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Re: identifying user at commit time

From: Todd Denniston
Subject: Re: identifying user at commit time
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 09:34:14 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20070728)

address@hidden wrote, On 09/26/2007 02:08 AM:
On 25 Set, 22:01, Todd Denniston <address@hidden>
As you use CVSNT you might get answers, we don't know about, by using their
mailing lists:

I thougth it was a general CVS related question, not specific of the
system in use (the communication protocol and sytax seemed to me to be
the same...), so I hoped to find answer here, too. Anyway I will try
also there! :-)

It almost is, but I know cvsnt has some "special for windows" connection methods, of which I know almost nothing about.

- is it possible to specify an user name (and password) at commit
time, regardless of the username that has been used to checkout the
Sort of.
You did not specify your connection method

pserver for the moment, just becouse I had some problem configuring
ssh access on the windows server...

Maybe these will help:
The link to the seems broken right now for some reason, perhaps it should be

nor if you could have more than one
user on the server

yes, I can configure as amany users I want... and I dont'n need
hundreds! :-)

so I assume any connection method can be used and you can
put users on the server.


1) If you can use ssh access, the user name on the server does not have to
match the user on the client end, setup ssh(putty)/cvs to make it's
connections with user name set to the appropriate value.

2) Although pserver has security issues (read the list for details if you want
them), I believe it can be setup with "virtual" cvs users, i.e., user names
cvs knows about instead of the system.  I am not sure but I suspect it will
use those user names in the logs instead of the generic user it is running
under. I  don't know if pserver will work with a windows (CVSNT) server.

- do you know any client that could be configured to ask for this at
each committ operation? or should each users learn command-line usage
of cvs?

- in case the solution I proposed is not feasible, do you have any
suggestion/workaround/trick to track who made some change to a file
even if it has been done on a common machine under a common account?
I think you should be able to setup individual user accounts on the server and
connect using ssh, in this way the users can specify their user name and be
required to prove it with the correct authentication data (password or key).

If I correctly understood, you are telling me that:
- yes, I can perform commit operations with an user name different
from that used to check-out the module (so a can change username for
each commit operation)

It can be done easily with ssh, as you configure your ssh client to use what ever user name is valid for the current user, i.e. in putty I would see a list of machines to connect to (looking like user1ToServer, user2ToServer...) and I would pick my username from the list, CVS would then just use the ssh that was setup.

with PSERVER, IIRC, your username gets embedded in each sandbox directory's CVS/Root file on checkout and thus is more difficult to change the username, i.e., each CVS/Root file would have to be modified each time a different user wanted to do a CVS command. If the users don't have to share the same _physical_ sandbox, which in most cases they don't, then each one could do a pserver checkout as themselves on the client machine and then always use their own physical sandbox to do work, they should not have too many problems. One slight problem with this method and _your_ setup, is that IIRC using the pserver protocol cvs||cvsnt will cache your password in a well known location, so the users will need to do "cvs login" and "cvs logout" at the beginning and end of their work times so that no one else can trivially impersonate them (of course you should have a big stick if someone does that anyway).

There is one other method I just remembered that could be used, but I expect it will be harder to implement, and is dead trivial to spoof. use CVSROOT/rcsinfo and CVSROOT/verifymsg to force folks to put _A_ known username in a particular line of the commit comment. Of course this method relies on, carrot and stick, behavior modification to work.

- I should be able to do that by command line simply specifyng the
username at commit time. Implementation details depend on connection

Unfortunately not on the command line, but "Implementation details [do] depend on connection method".

- you don't know any "graphical" client that can be configured to ask
for an user name at each commit operation

Putty sort of does, the "machine to connect to" list, and then any cvs client software using the connection will use the "right" username.

Todd Denniston
Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane)
Harnessing the Power of Technology for the Warfighter

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