install apps in their home directories.

Actually, this is pretty much how a well set up unix system works, where you have to go via a user of group wheel to gain root privileges.

Edit: gah, this was supposed to be a reply to Thom.

Edited 2006-09-14 17:55

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Reboot?
by digitaldisaster on Thu 14th Sep 2006 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Reboot?"
digitaldisaster Member since:
2006-01-02

I always liked the BeOS hold down the shift ky and click "do it" dialog whenever you tried to do anything with system critical files. Admins should get that and non-admins should be asked for the admin password (I hate having to log in as an admin or use the command line or "run as another user" to start a special process as the admin user, I should be asked to entre an admin user name and password to continue like OS X does most of the time)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Reboot?
by bogomipz on Thu 14th Sep 2006 18:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reboot?"
bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

I hate having to log in as an admin or use the command line or "run as another user" to start a special process as the admin user

With my suggestion, you would be logged in as an administrator the whole time, but that wouldn't mean anything until your privileges were elevated for a certain process. Only people that should never be allowed to change the system would use non-admin accounts, like random visitors on a library or school computer for instance, or your 7 year old son.

The hard part would be to design the user interface in such a way that you didn't find the "run as" step cumbersome.

Reply Score: 1

BeOS?
by truckweb on Thu 14th Sep 2006 18:09 UTC
truckweb
Member since:
2005-07-06

Who still use BeOS? As a full time OS?? Why???

Back when Apple was searching for a new OS, BeOS was indeed hot and cool to use. But that's in 1999... Welcome in 2006 and Zeta is nothing more than the old BeOS with better hardware support and a couple of new apps.

What's the killer app/feature in Zeta/BeOS?

Reply Score: 0

RE: BeOS?
by bogomipz on Thu 14th Sep 2006 18:19 UTC in reply to "BeOS?"
bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

What's the killer app/feature in Zeta/BeOS?

How about simplicity, elegance, consistency, extreme responsiveness, and BFS?

While other systems have caught up with BFS from a technical point of view, no other system actually makes use of extended attributes like BeOS/Zeta/Haiku. I especially find the use of attributes in e-mails and People files amazingly elegant. Then there's the translators for media files, which make all media apps automatically support new formats as they are added to the system.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: BeOS?
by MikeGA on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE: BeOS?"
MikeGA Member since:
2005-07-22

Well to be fair, in terms of video and audio codecs, Quicktime has done this for a long time.

But otherwise, yes, you're completely right, BeOS does still have a lot to offer today.

Reply Score: 1

RE: BeOS?
by TaterSalad on Thu 14th Sep 2006 18:34 UTC in reply to "BeOS?"
TaterSalad Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't know if I will use it as a full time OS but I'm definintely looking forward to the day Haiku is released and I install it. Why? Because I like to keep my options open for other operating systems. One may do a job better than the others.

Killer app? BeOS was supposed to have killer multimedia support, I wouldn't know since I never had a chance to try it. What I'm sensing from you is that they shouldn't work on BeOS/Haiku/Zeta because its old. This is why they are revamping it. The problem is if someone doesn't do something new then we are pretty much stuck in the now instead of looking to the future. Although BeOS and any of its decendants may not have the killer app right now, who's to say it won't have the killer app in the future? It never hurts to try, which is what I believe these guys are doing.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: BeOS?
by tonestone57 on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:48 UTC in reply to "RE: BeOS?"
tonestone57 Member since:
2005-12-31

The issue is that some people believe that with 3 major OSes already (ie: Windows, Linux/BSD, & OS X) that why bother with another OS? And that BeOS had its day back in 2000 & won't gain popularity. Which I strongly disagree with.

I've used BeOS 5.0 & ZETA 1.2

I know what this OS is capable of. And can say, that when Haiku is finished, that BeOS will start to get noticed & take off. It simply is a fantastic OS.

I'm certain that, anyone who tries it out for 3 to 6 months would also find it to be good & get addicted to using it.

What is the killer app? Well, this is the same for all OSes and the answer is (not in any order): #1 3D Games, #2 3D Design, #3 Video (or Audio) conversions, #4 Compiling/Linking #5 Data Encryption, etc.

