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Re: [K12OSN] LDAP...what is it and how can it help me

On Tue, 7 Jan 2003, David Trask wrote:

>Not trying to sound like an idiot here....and I do know a little about
>LDAP, but I need more info.  I love the idea of having a master server
>that handles all authentication for all users on all platforms...etc.   My
>Windows users....my Mac users....and my K12LTSP folks.  Can LDAP
>essentially do this?  

It can.

>Would LDAP allow me to set up a /home directory
>server that is accessible to all networks (Win XP and Macs) as well as be
>able to export to my LSTP server so my Linux terminal users can access the
>same home directory as well? (thus keeping the home dirs, data and users
>off the LTSP box essentially making upgrades much less painful)  

This is how we have our networks setup. 

>followed the discussions about LDAP, but with not too much interest as I'm
>not in the position to use it yet, but this coming summer I'd like to try
>something different.  I currently use an SME (E-Smith) box as my PDC and
>file server for everyone on Win XP and Macs.   My LTSP folks are on the
>LTSP server and are unable to access their stuff on the SME/E-Smith box
>(they can see it via Samba, but I can't get it so they can write to
>it...any ideas?)  
>I'm playing with two possibilities:
>Next year (in the fall) going with a stock RedHat serverwith 2 nics (one
>for my LAN and one for the LTSP network) as my PDC and file server and
>exporting the home dirs via NFS to the LTSP box....and then copying the
>user and passwd files between the 2 servers....I think some folks are
>doing that now although I think they manually copy or sync the group,
>user, and passwd files.
>Maybe using LDAP in some form or another is the way to go.  Can folks
>advise me on this?  Where can I find good how-to's or web sites that can
>tell me a lot more about LDAP.  I need to learn as I'm getting the feeling
>from you guys on the list that LDAP is the way to go.

LDAP requires a change in thinking. That makes it hard.

LDAP itself is really pretty simple and the concepts required to tie
your various services together with LDAP is really pretty simple. Getting
your mind around it, however, tends to be anything but simple.

It is a bit like DNS. DNS is really hard to learn. Once you have managed
to learn DNS, it all seems obvious.

In my copious spare time, I've been trying to lower the learning curve
on LDAP. I *really*, *really* need to spend more time on this. As I've
said before, I firmly believe that centralized account management is 
the key to world domination ;-)

>I want to grow and integrate my K12LTSP environment.  The response has
>been very good from teachers and kids....I need to tie it all together...I
>can't continue with two seperate networks in the sense that the Linux
>folks can't save in a place that they can't access from any other machine
>on any platform.  I also need to streamline my creation of users and so
>forth....between email, domain (file server) and LTSP....I'm duplicating
>way too many users and my users are having to remember too many passwords
>and stuff.  Any help would be appreciated.

Integration and Account Management continues to become more and more of 
a problem for me and the schools I support. I have seen my schools become
more heterogeneous over the last couple of years and I expect that trend to
continue. I think I'm going to start working on a HOWTO...


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