Installing Security

Unlike its cousin Windows NT, OS/2 does not require that users enter a password in order to access their computer system. Instead OS/2 only requires that a password be entered prior to accessing other computers on the network. Security on the local computer is provided only as an option.

To install local security on an OS/2 system is a relatively straightforward process.

  1. Right Click on the Desktop and select Properties from the menu that appears. The section of the properties that we are concerned with to set up security consists of three pages attached to the Lockup tab.
  2. Page one allows you to select whether to automatically lock the system after a set period of inactivity (by selecting Automatic Lockup and a Delay period), it allows you to select whether or not to automatically lock the system when it first starts up (by selecting Lock on Startup), and it allows you to define whether the lockup will cover a partial screen or the full screen and whether or not to replace the screen image with a moving image of a lock to protect the screen (using the Autodim option.
  3. Page two allows you to choose between a Color Only background and an image. For a plain colour background there is a Change Color option allowing you to select the colour and for an image background there are fields that allow you to specify the image to use as well as whether to display the image Normal size in the centre of the screen, Tiled to fill the screen, or Scaled to fill the screen with a specified number of copies of the image in each direction (1 x 1 will fill the entire screen with a single copy of the image). There is also a small Preview field to show you what the selected background will look like.
  4. Page three controls the password required to unlock the screen. Screen Saver Mode tells the operating system that a password is not required to unlock the system while the two password fields allow you to set or change your password (with the second field acting as a confirmation that you didn't miskey your password).

Once you have configured security, your screen will automatically lock at startup (if you selected that option), after the given period of inactivity (if you selected that option), or when you right click on the desktop and select Shutdown Now from the menu. If you didn't select screen saver mode and you didn't enter a password then each time that you manually lock your screen you will be asked to set the password to unlock it.

The screen when locked does not display a field for you to input your password so as to unlock the screen. Instead all you need to do is to type your password in on the keyboard and press the enter key in order to unlock the screen.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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