Installing software for/in other user accounts - [SOLVED]

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Installing software for/in other user accounts - [SOLVED]

Postby grungy_me on Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:57 pm

Hello LinuxMint forum community,

So even though I've been using Linux for years now, this issue has stumped me. Hence I finally registered here even though I've been using LinuxMint since version 8 and was always able to figure out any problem or learn how to do something myself or through searching Internet, here, or the Ubuntu forums. This does say a lot about how reliable LinuxMint has been. I've also tried searching here prior to posting, but I feel like I'm missing the right phrase or terminology to bring up the results I'm looking for. So my apologies in advance if this topic has been brought up before.

To further preface the problem...
I just recently bought Humble Bundle 9. For those that do not know, they offer cross platform and DRM free games for sale.
https://www.humblebundle.com/
So I downloaded all of the Linux install files for each game.

I'm using LinuxMint 15 64-bit Mate.
And ideally I want to install the games to only run in another user account (e.g. - user_B), that is of limited privileges, what Mate calls a "Desktop user", and is not the user account setup during installation (e.g. - user_A). Although I'd settle with the game installing for all user accounts, but just running the games from the user_B account. How do I do this when certain install files require administrative privileges?

So for example, I was able to install FTL: Faster Than Light and Eets Munchies so it only runs in the user_B account. I created a "Games-installed" folder within the Home folder. and extracted the two tar.gz files for each game into it, which extracted into it's own properly labeled folder. Then I figured out that the games would run from a terminal command of ./FTL and ./eets2 respectively. Then I figured out how to make a launcher for the desktop which required a bit of research since the default creation did not work. But this was relatively simple all things considered.

But any of the other game install files that require administrative privileges is a different story. So for example Limbo is a .deb file that requires escalated privileges to install. I tried temporarily changing user_B's account type to administrative to install Limbo by double clicking on the .deb file, but it does not work. It does not have the privileges it needs to do so. I also tried doing a "sudo dpkg -i limbo.deb" from the terminal with no success either for the same reason. But it does install from the user_A account. But it is only installed for that account, and not all users, which is not what I want. I get the impression that I will have the same problem for .bin, .sh, and if I have to compile with the Make command.

I would very much appreciate any help or insight into whether what I'm asking is possible, and if so, how do I do it? If you require further information or details to figure this out, please let me know.
Thank you for reading this wall of text. LOL
Last edited by grungy_me on Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Installing software for/in other user accounts - LM 15

Postby karlchen on Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:14 pm

Hello, grungy_me.

Well, actually, you will have to find out for each game that you downloaded whether it can be installed by a normal user, who cannot elevate his privileges by using sudo/gksu.
It all depends on how the installation routine has been designed by the developers of the games.

With respect to .deb packages:
.deb packages are the standard software packages which Debian, Ubuntu and Mint use. They will have to be installed using gDebi or Synaptic. As a consequence the installation can only be performed by a user who is a member of the sudo group, i.e. who can elevate his privileges by using sudo/gksu.

With respect to .tgz archives:
It depends on what is in the .tgz archive. The readme.txt file which will come with the downloaded archive file - very likely inside the archive - will explain how to proceed.

The same is true for .bin and .sh packages. As a rule they will be self-extracting archive files. Yet, again there will be a readme.txt file inside the archive explaining how the installation has got to be performed.

Sorry, but there is no simple answer to your problem / challenge.

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: Installing software for/in other user accounts - LM 15

Postby grungy_me on Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:53 am

Hello karlchen,

Thank you for your reply.
Surprisingly from what I've seen so far there has been absolutely no installation documentation either in humble bundle's support section and no readme files that guide the user either.

That being said, I feel like you did not understand the gist of my question. Which I'll freely admit may have been my rambling account of the problem. Let me see if I can clarify...

So yes, I do understand that depending on how the game is packaged for installation that some install files will require administrative privileges. So like for example, the Limbo game that I previously mentioned that was a .deb file needed administrative privileges to install, but when I did install it from the default account created during the installation of LinuxMint (user_A), it only installed the game to that account and not all users accounts, which is a problem. And when I uninstalled Limbo from user_A account, changed the account type of user_B to Administrator, and tried to install Limbo from user_B account, it still says it does not have the privileges it needs to install the game.

So if creating another user account with administrator privileges is still not enough privileges to install the game, what am I to do? Or have I perhaps missed something obvious here?
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Re: Installing software for/in other user accounts - LM 15

Postby karlchen on Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:53 am

Hello, grungy_me.

Based on this sentence in your first post
I want to install the games to only run in another user account (e.g. - user_B), that is of limited privileges
I had concluded that you wished to install the games under user_B's account so that only he would have been able to execute the games..
All I had tried to explain was that whether achieving this goal was feasible depended on the design of the developer of each game.
Your current reply seems to say that you would like to achieve the exact opposite goal: Install each game systemwide so that every user can launch it. - Hm.

About the readmes which do not exist:
I have not bothered to download all the games in order to verify. I had hoped that every developer were polite enough to add a readme to his software explaining how to install the software. Seems I am wrong.

