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#1 2015-05-11 21:52:29

ol
Member
From: .nl
Registered: 2015-05-11
Posts: 3

Copy file to a new user's Desktop directory?

Dear Xfce gurus,

I am preparing a small batch of PCs with Xubuntu 14.04, with minor customisations to make users' lives (not necessarily very computer literate people) a little bit easier.

If I understand correctly, when a new user logs into the Xfce environment for the first time, it is xdg-user-dirs-update that creates the default directories (Desktop, Documents etc.) in the user's home directory. I would like to configure the system in such a way that it also copies a file from somewhere on the filesystem (I would put it there) into the user's Desktop directory. At the same time, that is, at first login. I am thinking of a welcome message / short user manual, possibly in PDF format. The user should be able to delete it from the desktop after they are done reading it and it should not be re-copied on their next log in.

Years ago I would have just placed a README file in /etc/skel, but I am not sure there isn't a better way now. So I wonder, is there a specific and/or recommended method to achieve the above in Xfce 4.10?

Thank you in advance.

Last edited by ol (2015-05-11 22:40:32)

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#2 2015-05-12 00:35:47

MountainDewManiac
Member
From: USA police-state welfare-state
Registered: 2013-03-24
Posts: 858

Re: Copy file to a new user's Desktop directory?

Mint - not Xubuntu, but "Ubuntu-based, with a version that has Xfce as its DE" - has an information/manual/guide/gizmo that pops up upon first boot. There is a checkbox that the user can tick to have the thing appear at next boot, too; otherwise it does not appear (after the first time), IIRC. I'm not sure what format the file is... It's probably not .PDF unless there is some kind of custom wrapper or something(?). But it might be useful to investigate how they do it.

Also, now that I think about it, they have some kind of "OEM version," which allows a third-party to install the distro as per normal except that the user's personal information (user name, password, et cetera) still remain to be specified until the first time that the user boots the system. It's kind of neat in concept, probably meant for computer sellers, but if you're setting multiple computers up for some group, it might be something to consider (either as an actual option instead of Xubuntu or, assuming you still intend to go the Xubuntu route, maybe you could adopt the Mint team's method, IDK).

I've set computers up for other people (feels... odd, setting someone else's name, user name, and password, lol) before and I get the feeling that the "OEM method" is better. However... IDK if their methods can (easily) be adapted to another distro (Xubuntu) or if their OEM version has an Xfce DE option (if you were considering Mint). So... I guess this post probably raises more questions than providing answers. Anyway, I've gone the route of parking a "read me" file on their desktop and... it doesn't always get read. One that autoloaded at first boot (with an option for "returning" at future boots) is probably better.

Regards,
MDM


Mountain Dew Maniac

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#3 2015-05-13 20:53:13

ol
Member
From: .nl
Registered: 2015-05-11
Posts: 3

Re: Copy file to a new user's Desktop directory?

MDM, thank you for your reply.

Looking at the workings of the welcome screen in Linux Mint is a great idea for a Plan B; perhaps I will have time later this week to investigate that further. But I would rather not introduce foreign (to Xubuntu) packages or too many custom scripts and such.

Regarding the OEM-installation method: I did not mention, but this is one of the reasons I chose Xubuntu. Xubuntu does have the OEM-installation mode, the Xfce edition of Mint does not according to the information I have.

But yes, I am aware of what the OEM-installation does and indeed I am using it.

Placing my file in /etc/skel/Desktop does work, and it is this level of simplicity that I am ideally after. However, if the user chooses a language other than English for their desktop, the Desktop folder that was copied from /etc/skel into their home directory does not receive the localised name.

I am still thinking that I should be able to accomplish what I want to do through the Xfce/XDG configuration files, especially those that describe the default user environment, and it would take care of the localisation aspects automatically. But so far no solution.

Last edited by ol (2015-05-13 20:57:45)

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