OS X KerberosLoginServer as a background app?

Alexandra Ellwood lxs at MIT.EDU
Mon Oct 7 14:09:01 EDT 2002

>Thanks for all your hard work getting Kerberos integrated into Mac 
>OS X 10.2 Jaguar. I just wanted to request that the 
>KerberosLoginServer be made a background app, as this makes it 
>launch faster and makes more sense as there are no menu controls for 
>it anyway.

If you want applications to launch faster because Dock animation is 
slowing them down, you should probably just auto-hide your dock.  It 
will solve the problem for all applications, not just 

>As you probably know, this can easily be achieved by using Apple's 
>Developer Tools to add a new sibling to it's Info.plist called 
>"NSUIElement" with a value of "1". I can email you my edited 
>Info.plist file, if you want.

I assume you are suggesting we use the Launch Services "LSUIElement" 
Info.plist entry.  The old NeXTStep names are deprecated and should 
not be used.

>I was just wondering if you could tell me why it hasn't been made a 
>background app yet, and if there are plans to do this in the future.

The decision to have the KerberosLoginServer appear in the Dock is intentional.

When the KerberosLoginServer is launched by a non-threaded 
application, it causes the application to hang.  This can be very 
confusing for users, and sometimes they start clicking around and 
switch to another application.

If the Kerberos login dialog is dimmed and the user has many windows 
visible, the dialog can be hard to locate despite the fact that it 
floats above the other windows. This is especially true if the dialog 
has been moved to a different position on screen.  To avoid this 
problem, we display the icon in the dock so the user has some other 
indication that Kerberos is waiting for input.

In addition, LSUIElement removes the KerberosLoginServer from the 
Force Quit window.  KerberosLoginServer performs network operations 
and may hang if the local network is slow or the machine is 
incorrectly configured.   It always looks up Kerberos servers first, 
and BSD host lookup calls always block.  In this situation, users 
can't use command-. and will want to force quit.

Obviously this could be solved by making KerberosLoginServer 
multi-threaded so the user can cancel network operations.  However 
that is a time-consuming modification, and there are many other more 
critical features in the queue.

Hope this helps,

Alexandra Ellwood                                               <lxs at mit.edu>
MIT Information Systems                               http://mit.edu/lxs/www/

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