About turning a normal user into and system adminsitrator user:
Telling from my own experience, simply adding user_B to the user group sudo will not be sufficient.
The easiest way of changing the user role from "normal" to "system administrator" is by launching [Menu] => System Management => User Accounts. (Command: gnome-control-center user-accounts)
Unlock the dialogue box by clicking on the [Unlock] button.
Select user_B and change the account type from "normal" to "system administrator".
This will make sure that the relevant entries will be added to the files /etc/group and /etc/gshadow.

Installing downloaded games for all users:
As you seem to have changed your mind and want all users on the machine to be able to run the games, you may proceed like this:
  • For .deb files: launch gDebi as user_A, confirm privilege elevation for the installation process and install them systemwide.
  • For all other archives: .tgz, .bin, .sh:
    Create a basic game folder, e.g. here: sudo mkdir /opt/games
    For each game that you install create a new subfolder: sudo mkdir /opt/games/nextgame
    Inside this folder extract the archive and perform whatever is necessary to install the game, in case more than extracting the archive one way or other should be required.
  • Enable everybody to run the games.
    Code: Select all
    cd /opt
    # just in case not everything is owned by root, make root the owner
    sudo find games -exec chown root:root {} \;

    # make sure everybody can read the subfolders
    sudo find games -type d -exec chmod go+rx {} \;

    # make sure everybody can read the files in the subfolders, too
    sudo find games -type f -exec chmod go+r {} \;

    It is imaginable that some executable files which should be executable have not got the executable bit set. In this case you will have to identify the affected executable files and grant owner-group-others the right to execute it.

Hope that I got your intention right this time and that my explanations are understandable.

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: Installing software for/in other user accounts - LM 15

Postby edzell on Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:30 pm

I had concluded that you wished to install the games under user_B's account so that only he would have been able to execute the games....
Your current reply seems to say that you would like to achieve the exact opposite goal: Install each game systemwide so that every user can launch it. - Hm.


My reading of the original post says grungy_me would prefer the game to run under only user _B's account but if that's not possible would settle for having it run for all users.
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Re: Installing software for/in other user accounts - LM 15

Postby grungy_me on Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:06 pm

@edzell -

My reading of the original post says grungy_me would prefer the game to run under only user _B's account but if that's not possible would settle for having it run for all users.


This is correct. Although if having to settle for installing for all users, the games by my choice would only be run from User_B's account that does not have my data in it.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@karichen -

My apologies for not replying to you sooner about this. At the time I had the distinct impression that there was some misunderstanding on your part, of what I was asking help for, and possibly some problem with the LinuxMint 15 64bit Mate. And I felt too frustrated and not motivated enough to delve into it more. I now know that there was a misunderstanding, but more so, that their either was also a bug in LinuxMint 15 64bit Mate, or there was some certain user configuration I was missing.

I have just recently installed LinuxMint 16 64bit Cinnamon (Which by the way is the first cinnamon release that actually works correctly on my hardware and I'm totally thrilled by the desktop environment). I created a second user account, that we'll call User_B to be consistent with my first post here, of the administrator account type, and noticed that the groups it was by default a part of is User_B and Sudo. I then install the game Bastion, which is packaged in a .deb file. It installed properly, and ran properly from within the User_B account. Hurray!

In hindsight, I'm now wondering if in LinuxMint 15 64bit Mate, that when it creates an additional administrator account that it does not put it in the Sudo group by default. This might have well been the problem. But I had not the knowledge to know this might have been the case at the time. But regardless, I'm happy with the results now. Thank you for your well intentioned help karichen. :)
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Re: Installing software for/in other user accounts - [SOLVED

Postby grungy_me on Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:40 am

I'd also like to add, that once games are installed, it's easy enough to remove the account from the Sudo group, or just change it to a standard account type which does the same thing as far as I can tell. Although, I don't see a way to remove the password from the account for easy logging in of guests to play games.
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Re: Installing software for/in other user accounts - [SOLVED

Postby karlchen on Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:10 am

Happy New Year, grungy_me.

All is well that ends well. :-)
Sorry if I should have misunderstood your initial problem. - What counts is that you have solved your problem and achieved your goal. - If doing so involved upgrading to Mint 16, you have not lost anything, but gained 6 more months of supported Mint 16 lifetime and a more mature version of Cinnamon (Cinnamon 2.0.14).

About User_B's password:
Instead of resetting it to nothing, you might - from the root account - assign a trivial password to User_B, e.g. something like Gambler.
Code: Select all
sudo passwd User_B
root should be able to assign user passwords that may not conform to minimal complexity rules.

Cheers,
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Re: Installing software for/in other user accounts - [SOLVED

Postby grungy_me on Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:22 am

And a happy new year to you to karichen! :)

Thank you for being so gracious about all of this.

About User_B's password:
Instead of resetting it to nothing, you might - from the root account - assign a trivial password to User_B, e.g. something like Gambler.


Thank you for this suggestion and the terminal command. I noticed that from the "Users and Groups" GUI the minimum password is eight digits. But I'm already one step ahead of you and had already assigned a simple and obvious password for the User_B account.
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