[CentOS] Simple solution for small network in a school ?

Sat Jul 10 15:31:29 UTC 2010
Robert Heller <heller at deepsoft.com>

At Sat, 10 Jul 2010 16:59:44 +0200 CentOS mailing list <centos at centos.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> I have to install a small network in a school in a nearby village. The 
> network will be Linux-only, one server and fifteen desktops. Here's the 
> idea.
> 1) Authentication should be managed centrally on the server.

LDAP (install openldap-servers on the server, install openldap-clients
on the clients).

> 2) User home directories should also be on the server.

NFS (everything you need is installed by default)

> 3) Users should all have disk quotas, something like 1 GB per user.

ext2/ext3 (everything you need is installed by default)

> 4) Some shared directories should be read/write for a defined group of 
> users (teachers) and read-only for others.

Standard UNIX uid/gid, served by LDAP, and handled by NFS.

> So far, I've only dealt with local authentication. I have a little 
> practice in basic setups of Samba and NFS and managed to get these to 
> work OK. On the other hand, I've never worked with NIS, LDAP or the likes.

LDAP is pretty straightforward.  There is a quite good article about
setting up LDAP (OpenLDAP) and migrating from file-based authentication
on the RedHat RHEL documentation site (this applys equally well to

> My question is more general, and I don't want to go into technical 
> details. According to the KISS principle, which solution would you 
> recommend (or explicitly *not* recommend)? A mix of LDAP and Samba? Or 
> NIS and NFS? And what's this thing called Directory Server, which 
> vaguely sounds like it's the right way to go?

LDAP and NFS.  Samba really only makes sense if you are serving
MS-Windows and/or Macs.  Samba would be combersome in a pure-Linux
environment.  NFS would propagate standard UNIX permissions
transparently.  You could also use automount to reduce 'clutter' (only
mount what is needfull on an as-needed basis). 



For an article on how I set things up at our local Library.  While this
article mostly covers a server serving a bunch of *diskless*
workstations, many of the basic ideas also apply to a situation with
workstations with local disks.

> Any suggestions?
> Cheers from the hot South of France,
> Niki
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Robert Heller             -- 978-544-6933
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