RE: Windows Server to Debian migration
> I am the network administrator for one school of my
> university and I am considering migrating our Windows 2000
> Server to Debian due to some stability issues and of course
> the financial factors.
> We only have one windows server in the network and it is
> providing nearly every service offered on our network. It is
> configured with Active Directory and DNS, serves student web
> pages, provides ftp access, acts as a file server,
> authenticates logins, and is probably used to send
> pornographic spam to the children of th world when I'm not
> paying attention.
> Being one of Microsofts finest products, it provides ALMOST
> an entire week of solid performance before a yet unknown
> application kills the server process preventing all logins
> including logging into or unlocking the console, meaning it
> requires a press of the power button to shutdown windows.
> The weekly reboots required to keep the server functional are
> annoying because they always seem to be required when it is
> least convienant for me to make the 30 min ride into work to
> press the power button twice and drive home... so its time to
> start working toward a more stable solution.
> I've been researching this problem for over 6 months trying
> every far-out idea I come across to find the cause to no
> avail... I give up, so either I rebuild the network with W2K
> server, or go with linux. Considering I'll never get the
> funds to upgrade to a new Windows server version in the
> future, likely forcing me to go with linux at that point; I
> figure I'll just get ahead of the game and go linux now.
> My questions for all of you very helpful type people are:
> 1. The server is a Dell PowerEdge 2500 dual Xeon, 1GB RAM
> with a PERC 3/Di RAID controller, would I have any issues
> with hardware support? I'm pretty sure I'll be ok, but I'd
> love to have someone tell me that it's better than
> supported... It's flawless." Or something close!
> 2. Is it possible to build and configure the server on a
> spare workstation, then when I am satisfied with the
> configuration and have tested everything, migrate the
> configuration from the workstation to the actual server
> hardware (I can't afford the down time it would take my
> newbie ass to install and configure everything). If so, how
> difficult is this and could I get a rough overview of the
> process to get my research started?
> 3. I currently have 3 Debian servers on the network, one
> LAMP server for our intranet and two 750 GB file servers
> (one's a rsnapshot backup of most of the other) providing
> data storage, and disk based backups of the windows server.
> The file servers currently use winbind to authenticate their
> Samba shares to the Active Directory... What will I have to
> do so that these servers will still allow access once the
> Windows Server is gone. Will I have to create 200+ users on
> each of my Samba servers, or should I use some sort of
> central authentication. Any advice on this issue would be welcome.
> 4. Our windows server currently runs Symantec AV daily to
> try to keep the spread of viruses via the file server at a
> minimum... Is there a equally good free product for linux
> that I could use to scan the user data. I'm not worried much
> about protecting the server from viruses cuz I know there
> aren't many for linux... But I'd hate to have my users (who
> can't seem to sit at the same computer twice) to spread it
> around my labs.
> 5. Considering that I'm fairly inexperienced with linux I
> would have to say that it is likely that my current windows
> server is more secure than anything I would put together with
> linux, apart from the rediculous holes within the OS itself
> anyway. Is there an easy way to ensure a resonable level of
> security without needing to research too deep into securing
> linux, securing apache, securing ftp, securing... I don't
> have the time to do much more than keep it patched once it's
> set up. The server is behind a BSD router that is managed by
> someone far more experienced with such things than I, so
> other than the few ports I'll have forwarded in the router (SSH, HTTP,
> FTP) the server should be relatively safe from outside attacks.
> 6. Any suggestions about migrating users and their data?
> 7. Finally, other than the Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Bible, which
> I understand is the best resource for all things Debian...
> Are there any other texts I shouldn't go without in this quest.
> I'm sorry this is such a long post, I just wanted to try and
> answer all your potential questions before they were asked.
> I'm not looking for a detailed howto, I know how to research
> and figure things out, I simply have a very hard time
> deciding what is the best approach to most things in linux.
> That and any pitfalls to watch outfor or issues I'm likely to
> face if I follow your suggestions would be great so I don't
> get discouraged before I'm done.
> Once completed, this will be a far more complicated solution
> than I have ever implemented with linux, so please try to
> take it easy. I'm still a newbie, hopefully I'll feel
> deserving of a better title once the project is complete!
> Here's 1/2 ton of thanks in advance, other half on completion
> of the project!
Thanks to all of you who have responded so far!
Right now I am trying to decide how I will migrate from a test server I will
be setting up to to the production server. I always work a project
backwards when planning, that way I always know where I'm going.
If I used dd to copy the disks, and assuming I didn't compile a custom
kernel, should the changes in hardware really matter. Both machines will
use smp kernels, so essentially wouldn't the new hardware be detected and
If not, I figure once I have the test server configured and ready for the
real thing I can use
dpkg --get-selections > file
dpkg --get-selections < file
To replicate the installed packages on the production server. But that
done, how do I replicate the configuration of those packages between
machines. I simply need the configuration of all the packages, the
structure of my OpenLDAP install, apache, ftp, samba, and any other
customizations I make. Any accounts and data I created on the test server
can be recreated.
Is there a tool or other simple way to do this. Or should I just keep a log
of every file I modify and just copy those files.
Any advice would be appreciated. I really don't want to do this piecemeal
as suggested, mostly because I think the first thing I would need to set up
is ldap since other services may need to be configured to authenticate
against it... and I'm not sure I want to try and figure out how to integrate
ldap with a windows AD server for authentication.
Does anyone have any experience replicating a Debian install from one
machine to a entirely different machine? I'm sure it's been done, but what
is the easiest way to maintain package configuration and account for the
enormous changes in hardware?