It isn't about killer applications, it is about making an OS you enjoy to use. Sure, there are users out there that love Linux or Windows or ? And no one is saying you have to use or like BeOS, but there will be users that enjoy using BeOS based OSes beyond any other (for a reason).

Also, BeOS was made for multimedia & with speed on its side, with multithreading (better utilization of processors - wait till you see what it can do with Quad cores), better memory use - because it isn't bloated (like some other OSes), was originally developed for Pentium processors (not like Linux with most distros trying to support 386s still & Windows), it is all integrated (ie: not like Linux where Xwindows is made by one organization, Linux kernel by another, etc.), it was very well designed (& inspired certain concepts in other small, new OSes).

Also, Joe Average doesn't use killer applications. Most people web browse, email, listen to mp3s, watch divx movies and use Office suite. If these can be done in an easy & fun way then this user will be happy.

If you are happy with your favorite OS, then stick with it. BeOS won't be for everybody (ie: those who really love their OS are unlikely to switch to BeOS & those that feel So-So about their current OS are likely to try it out - maybe they switch, or maybe they don't).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: BeOS?
by t3RRa on Thu 14th Sep 2006 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BeOS?"
t3RRa Member since:
2005-11-22

Also, Joe Average doesn't use killer applications. Most people web browse, email, listen to mp3s, watch divx movies and use Office suite. If these can be done in an easy & fun way then this user will be happy.

I think that that is one of the niche markets for BeOS/Haiku! You can web browse, email, listen to mp3s, watch divx movies and use Office-suite on BeOS equally well if not easier and more convenient. Even on older legacy systems. What on earth average Joe users need more? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: BeOS?
by the_leander on Thu 14th Sep 2006 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: BeOS?"
the_leander Member since:
2005-07-01

Your basic points are true, sadly, there are some serious gaps to what many take for granted online - no java support, little or no flash support (does the flash 4 plugin still work?), a version of Firefox that is still not quite up to snuff compared to linux or windows (its a whole lot better then it was but still...)

With the missing bits added, as well as perhaps better codec support for some file formats (and a working VLC moz plugin to go with it) Zeta might offer a very nice platform to work from for home users on low power/legacy hardware.

Reply Score: 1

RE: BeOS?
by n0xx on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:35 UTC in reply to "BeOS?"
n0xx Member since:
2005-07-12

Who still use BeOS? As a full time OS?? Why???

Well, you can play games, edit and print documents, surf the web, chat using IRC or IM, watch dvd's, DivX, XviD... listen to you favorite tunes... the os boots in less than 10 seconds in a PII 300 and is still, after all this years, what every other OS have to measure up to in terms off speed/responsiveness.

Welcome in 2006 and Zeta is nothing more than the old BeOS with better hardware support and a couple of new apps.

Yes, so is Windows XP compared to Windows 2000. And after all the dropped features, theres is little more to Vista than a Windows XP with a couple of new apps.


What's the killer app/feature in Zeta/BeOS?

Real time SQL queries, supported by the file system itself, not by the means of some Indexing Service/SQL Service/Deamon mumbo jumbo. When you have 150 GB of mp3, pictures, a few pdfs and documents, it matters. You could also consider a killer feature the ability to bring new life to the older machines.

Bottom line, there's still a place for zeta.

Reply Score: 1

RE: BeOS?
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 14th Sep 2006 23:42 UTC in reply to "BeOS?"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I still use it as my primary OS at home/work (I mostly work from home). I mostly do hosting setup and support, so the majority of my day is spent writing, reading, and replying to EMail. I'd go nuts if I had to use something other than BeMail / mail_daemon again, mostly because I depend so heavily on queries these days (E.g., an always open query for files of type text/email where the status attribute contains "New", and a handful of query templates I've setup so I can quickly search mail by sender, recipient, subject, date, etc).

