Saturday, January 16, 2021¶
The content below was a first draft. Read User sessions for what it has become.
Limiting the number of simultaneous user sessions per site¶
A new core feature for Lino would be that the site maintainer can set the sessions limit of a site.
- sessions limit
The maximum number of simultaneous end user sessions that are allowed on this site.
This setting could be used by a hosting provider for negotiating their price. After signing in, an end user might potentially get a message “Sorry, there are already X users working on this site. Please try again later.”
Should we use
ipdict for this? Or rather
We can assume that all Lino sites that want to use this feature will also use
django.contrib.sessions and the database backend. I played around and
did something like this:
from lino.api import rt from lino.core.auth import SESSION_KEY for ses in rt.models.sessions.Session.objects.all(): data = ses.get_decoded() user = users.User.objects.get(pk=data[SESSION_KEY]) print(user.username, ses.session_key, ses.expire_date, data)
Note that a session is created only when a user has authenticated. Se we cannot
sessions to replace
ipdict because the main purpose of
ipdict is to protect against brute-force attacks, i.e. it acts
before any session is created.
At the moment
ipdict is not suitable for sites with
very many users because it stores every connection in an in-memory dict. We
might optimize it some day in the future to remove every entry after a
So it is more future-proof to use
implementing our new feature. And to even reimplement the ipdict.Connections
table to use sessions instead of ipdict.
Sessions are deleted only when the user signs out manually. If a user signs in from a different device or a different browser, they get a new session.
The default value for
SESSION_COOKIE_AGE is two weeks, which makes
sense: if you use Lino once a week, you don’t want to sign in each time. We
don’t want to change this. But a site operator won’t be happy if
inactive sessions are being counted when evaluating their sessions limit.
A user signs in, starts working in Lino, then goes for a coffee break. The break lasts longer than one hour. Meanwhile other users have tried to sign in and the site’s sessions limit has been reached.