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Thread: Multiple Users on Small School Server

  1. #1
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    Multiple Users on Small School Server

    Hello all, this is my first post, so I apologize if this is in the wrong forum.

    I'm fairly new to Ubuntu, but have managed as a part time volunteer to get about 40 PCs running 10.04 at our small school (each one, more or less independent). Currently, we have 3 identical logins on each PC (admin, teacher, student) and each account has access to different directories on a separate server PC (via a basic NFS setup). Thus, students can log in on any computer and access their own files. The disadvantage is that students can see / change / modify other students' files as well.

    I know that it is possible, but don't know how to set things up so that students would each have a unique login, and have their own unique home directory loaded onto whatever PC they are actually using at the time.

    If anyone could provide me with a simple solution to this, it would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you all in advance.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2011
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Multiple Users on Small School Server

    You should look in to both openldap and samba. Both can do what you are looking for. I can provide more info later if you have questions at the moment I am on my cell phone though.

  3. #3
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    Re: Multiple Users on Small School Server

    Quote Originally Posted by Dangertux View Post
    You should look in to both openldap and samba. Both can do what you are looking for. I can provide more info later if you have questions at the moment I am on my cell phone though.
    Hello Dangertux - I've been looking into ldap, but the docs I've come across all seem to tell you a lot of technical details, but with no examples.

    What I'm looking for (and I hope it's realistic), are some simple examples to get me started.

    When I needed to set up shared files on a server with NFS, I fortunately found a site that said "add this line to your export file, and this line to your fstab file". I did it, and voila, it worked. Perhaps it isn't quite that simple, but if someone could steer me to some examples (which include both server and client), that would be the most use to me!

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Nov 2008
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    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Multiple Users on Small School Server

    If you're using NFS, the easiest solution is to install NIS on the server and create user accounts for each user. Once properly configured, each user can log in with his or her username and password and have the corresponding /home/user server directory mounted as that person's home directory.
    Last edited by SeijiSensei; September 26th, 2011 at 02:24 PM.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2011
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    Re: Multiple Users on Small School Server

    There is also NIS server/client that can share the password/group so you don't have to maintain multiple users.

    Another one is a radius server which also does this.

    Another option for your setup is LTSP which is a thin-client based system where all the software runs on a server and sends the graphical destkop to the clients. The client machines boot off the network card and have no operating system installed. This way you only have to configure one machine. This would also solve your user issue immediately because all users are setup on one machine.

    I know these aren't examples of what you were asking for but hopefully it may steer you in the right direction. Some of this is a bit complicated to setup so you might need some more help.

  6. #6
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    Re: Multiple Users on Small School Server

    Use Zentyal with 10.04 or 10.10 clients. It is EASY EASY EASY to set up. You can install the Zentyal-Desktop client onto their machines that setups the ldap practically automatically.

    www.zentyal.com

  7. #7
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    Re: Multiple Users on Small School Server

    I truly believe Zentyal is exactly what you are looking for. Its based on 10.04 server. It has a web interface and a lxde server gui. It is a firewall, internet gateway, mail, chat, and even a voip server. It also has the option for paid support. Its documentation is amazing and its support forum is great as well. Check it out, you wont be dissapointed!

  8. #8
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    Sep 2011
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    Re: Multiple Users on Small School Server

    Thanks for the quick responses.

    I"ll look at NIS and Zentyal.

    If anyone has more ideas (or especially, examples of both server and client setup), please mention those too!

  9. #9
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    Re: Multiple Users on Small School Server

    Quote Originally Posted by ricmat View Post
    Thanks for the quick responses.

    I"ll look at NIS and Zentyal.

    If anyone has more ideas (or especially, examples of both server and client setup), please mention those too!
    I can use my company as an example.

    Zentytal server. 100 users.
    Using for LDAP, SMTP for Printers to send scans, and file server.
    It is also the PDC for Windows Xp and 7 boxes. It is also integrated with a few Ubuntu machines as well. Works great.

  10. #10
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    Re: Multiple Users on Small School Server

    Quote Originally Posted by collisionystm View Post
    I can use my company as an example.

    Zentytal server. 100 users.
    Using for LDAP, SMTP for Printers to send scans, and file server.
    It is also the PDC for Windows Xp and 7 boxes. It is also integrated with a few Ubuntu machines as well. Works great.
    The key things I'm looking for are a centralized user login/database accessible from Ubuntu computers, and a "auto download of this user's home directory from the server when he logs in".

    Is the Office version of Zentyal the right one to do this?

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