Not sure if it was mentioned yet, and i couldn’t find it, so:
Systemd is planning to extend it’s usecase to usermanagement. Both in terms of Credetial/Login Management, as well as Userdata.
Since systemd is more or less the defacto standard by now, i’d assum most distributions would implement this, once done.
Since there will probably be enough people pointing out the negative stuff and be anti-systemd, i’d like to point out some interesting positive points:
- In the intended system, your /home directory would be an encrypted LUKS container, as i understand it. Encrypted with your user. That means, encryption by default, that automatically decrypts on login and encrypts on Logout or Screenlock. Yay for more encryption that’s default and easy to use.
- Your User and /home become a single entity with everything collected in a single place. This would allow easy portability of your User with all the Settings, permissions and everything else attached. You could litterally have your Entire User on a stick, work at work, pull that out and move it to your Home PC. Log in with the same credentials, have the same data and the same permissions at a completely different machine.
This could also be interesting in Office environments, where BYOD is getting more of a thing and people often move between workstations.
- There would now be a single place where any and all authentication could hook into, and one place where an Admin can change permissions, quotas or Settings for any user.
So instead of crawling through 4 different places to change the name, Home folder, quota or Sudo permissions, all would be in one place.
I know that this is a bit away still. And i also know, that a lot of Linux “Old-Timers” aren’t to fond of systemd specifically and centralization of functionality in general.
Me, being pragmatic and without historic prejudice think it’s a good idea that someone looks at the current way users are handled and maybe brings some fresh ideas into that realm. The current system has been around for a long time, security requirements have massively increased and systems got more complex since it’s original inception. Maybe it’s time for a change…