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Linux implementation for a Campus

Link to this post 18 Jun 09

So I've been tinkering back and forward about implementing a client/server Linux system for my campus as my third year project. But as of yet I only know that it is possible to do because I have read a lot of blogposts about people, specially in Finland, who have deployed Linux in schools.

So I want to implement Linux as a client/server system where the clients applications are managed by the server and kept up to date by it. But I don't know whether or not the applications should actually be located on the server or on the client. I got no clue if having the applications on the servers will place too much load on the network and becoming hard to scale. Or if having the applications on the clients will make the updating impossible, which hardly can be true but.

One thing that is sure is that /home must be on the server, mobile and mounted at login to the server. On campus there is an existing Windows system where each user has a small SMB share for saving some stuff. I want this to be attatched to the /home that the user is getting.

And I also want the Login to be inherited by the existing Windows System and that to be used against the Proxy Server.

Could someone explain to me how some of these things can be done, what Distribution I want to use for the server respective Clients and maybe point me somewhere explaining how something like this has been done before.

Why the heck aren't .svg files allowed as imeages nor file attatchments. Makes no sense to me. Where can I file a bug?
Now I had to first convert it to a GIMP .xcf to convert it to a .png that I could upload.

Here is how I for the moment think the system should be architectured:

Link to this post 18 Jun 09

To setup apps to be run from a mainframe or server you can use ssh by passing a command to launch an X based app on the remote host, however this will eat bandwidth and the applications will be a bit slow.
To run the apps locally and maintain the updates that you want you can setup a cron script that tells the hosts to download and install updates from a local server or pass the download and installation commands to the hosts through ssh and a script.

To have all users' home directory centralized you can setup all host machines to connect to a centralize NFS server and mount the NFS share as the home directory. You will not want to do this with a fat share because the Linux permissions won't apply, but you can setup a SMB server that has shares based on your AD permissions and have a script mount the users' shares as a file on their desktop when they first login to a Linux system.

Now for the good question, how to use Active Directory as the authentication mechanism for Linux, check google there are many apps that you can use.

http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1563


For your choice of distro, the best bet is to use one that you are comfortable with that also has a good security history. I would recommend one that uses apt or yum so that you can tell the systems to automatically update from your local repository to keep the systems up-to-date.

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