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Ok so I am getting sick of using windows at work, and I was thinking of using linux but there are two limitations that I can think of that I will need to overcome before I go and make the switch. 1, the network that I will be on as most workplaces uses an active directory, is it possible to connect and login to a active directory under linux? 2, Microsoft exchange. will it be possible to connect to an exchange server and send and receive emails from multiple mail boxes? Also will the software allow me to use it with out cached exchange mode?
Now if any of that is possible, I know picking a distro mainly comes down to personal choice. But do you think that one particular one will suit this situation? I was thinking of using fedora, as I am using centos and redhat for the servers here. Might as well keep it in the family :P
Well, considering you are using RedHat and CentOS already, it may be to your advantage to keep it in the family! My two cents is to try using Ubuntu! I think it's great, the apt system for updates and software installation IMHO is better than yum, having had my own experiences with fedora and CentOS. It's generally far easier to install libraries and extra hardware with ubuntu than fedora. Others will differ I have no doubt!
Please note, I have an LDAP server and an AD server, most of my users are on the LDAP server, and I find it easier, hence I don't have this problem. My AD server is only used for XP machines, and that suits me! I wouldn't even have an AD, only we need a Win 2003 server for some apps.
I dare say most of the directions for setting up authentication against an AD machine is reasonably similar for most other distros?
I would say also stick with Fedora or CentOS as a desktop. I do believe Evolution email client can link with AD. I've never used linux in a work environment, but some Systems Analysts did install Redhat/Fedora for test purpose.
While we use Slackware at work here, I have to agree with the previous comments. Since you are already working in a RH/Cent environment it would probably be pretty seamless to to move to Cent on the desktop, or RH if you needed/wanted paid support. Fedora tend to be too much a shifting and experimental environment for use in a production setting (in my opinion). RH and Cent on the other hand are quite stable.
I do believe Evolution email client can link with AD.
I had Linux at my old job and Evolution was unable to connect to our Exchange server. I think typically Evolution has this capability, but I think it will ultimately depend on how the Exchange server is setup as to whether or not it will work successfully. If I were you, I'd definitely give it a thorough test before making the commitment.
I have started my testing and am finding this to be quite the tricky task. I decided to go with CentOS 5 to "keep it in the family"
I found an old comp in the office and loaded CentOS 5 onto it and started to attempt to get it to join the AD as per this guide http://blog.wazollc.com/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=2 now everything went well except when I tried to restart. Message bus service hangs… so I fixed that as per this bug report http://bugs.centos.org/view.php?id=2047 (Adding parameter “bind_policy soft” into /etc/ldap.conf ) rebooted and it started up fine.. and now it just wont let me log on with a account from the active directory. and i have no idea where to start trouble shooting?