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Re: [K12OSN] Broadcast message

I, too, was playing with xmessage, on Luis's suggestion, and came up with this quick & dirty script (which I'll call brmsg for discussion purposes):


# brmsg: Send a broadcast message to all terminal screens

for x in `seq 1 30` do xmessage -center -timeout 10 -display 192.168.0.${x}:0.0 "$@" & done

One would then call brmsg this way at a command prompt from the server:

brmsg Please logout now or you may be expelled

The message will pop up on the client for 10 seconds and then disappear. It needs some refinement: For the seq range, it would be better to get a list of clients where someone is actually logged in so it doesn't waste time sending messages to irrelevant workstations; using 'who -T' and piping it to awk would be one way to get such a list. And, as David suggested, and graphical version of this would be nicer; perhaps I'll try something in perl/tk this weekend (no gaurantees, I've got a ton of leaves to rake).

One requirement is that the client workstation must be configured to accept such messages, which in my server-and-one-client K12LSTP ver 3.0.1 here in my cube, the clients are not. This can be fixed by adding

xhost +

to every user's ~/.profile. This will allow such messages to be sent from the server, but not from other clients which could be a nightmare, e.g. clever students with too much time on their hands.

Hopefully this is a start.


David Trask wrote:
Ok...I've never played with xmessage until now....I just tried it, but xmessage -Hi There! only shows up on my onw desktop.....how do I
broadcast to all or at least to a chosen user?

"Support list for opensource software in schools." <k12osn redhat com> on
Friday, October 29, 2004 at 10:32 AM +0000 wrote:

This can be done using xmessage. Since it is part of XFree86, we don't have to worry about which window manager is being used.

One thing I'm not sure about are permission settings with xauth. It also need to have the DISPLAY environmental variable temporarily set to the display you wish the message to pop up on.


David Trask wrote:

Ok....I think it's time we find a way to do this and incorporate it as a
feature in something like TeacherTool.  It has been brought up way too
many times.  This is a feature in Windows Terminal Server 2003 and should
be in K12ltsp as well if we can figure it out.  Any ideas?

David N. Trask Technology Teacher/Coordinator Vassalboro Community School dtrask vcs u52 k12 me us (207)923-3100

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