scoadmin -- SCOadmin desktop hierarchy contents and format


The SCOadmin desktop is based on a hierarchy of management objects designed to comply with X.desktop. The management object hierarchy is shared and used both by X.desktop and the scoadmin utility. Each management application on the SCOadmin desktop has a corresponding object directory in this hierarchy. When a new management application is to be added to the SCOadmin desktop, an object directory is added for it in the hierarchy. These object directories have names which end with the extension .obj. The intention is that management objects should be placed into this hierarchy in a logical grouping. Folders in the hierarchy represent a grouping of applications.

SCOadmin applications and hierarchies must be configured and maintained using the scoadmin command line.

The SCOadmin management object hierarchy is located in:


where revision is substituted with the revision number of the operating system. At installation time of the SCOadmin desktop, this directory is exported to /etc/sysadm.d/SCOadmin.ts.

At installation, the SCOadmin object hierarchy is preconfigured into an initial state. This preconfiguration includes the following standard folders (application categories):

Sysadmsh Legacy
System (including subdirectories for Logs and Security)


Each management application on the SCOadmin desktop has a corresponding X.desktop object in the SCOadmin object hierarchy. To add a management application to the SCOadmin desktop, you must create a management object to be added to the hierarchy in the appropriate place. The required contents are as follows:
      |               |                 |
   activate    activate.scoadmin      en_US
                         |        |        |            |
                        title    text   picture.px   open.px

The activate file

The activate file permits the object to be invoked from the X.desktop. This is a deskshell script to be executed by X.desktop when the management object is activated. A management object is activated when the user double-clicks on its icon with mouse button 1. Deskshell is the scripting language used by X.desktop and need not be executable. The suggested permissions are 0444.

The activate script invokes the corresponding management application. There are no limitations placed on the implementation of this deskshell script. Developers should reference X.desktop documentation for help with deskshell. The activate.scoadmin file permits the object to be invoked from scoadmin. This file must be a valid executable type (such as a binary, shell or tcl script). scoadmin simply invokes the file assuming it is an executable. If activate.scoadmin is a script, then the #! mechanism must be used to invoke the appropriate interpreter. The suggested permissions are 0555.

If this file is not found when a user attempts to invoke the application from scoadmin, a message is displayed that the application cannot be invoked.

Two environment variables are set by scoadmin in the environment of activate.scoadmin:

informs the activate.scoadmin executable of the display environment. The possible values are MOTIF and CHARM. This can be used to prevent a graphical-only application from being executed in the character environment. Example uses of this variable are found in ``Examples.''

contains the name of the management object selected, mimicking the variable of the same name set by X.desktop when a user double-clicks on an object. It includes the full path name of the .obj directory for the corresponding management application. It is convenient to use this variable when referring to files within the management object.

The language directory

Language directories are used within objects to store language specific data for the purpose of internationalization. The current directories are: ja_JP, ja_JP.SJIS, fr_FR, de_DE, and en_US. The desktop maps the value of the LANG environment variable to one of these values. If LANG is not set or if its value does not map to one of the recognized values, the default is en_US. This directory should be provided with every management object.

The following subsections describe the data which may reside in the language directories.

The picture.px file

A management object should have a specific icon to represent it on X.desktop. The pixmap for that icon must be in a file called picture.px. If this file does not exist or contains a corrupt pixmap, X.desktop assigns a default icon to the management object. It is possible to use the pixmap in this file to represent the management object in its closed or unused state and use another pixmap, open.px, to represent it in its open state.

The open.px file

If this file contains a valid pixmap and if the activate file uses the begin and finish keywords, the pixmap in this file is used by X.desktop to represent the management object in its open state. Refer to ``Examples'' for uses of the begin and finish deskshell keywords. This functionality is optional but is recommended because it gives the user a clear visual indication of the state of the management object.

The title file

This file should contain the title of the application in the corresponding language. The title file can contain a multi-line title. X.desktop uses the title to label the icon representing the application, while scoadmin uses the title in presenting the user with a list of the available applications. A file named title should reside in each of the language directories of a management object.