I'm an obsessive multi-tasker and I've found that, with most OSes, the interface for switching tasks starts to become unweildy once I have about a dozen programs / documents open simultaneously. I find that I can have a lot more going on in BeOS before it starts to become awkward to find a specific window/task. That's largely thanks to Workspaces, they've freed me from the PITA of constantly hiding/unhiding windows, shuffling them around, etc. I make a habit of keeping specific apps/types of documents in specific workspaces and rather than switching between windows, I just switch between workspaes. For me, at least, a dozen workspaces with 2-3 windows each is a lot more manageable than a single workspace with 2-3 dozen windows.

Another reason is that BeOS software tends to be on the minimalist side, and a result is that I've found many basic tasks are less hassle in BeOS that other OSes I've used. The flipside is that sometimes I need to use Windows to E.g. use Filezilla for something I can't do with NetPenguin - but a $40 KVM switch and a second cheap box to run XP has been a pretty workable solution.

I periodically try out the latest Linux live CDs and while there's certainly been worlds of progress since I first tried RH 5.1 back in '99, I still find that many applications/desktop environments have a rather "fragile" feeling to them. Sort of like a brand new house that looks nice, but there's a tendency for the roof to fall off if you slam the front door too hard. The popular desktops and applications available for *nix are undeniably more featureful than their typical counterparts on BeOS, but I find that BeOS and its applications typically feel more solid/mature. I think that's one of the most positive aspects of BeOS, that
the engineers at Be took the time and effort to make damn sure that the basic functionality worked properly before moving onto more interesting territory.

Reply Score: 3

RE: BeOS?
by sbergman27 on Sat 16th Sep 2006 02:34 UTC in reply to "BeOS?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

How 'bout "why should people who prefer BeOS derivatives have to defend their choice"?

Not that they seem to have any problem stepping up to the plate, anyway. ;-)

What a sorry, boring site this would be if everyone based their decisions upon what was the most popular.

Yeah, I'll agree that BeOS is not as cutting edge as it once was.

But other OSes still have a thing or two to learn from it.

I'm a Linux guy. But I appreciate the devotion of our BeOS brothers.

I only wish that the majority of them could reign in that minority who seem to want to attack X at every opportunity! ;-) Not that the Linux community doesn't have an embarrassing minority of its own!

Reply Score: 1

MUS implementations on BeOS
by looncraz on Thu 14th Sep 2006 18:10 UTC
looncraz
Member since:
2005-07-24

As the creator of three full ground-up MUS systems for BeOS, I can tell yellowTAB right here how to rid their file-copy time.

On PhOS, my BeOS derivitive, the last version of MUS would create a user in about 2 seconds.. just as soon as you typed in and accepted a user name, while you were being prompted to choose a password for the newely created account.

yellowTAB, take note... All I did to make 2 seconds is create a blank-user with basic startup instructions to do a first-time-user-run initialization on log-in. Meaning, don't set the thing up yet, the settings you want to keep system-wide need to be linked (when linking is compatible) or copied and kept in sync, or simply moved, if possible.

My last released MUS did not change the USER ID or any priveleges, however my upcoming LoonTracker (OpenTracker replacement, ground-up rewrite, 45% complete to stage 1) will have integrated support and respect for user priveleges, and has the ability to lock files or folders so that user a can read it, but not write it, user b can do NOTHING with it at all, even see it, user c can read it, system can do anything.

Another important inclusion for a solid MUS setup would be an on-access-attempt method of file cloning for certain important files. That is, when a file, or that file's node, has been opened, a copy is made of the old version, changes are allowed to be made while the old version is compressed in memory, if size allows, and if the changes made are out of line with system expectations (say the file should contain text data, but now is binary, or the inverse) the system would alert the user as to the unrecognized/improper modifications to a protected file, and the user could choose to accept those changes, deny them entirely, or TRY THEM, meaning we make an archival of the buffered file.

Of course, that last part is not entirely needed, should one simply go deeper into the code..say.. the kernel, and make some changes. A possible advantage yellowTAB may have. If so, Multi User should be pretty solid if done correctly.

