Linux, LDAP and the impossibility of handling editable PDFs
kheuer2 at gwdg.de
Mon Sep 1 10:55:28 UTC 2008
On Mon, 1 Sep 2008, O. Hartmann wrote:
> Konrad Heuer wrote:
>> On Mon, 1 Sep 2008, O. Hartmann wrote:
>>> Several months ago I tried configuring the Linuxulator on several FreeBSD
>>> 7.X boxes, most of them pure amd64 and pure 64 bit (as it is possible with
>>> Intels pseudo 64 bit crap). The reason for that is simple. Having FreeBSD
>>> (now 7.1-PRE) as my favorite OS on servers AND hybrid boxes (acting as
>>> workstations AND small servers) makes life easy - I thought and was touhgt
>>> Our administration sends a lot of PDFs around and as it is very usual, our
>>> applications, forms and so on for scientific congresses etc. are all PDF
>>> and subject to be edited. And here it comes that FreeBSD seems to be a
>>> definite deadend!
>>> Using pdfedit is wrong, it can't show or edit any PDF we obtained so far.
>>> Using 'pdftk' fails, it is not made to run in modern 64 bit environments
>>> only when using FreeBSD (linux seems to have no problem, especially Ubuntu
>>> does the thing). So, then I remembered myself about Linuxulator and tried
>>> acrobatviewer - and failed. As in other professional environments we were
>>> far away from using simple user management and therefore there is a LDAP
>>> environment. And, funny, Linuxulator does not contact LDAP even if I try
>>> to configure it to use our LDAP environment. Digging around what flavor of
>>> Linux FreeBSD installs (means: do al ot of work), reading about how to use
>>> PAM and LDAP on Linux (means: doing again additional work in an
>>> environment I try to avoid!) and at last no success, because something is
>>> missing or the Linuxulator should use something for user authentication
>>> and autorization it does not have and uses therefore the FreeBSD stuff and
>>> then fails. Especially for the Acrobat weirdness (or call it software)
>>> something like this occurs whenn attempting starting acrobat reader:
>>> (acroread:18831): GLib-WARNING **: getpwuid_r(): failed due to unknown
>>> user id (2001)
>>> (acroread:18831): Gdk-WARNING **: shmget failed: error 12 (Cannot allocate
>>> If there is someone here running a 64 bit environment within a LDAP realm
>>> and already got successfully running the Linux add ons as expected for
>>> LDAP users, you are really welcome to give me some hints how to turn
>>> around my frustration and thoughts about definitely leaving the FreeBSD
>>> path ...
>> I use a simple workaround to make the Adobe reader (and some other Linux
>> binaries) work - I simply added following entries to the crontab file of
>> 00 05 * * * /usr/bin/getent passwd | /usr/bin/sed '1,/nobody/d' >
>> /usr/compat/linux/etc/passwd 2> /dev/null
>> 15 05 * * * /usr/bin/getent group > /usr/compat/linux/etc/group 2>
>> Hope that helps a little bit ...
> Thank you very much, this works.
> But this seems to be a hack, unclean in my opinion. As I got responses
> earlier of the year for a similar problem, Linuxulator should utilize lacking
> facilities from FreeBSD host system - but obviously it doesn't, especially if
> there are non-existent users. As I realized - and this puzzles me - there was
> no passwd file in my configuration, so I guess the Linuxulator has to contact
> the underlying FreeBSD infrastructure to get UIDs like root and others - but
> this seems not to be the case.
I agree a little bit. When we used YP years ago it was possible to edit
/usr/compat/linux/etc/yp.conf to make the Linux binaries contact the NIS
Making use of LDAP should work in an similar way. Of course my "solution"
is a hack - but not the worst one. ;-)
GWDG, Am Fassberg, 37077 Goettingen, Germany, kheuer2 at gwdg.de
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