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Re: slightly-OT: centralized user management

On (29/07/05 20:01), Roberto C. Sanchez wrote:
> 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.

Hi Roberto

Not long after I started getting to grips with debian, I asked a similar
question and a guy call Todd Pytel sent me a lot of info and suggestions
for solutions (some of it off-list).  You should be able to find the
thread by searching on the following:

Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2003 21:44:05 -0500
Subject: Re: NIS and Samba - can't authenticate Windows 98 clients

I'm happy to foward you the off-list stuff as well; I am ashamed to say
that some two years later I've not yet acted on it.  Currently I'm using
samba mainly to avoid host based authentication of NFS but I too would
like to find a better solution with centralised authentication.  

The smbclient situation in linux is less than satisfactory but seems to
be a well kept secret.  I tried xffm, smb4k and a few other network
browsers; reading files works OK but writing to the shares either
doesn't seem to be possible or erratic at best.

Consequently, I mount all the samba shares on the debian workstations at
boot with fstab.  But it would be good to find a (windows like) network
browser that is 100% reliable or alternatively find a different solution
with the same functionality.

Todd gave me a lot of info that I didn't understand fully; these are
the sort of networking issues that 'float his boat' ;)  I really need to
re-read it with the benefit of two years debian/linux experience; it
will hopefully mean more to me now.



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