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*nix Thread, How can I make a directory server with home folders? in Technical; I am a computer teacher at a primary school. I am wondering if there is a linux distro that I ...
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    How can I make a directory server with home folders?

    I am a computer teacher at a primary school.
    I am wondering if there is a linux distro that I can use as a fileserver that can:


    a) authenticate users


    b) automatically mount their home folder on the server.



    Can I get this to work with both linux and windows desktops?
    Last edited by Oakie; 12th March 2010 at 11:29 PM.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    you can do this with ubuntu and samba

    Toby

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    you can do this with ubuntu and samba
    This recent thread might come in handy:

    Configuring Samba

    --
    David Hicks

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    I think my title and description were too broad and vague.

    I have some general experience with linux distros. Old redhat 7.2, Suse 9, ubunutu intrepid. I have tried samba and webmin and samba conf. file.

    I've never really gotten the configuration or results that I am after. As a computer teacher at a primary school, I use a Win 2003 DC and Xp clients daily.

    Now I am working on a Masters degree in educational technology. Up for consideration for my thesis is a bit of research into why more primary schools don't embrace Linux, not simply at the desktop level but at the server level and particularly as a Domain Controller and file server.


    In my limited experience, I have found that it is fairly simple to implement a linux webserver and especially now that many come with all the LAMP stack pre-installed and or preconfigured.

    I have not found the same to be true with a linux Domain Controller type of fileserver. I would like a preconfigured appliance type linux Distro that would act as a Domain controller allowing XP and Win7 clients to join the domain, make it simple to add user and machine accounts, authenticate users at log-on, allow the configuration of mandatory roaming profiles and automatically map a drive to the logged on user's home folders.

    In a nutshell, I am looking for a windows domain controller functionality in a preconfigured linux distro. Reading various info on the net seems to indicate that linux does not have the advanced desktop control functionality using Group Policy or ADM type files. I am fine with that. I am looking for something relatively simple to implement as opposed to requiring a PHD in linux knowledge to cobble together a Debian distro with an alpha version of samba 4. I cannot justify advocating linux in the schools as DC / fileserver if it's that difficult.

    If there is any one here who has actual hands on experience doing what I am interested in, I would like to hear your experiences. I'll understand if all this searching for the holy grail in the linux world is not yet ready for primetime.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    As far as i am aware there is no pre-configured systems out there that will do what you are after. I think the reason many schools especially primary have not implemented the linux dc/fileserver type thing is simple because it is not as easy as simple as next next next like windows can be. but you do have to edit the config files yourself. I sure in time stuff like the samba setup will be as simple as windows is but you have to remember that the linux distro's havn't had as much time/money thrown into them as Windows has.

    I do agree if somebody did set up a linux distro which was alot simpler to implement then I'm sure more primary schools would adopt it but if somebody/a company spends the amount of time that is most likely needed for it to be so simple they are going to want money/something at the end of the line.

    Toby

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    I have looked for a simple way to do just what you have outlined. I had hoped to use a linux distro as a replacement for our Netware servers as we began looking at a migration path. The complexity and lack of *nix experience on my staff led us to migrate to a full MS environment for our file servers.

    Ben

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    Hi,

    Have you looked at Karoshi Linux - Linux based OS designed for schools. ?

    This covers pretty much anything you seem to want, a preconfigured, easy to manage, authenticating, file serving, and so on.

    http://linuxgfx.co.uk/moodle/mod/res...view.php?id=39

    The main/lead developer linuxgirlie is a member on here.

    BoX

  8. 2 Thanks to box_l:

    glennda (29th March 2010), Oakie (31st March 2010)

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oakie View Post
    I would like a preconfigured appliance type linux Distro that would act as a Domain controller allowing XP and Win7 clients to join the domain, make it simple to add user and machine accounts, authenticate users at log-on, allow the configuration of mandatory roaming profiles and automatically map a drive to the logged on user's home folders.
    Ah ha. We discussed this at the Open Source Schools session on Friday - see this thread, and the comments that follow it:

    Moving Forward with Open Source, a Network Manager's Perspective | Open Source Schools

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    David Hicks

  10. Thanks to dhicks from:

    Oakie (31st March 2010)

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    Hi

    Do you have a domain already. If you already have a domain you might be able to get a tera station pro that will join to the domain and you can set up permissions. Plus dont forget to backup your new server.

    Richard

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    Now I am working on a Masters degree in educational technology. Up for consideration for my thesis is a bit of research into why more primary schools don't embrace Linux, not simply at the desktop level but at the server level and particularly as a Domain Controller and file server.
    The Domain Controller/GPO/AD setup is the Microsoft way of running a server/client network.

    The main reason for there not being a Linux equivalent is that the MS model is considered to work OK - its cheap (in education anyway) and loads of people know how to support it.

    There's no real reason to change apart from change for change sake and to break a monopoly.

    But because the monopoly is generally benevolent (especialyy to most of the people employed around here) and is understood and keeps them in their jobs - there's no incentive to change.

    Now - you want to come up with a clone of the MS model.

    I'd suggest that for a Masters - you should come up with something different

    I personally, spit in the eye of the domain controller model in my primary schools and life seems to work without the need to lock down and control every aspect of a pupils IT experience

    regards

    Simon

  13. #11
    coquet636
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    Quote Originally Posted by box_l View Post
    Hi,

    Have you looked at Karoshi Linux - Linux based OS designed for schools. ?

    This covers pretty much anything you seem to want, a preconfigured, easy to manage, authenticating, file serving, and so on.

    http://linuxgfx.co.uk/moodle/mod/res...view.php?id=39

    The main/lead developer linuxgirlie is a member on here.

    BoX
    Another one for karoshi here, we have it up and running and it works very well indeed. Although its been my assistant speaking to Linuxgirlie we have found her very helpful for gettign it configured.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    its cheap (in education anyway)
    Until you want to authenticate external users against your AD server, at which point you need a user CAL for each user, which quickly gets pricy if you want accounts for all your pupils and their parents.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    Now - you want to come up with a clone of the MS model.

    I'd suggest that for a Masters - you should come up with something different

    I personally, spit in the eye of the domain controller model in my primary schools and life seems to work without the need to lock down and control every aspect of a pupils IT experience

    regards

    Simon
    I am actually coming up with something different, as I had a few Master's thesis topics under consideration, but I still am intrigued with finding an opensource way to solve the same problems that the MS AD structure solves so well and easily. Karoshi looks promising and I've recently found Turnkey Linux that has several premade linux appliances, one of which claims to be a drop in replacement for a PDC. Domain Controller Appliance | TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

    I used to lock everything down, but over the years I've relaxed the policies more and more. This has really been possible on the desktop level with the implementation of the faronics deep freeze product. This is why I don't mind if a linux solution lacks the GPO functionality, but still makes me wonder how to deal with patch management if the clients are primarily windows machines.

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    Have a look at WPKG which I use as my method of software deployment.

    regards

    Simon

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    I wrote a wiki on this:
    Samba Homedirectory

    It's very simple to setup, shouldn't take more than an hour. It has more features than the windows equivalent and is free.

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