[K12OSN] OT - what's the easiest route to centralized authentication and home folders?

Nick Fenger nick at trilliumcharterschool.org
Tue Jul 22 05:35:32 UTC 2008


I first set up a centralized LDAP server and home exports some 4 years ago
now. We had only 30 clients butI I had five Dual PIII 700 servers that I
wanted to spread the load out on. I was a complete noob to linux when I set
that up and used the the Fedora K12LTSP distro and ran the Samba/LDAP script
without any issues. I even had some windows 2000 boxes authenticating to it
for a while.

We've scaled up to a single dual quad core Xenon running some 60 clients now
and I have kept the separate LDAP box. I have LAM running on it but still
use the smbldap-* commands to do just about all of my adding and removal of
users. There's even a way for users to change their own passwords now
(although I'm not sure this has saved me any time considering my middle
schoolers are always changing their passwords to something they can't


On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 12:59 PM, Carl Keil <carl at snarlnet.com> wrote:

> Hey folks,
> Starting from scratch, what's the best way to centralize logins and file
> serving for a mixed group of linux (ubuntu) and Windows XP (home)
> workstations.  The school is also talking about installing a Mac.  I'm
> thinking of trying the Samba/LDAP script on Centos 5 K12LTSP.  Is there a
> better (easier) way to go?  How would you do it if you were starting from
> scratch and actually implementing thin clients was a ways off in your
> planning?  Should I go 64 bit?  The server I'm thinking of using is a
> Pentium D.
> This needs to serve about 50 students - 10 staff and volunteers
> 17 workstations mixed Ubuntu / Windows (for now)  - possibly all on at the
> same time.
> My plan so far is to install Centos 5 K12LTSP on a repurposed workstation
> with a mirrored software RAID for the home directories.
> Install backupPC on another repurposed workstation for nightly backups of
> above.
> Use the Samba/LDAP script to export /home and provide authentication for
> everybody. I intend to use LDAP for the school's Joomla site, possibly
> Moodle, an attendance program, etc. after I get the initial server set up.
> Any suggestions?  Is this overkill for 50 students?  We have $0 budget for
> this.
> Thank you so much,
> ck
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Trillium Charter School
MS Math & Technology Teacher
Technology Coordinator
Database Administrator


Trillium Charter School is democratically-structured environment that
fosters students' natural curiosity, creativity, and self-awareness.
Students learn to take initiative and assume responsibility for their own
learning, which supports constructive interaction with the local, regional,
and global community.
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