Oh well, if I like the screens of the MU-including Zeta, I may just pick up a copy and give it a fresh Desktop option :-)

--The loon

Reply Score: 1

RE: MUS implementations on BeOS
by Ronald Vos on Fri 15th Sep 2006 17:05 UTC in reply to "MUS implementations on BeOS"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

looncraz: just curious, but with your tracker rewrite, which seems aimed at implementing true user seperation in vintage BeOS, would dropping to shell not negate it?

Reply Score: 1

BeOS - Killer App.
by looncraz on Thu 14th Sep 2006 18:25 UTC
looncraz
Member since:
2005-07-24

BeOS IS the killer app for BeOS enthusiasts.

Primarly we enjoy the ability to never worry about something once it is working. I have yet to have something not work after working once on my system, even if it seemed like it may be a fluke that something (say a sound card) started working... you did whatever was needed to fix the issue, its done.. its working.

Or perhaps because, while BeOS apps are no more stable than apps on most other platforms, the system just laughs at 99% of attempts to knock it down.

BeOS supports plenty of modern hardware, although not yet enough to compete against Windows or Linux. My development system is fairly standard, AMD Athlon XP 2000+, 512MB DDR 400, Radon 9800 PRO, Dual-Monitors, TV Attached, WinTV video capture board, Crystal Fusion sound card (just found the first card and got it), RTL8139C Network 10/100, 2x 120GB HDD, 1x DVD/CDRW, 1x CDRW, 1x SATA 80 GB, for experimental driver development, pinnacle studio Firewire (use it to control my Sony Digital Camcorder).. I can attach all of my digital cameras, my girl's camera, most USB keys so far, even my external USB HDD sparked to life after I realized I had yet to update my system's USB support drivers.

No viruses.. no confusing mess of unrecognizably-unintuitively named applications.. No restarts.. unless replacing a kernel driver, something I think should be possible to prevent in the future as well. BTW, punks, in BeOS, if you really want, you can avoid re-booting even when trying out new video drivers :-)

Oh, and when you do actually reboot, it only takes about 15~20 seconds at worst for the entire process on slow hardware (i.e. that is the performance on my 166MHz, 32MB RAM, *SERVER* here, in my house). It has yet to have a glitch or hiccup in the three months it has been since I turned the system on, with no keyboard, monitor, or mouse attached.. just power and a networking cable, I can monitor its vital signs across the network very simply. I can do anything I please with that machine, send it commands to execute applications remotely, such as .. hey.. I want to get this torrent, download it for me and keep me up to date with what is going on, I am going to be going ot bed, so I am turning this heat-furnace off.

That kind of functionality and flexibility makes the software awesome.

The quality of the community makes using it awesome.

-The loon

Reply Score: 5

RE: BeOS - Killer App.
by Earl Colby pottinger on Mon 18th Sep 2006 06:52 UTC in reply to "BeOS - Killer App."
Earl Colby pottinger Member since:
2005-07-06

>No restarts.. unless replacing a kernel driver, something I think should be possible to prevent in the future as well.

Already changed drivers without rebooting. I need a modified version on the Tulip driver to support my network card. Because I needed to experiment to do the mod correctly, I just choose "Restart NetWork" and the new version of the driver is load - no reboot.

I am also working on a sound drver that works thru the parallel port. Again, after compiling a new version choosing "Restart Media Services" loads up the new driver without rebooting.

I expect most BeOS drivers can be reload without any need to reboot.

Reply Score: 1

Zeta
by SK8T on Thu 14th Sep 2006 18:57 UTC
SK8T
Member since:
2006-06-01

i hope Zeta will survive. Would be very sadly if BeOS would die

Reply Score: 1

automatically handled
by looncraz on Thu 14th Sep 2006 19:12 UTC
looncraz
Member since:
2005-07-24

In BeOS run-as shouldn't be publicly implemented, it should be ENTIRELY hidden from the user, they should only need to have a password. The application itself, when requesting restricted data, would inadvertently cause a system-dialogue to appear prompting for permission either for the application to be spawned, or for it to perform a certain function.

