[K12OSN] Apple Folks

Jim Kronebusch jim at winonacotter.org
Mon Jun 13 13:24:24 UTC 2005

> 1) I currently use NIS, but plan to switch to LDAP.  Is it 
> possible for 
> OSX to authenticate to an LDAP server?
> 2) How about mounting /home directories?  Can the user's directory be 
> pointed to an NFS/SAMBA/ETC sharepoint, or do you just have 
> to figure a 
> way to mount a document folder on their desktop?

For questions 1 and 2 check out my tutorial here
This will setup OSX to authenticate to a SAMBA/LDAP server, automount
the /home, and store the entire user contents in /home giving you
roaming profiles.

> 3) Is a program like DeepFreeze required when using OSX?  If 
> so, does it 
> work well with network authentication & directory sharing?

If you do want to lock down a user that far OSX has a built in tool for
locking down applications and such.  But I am going to try just letting
them use a non-privileged user.  Since you need root or admin rights to
install applications I think I will just try it first.  If I have
trouble I will lock it down tighter.

> 4) Anyone know if files saved in Microsoft Office 2004 (on 
> OSX) can be 
> edited in openoffice?  How about going from Office 98 (on my OS9 
> machines) to Office 2004?  Do the 2 versions of MS Office play well 
> together?

Count on being able to go from 98 to 2004 but not the other way.  Most
things will work but powerpoints and more complicated stuff will most
likely have small glitches.  You can save down but this usually
increases the filesize dramatically.  As far as Open Office
compatibility, I am still skeptical.  Basic things seem to work fine,
but when I get into borders, tables, styles, inserted pictures, then
stuff starts to get substituted and things like to shift around.  It
reads them, it could just use better glasses in my opinion.

> 5) If a user's /home directory is mounted on the eMac, can abilities 
> still be locked down?  (ie, changing things in the hard drive, or 
> setting the background, removing dock items, etc)

I think the built in OSX tool will still apply.  But I haven't tested
it, I will check it out.

> 6) If the /home directory stores everything, so each user has 
> a unique 
> environment -- what kind of load on the network does that NFS share 
> take?  More than a thin client?

I will unfortunately find that out under fire.  I will have all of our
macs switched over running with /home mounted from the LDAP server by
the end of the summer.  I hope speeds are sufficient.  We upgraded to a
complete gigabit backbone to help handle the load.  I wouldn't think it
to be extreme since the files stay on the server.  The only transfer I
think should be while editing, I have my fingers crossed :-)

> It looks like I had all questions, and no ideas.  :)  (ok, well, the 
> ideas sparked the questions, so I'll forgive myself!)

Here is my question.  I asked this to the list a few weeks ago.  This
setup will be great (I hope) except for laptops.  I need a way to sync
the server /home and user with a local user on the laptop.  Otherwise
when they bring the machine home they will have no files.  And they will
have to use some other local user.


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