AW: [Desktop_printing] Role of CUPS and error handling

Johannes Meixner jsmeix at
Mon Mar 27 00:35:43 PST 2006


On Mar 24 18:05 Kurt Pfeifle wrote (shortened):
> My point is: We need to make it much, much, much more easy for
> users to find out why their current action fails, if they deal
> with a cupsd running as non-root. They need to be guided to a
> way how to resolve this.


Perhaps it would have been better when cupsd shows a more
meaningful message when login to its web-interface fails.
At the moment cupsd (CUPS 1.1.23) simply re-displays the
login popup which lets most users think that there was a typo
in what they entered and many users do endless re-tries.

Of course such a meaningful message cannot reveal too much
like "the second character of your pasword is wrong" ;-)
Seriously: Even revealing the authentication method might
be problematic regarding security (or would this be only
security by obscurity)?

By the way:

What looks a bit strange from my point of view with the discussion
about RunAsUser is:
When it is enabled, it is in compliance how CUPS 1.1.x can work.
But the discussion seems to be as if we did something which
is totally against how CUPS is designed to work.
Perhaps this is even true because RunAsUser is no longer
supported in CUPS 1.2?

On the other hand we really did something which is different
than the original CUPS 1.1.x: Our "preauth_security" patch,
see "Generalized Functionality for BrowseAllow and BrowseDeny" in
I expected several complaints and problems here (in particular
because one cannot switch off the "preauth_security" patch)
but here everything is quiet.

> A large majority of "experienced users" even do not succeed on their 
> own when they have trouble at this point. And *some* of these end up 
> in my mail box crying for help (not @ SUSE's helpdesk).

I know, I know, :-(

I don't understand why so many of them don't ask our support
or read our manual or search our support database or ask on our
mailing lists when they have a problem with our product.

I would really like to know what goes on out there why some
of our users don't even try to use YaST or lpadmin or read our
documentation or use our support stuff but instead they seem
to waste their energy and bother others with their problems.

There must be something very basic regarding usability which doesn't
work when some of our users do such strange things.

Personally I have the vague feeling that this users are
neither unexperienced home-usres (those simply use YaST)
nor experienced administrators (those read documentation
or know how to ask for support) but something in between.

Kind Regards
Johannes Meixner
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, Maxfeldstrasse 5      Mail: jsmeix at
90409 Nuernberg, Germany                    WWW:

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