Should a password fail to be entered, the application can be prevented from instantiation or action, this is simple, even for OLD existing non-open sourced programs, you simply return a non B_OK as a result of the attempt. You could return B_PERMISSION_DENIED, for instance in the lower levels of the system, until they get caught by modified posix code and public AND private API in user-space, which will cause a wait_for_permission() calls, the user will enter a password, that password is sent to the kernel, where it converts it into unrecognizable and uninterperetable data (i.e. an MD5sum/hash or the like), and compares it to permitted actions for any matching user, or returns an error, meaning bad password for allowing this action.

I believe most computer users (meaning, grammy and gramps, joe sixpack) would just assume set a password on their system to allow those actions and not give a rats arse about what user that password is attached to, even if none.

They would then probably enjoy the ability to temporarily highten security on the system even further, protecting the system from ALL attempts from user-space applications to write to disk, but reading is okay except for whatever folders they have already marked as highly-secured (always needs a password to enter, even if logged in as the same user) or system folders. Applications could be allowed certain psuedo-actions. As in, we could watch and log changes that had been attempted by normal trusted application signatures (Firefox, etc..) and durning this lock-out allow just those programs to write to data where it is known they must write to function. Users would most likely like to be able to add more very simply, some would even like to start at 0, hide the entire interface, and only allow a select few applications to run, but those perfectly uninhindered, to the point where the system password is automatically "entered" except for the highest levels of security.

That works in LoonTracker using a VERY simple scheme.

By default LoonTracker protects certain system folders. And that is all. You will either be alerted, or prompted for a password, if you supplied one during installation when a restricted action is attempted. The system folders are simply made read-only en-mass unless the password is entered. LoonTracker watches for attempts to change permissions on a file, and can successfully intervene in that process now, though no follow-up has yet been done.

From that point, securing a folder is simple to the user. The user can right-click on the folder and goto Get Info, or Secure Folder (under the new 'Actions' submenu, whose entries can be extended by Tracker extensions).

Once the user gets to the "Secure Folder' window, which is displaying current security options, which will be none, the user can select "Enable security for
this folder." Now, security level restriction is simple.

[]Require Password To View Contents in folder.
[]Require Password To Open Files in folder.
[]Require Password To Change Files in folder.

[]Only Accept System Password

[ Add Folder Password ] [ Revert] [ Save ]

It is worded different, but it doesn't matter.

Notice that the user can add passwords to allow actions on this folder.

Each password can allow different actions. Meaning you can allow your business partner to do whatever to those files, but use a different password. You can allow your wife to see your non-XXX files, keeping them hidden unless she figures out your password, at which time you are royaly screwed...

Get it?

I am always looking for new ideas as an avid developer in this particular area, so all suggestions are welcome.

--The loon

Reply Score: 1

@ Loon
by blitze on Fri 15th Sep 2006 01:18 UTC
blitze
Member since:
2006-09-15

Great to see you here and hearing of your efforts with Open Tracker.

Are you working at all with the Haiku guys to bring Multi User functionality to the post release 1 of HaikuOS?

I can't wait to get back into BeOS but with the power of moder computer hardware. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will touch it in the field of Media Processing/Creation. If we could get Haiku and couple it with Reaper (www.reaper.fm) it would be a match made in heaven for Audio work. Would only need a Wine like environment for VST's to work under but I am sure it is more than possible and would be the bee's knees from an end users point of view.

I still haven't used an OS as media capable as BeOS was on paltry hardware by todays standards.

Reply Score: 1

VST & BeOS...
by looncraz on Fri 15th Sep 2006 07:18 UTC
looncraz
Member since:
2005-07-24

Nah, haven't jumped into it with Haiku directly yet. I think some code of mine ended up in there at some point or another (like a tiny bug fix in OpenTracker), but that is beside the point.

BeOS has a VST plugin (look for it on BeBits), may just be for SoundPlay itself, but that is a well. I use Ohmboyz in SoundPlay open file to input:// (unintuitive way to open a microphone, though), and just play around sometimes with my guitar.. but that is about it for that.

I'll be around...

--The loon

Reply Score: 1