If the desktop cannot find a language directory matching the current language setting or an en_US language directory, it uses the name of the management object directory as the title of the application. The same applies if the desktop finds the appropriate language directory, but does not find a title file in it. In either of those cases, if the management object directory was named Printer Manager.obj then it will use Printer Manager as the title. It is recommended that management object directories have meaningful names. In the example given here, a space character is used in the name of the directory such that the title appears more legible. Note that this default behavior by X.desktop can be avoided by including an en_US language directory in each object.

The text file

A file named text within a language directory is similar to a message catalogue file. It contains any localized messages needed by the management object. For instance, if the activate file is to display a message to the user, the message should be localized and a variable used in its place as the message ID. See the example of a character-only application in ``Examples.''

Note that the text file is used to internationalize an object only by X.desktop and not by scoadmin. If an object is expected to be internationalized when invoked from scoadmin, the internationalization must be built into the activate.scoadmin executable. The only internationalization of an object handled by scoadmin is the title of the object.


These are examples of activate and activate.scoadmin files for three types of applications.

A character/MOTIF application

This example application is capable of running in both the character and MOTIF environments. vtcl (Visual Tcl) applications are an example of this type of application.

This activate file is very simple and merely executes the application:

Note the use of the begin and finish deskshell keywords. Although these keywords are optional in the most generic case, it is necessary if X.desktop is to use the open.px file to display a variant pixmap to indicate that the application is open. In other words, two things are needed in order for X.desktop to use a specific pixmap icon to indicate that the application is in use: an open.px file and the use of begin and finish in the activate file.

The following is a simple executable script:

   #! /bin/sh


Note that the first line invokes the shell. This file could have also been a csh, ksh, or Tcl executable, including a binary executable.

A character only application

In this example, the application is capable of running in a character environment only.

This very simple deskshell script puts up a scoterm, gives it a title, and runs the application in it:

   shell -t ''$myTitle'' mkdev hd; xdtwait
It uses the command xdtwait to ensure that the scoterm stays up until the application exits. Note that the title of the scoterm window is internationalized. A variable, myTitle is used in place of the title. myTitle is a variable which must be defined in the text file in each of the language directories of this management object. For example, the en_US directory should have a file named text with the following assignment:
   myTitle='Hard Disk Configuration'

   #! /bin/sh

if [ "$SCOADMIN_UIMODE" = CHARM ] then mkdev hd else scoterm -title "mkdev hd" -e sh -c "mkdev hd" fi

Note the use of the SCOADMIN_UIMODE environment variable. When scoadmin executes this script, it sets SCOADMIN_UIMODE to either MOTIF or CHARM according to the display environment. It is then up to the character-only management object to ensure that the management application is invoked correctly. In this example, if the MOTIF environment is detected, the application is run in a scoterm.

A MOTIF only application

This example uses scomail as an application which can only run in a MOTIF environment.

There are no tricks involved in the deskshell activate script of a MOTIF only application:


Here the SCOADMIN_UIMODE environment variable is used to identify the display environment. In a character environment, the application cannot be invoked and scoadmin is used to display a message to that effect:

   #! /bin/sh

if [ "$SCOADMIN_UIMODE" = CHARM ] then scoadmin -m "This application must be run in a MOTIF environment." else /usr/bin/X11/scomail fi


An object need not be limited to the described set of contents. X.desktop provides many features that can be utilized. For example, drag-and-drop functionality may be supported by an object, if appropriate, by including a drop script. As another example, if X.desktop is configured to display small icons, s_picture.px and s_open.px pixmaps may be included with an object. The X.desktop documentation should be referenced for detailed descriptions of the available functionality.


X.desktop activation file

SCOadmin desktop activation file

Icon pixmap

icon ``open'' pixmap

application title

application messages

See also

csh(C), ksh(C), scoadmin(ADM).

SCO Visual Tcl Programmer's Guide and Reference .

Standards conformance

scoadmin is not part of any currently supported standard; it is an extension of AT&T System V provided by The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.
© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003