Originally Posted by Tornieria
Apologies if I am not sure what I am talking about here. I am trying to setup an office network which was going to be run off windows 2003. However, Someone recently said that I could use linux instead so I have been looking at the Ubuntu Server which sounds really good.
I want to server to manage user profiles, create security policies, internet gateway/proxy, private file directories, shared file directories, printer sharing, and act as a firewall. Is the correct term for this LDAP? In the future I would also like to be able to setup a private VPN so users can access their files from home.
Can this Ubuntu Server replace Windows Server 2003 and will it do the job? If so, is this a better idea than using Windows Server 2003?
Well, this is certainly the wrong place to ask something like "Is Ubuntu better than Windows?"...
That being said, you could do it in several ways, and yes, you could totally replace Windows with Ubuntu, or any other Linux flavor too. LDAP is one authentication method you could use, as is active-directory.
If you're going to keep Windows in your environment, but replace the file/print server with Linux, I'd fire up Samba, and have it act as a PDC. Set up your Windows accounts/printers/etc., as you normally would, and enjoy. LDAP is a bit more 'industrial strength'....supported by LOTS of different platforms, but not tied to any one in particular. A Linux LDAP server will look and behave the same way as one on a Solaris server, Windows server, etc.
Part of what's great about Linux, is that to try both solutions will cost you nothing but your time and some reading. Deploy them both, and you can actually run them side-by-side, on the same box, giving you a migration path later, if you want to dump Windows totally, but still support it for now.