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slightly-OT: centralized user management


I currently have a small home network (1 server, 1 workstation, 1
laptop) with only two users.  What I would like to do is to setup some
sort of centralized user authentication mechanism (NIS, LDAP, whatever)
with home directories mounted from the server.  This is primarily since
I will be adding more machines and more users in the near future.

I would like recommendations/experiences from the list on what is a good
approach and maybe some resources.  The server already runs NFS, and I
have experience with a combined NIS/NFS setup for a computer lab I
formerly admined.

One thing that is an absolute necessity is a sort of "roaming profile"
support similar to that which is available with certain Redmond-based
legacy operating systems.  Specifically, logging into machine A will
cause a "copy" of my $HOME to be cached on the machine.  Machine A is a
laptop and I unplug it from the network.  I would like to be able to
login to the machine, make changes to my files/whatever and then have
them automagically sync up with the server next time machine A
reconnects to the network at home.  This may obviate the need for NFS.
Additionally, it would be necessary for the login credentials to be
cached so that disconnected login would actually work.  I am pretty sure
that this is possible, but I am not really sure what the best approach
is.  Ideas and recommendations are welcome.


Roberto C. Sanchez

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