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Sorry if this post annoys, but I'm looking for some much needed direction. Help!
I've recently come into a position where I need to set-up an inter-departmental domain which will eventually have about (+/-)200 users. The department I'm working for is running XP on all the workstations and has a strong desire to go with Linux on the server based on its "free-ness" first and "security" second. I realize that $ is not the best reason to do this, but it isn't my call at this point. At least they spent the $ to go with nice new server hardware. Anyway...
I need to be able to rapidly generate different account types with roaming profiles, set password expirations, set account expirations, set file quotas, set print quotas, establish a large "temp" directory, share printers, regulate traffic, and do nightly tape backups of a separate webserver and select workstations. I don't have time to write scripts or do higher level programming (it's a part time position) and these tasks really need to have a strong GUI (I have to be able to literally see all this stuff) for me to plow through them at the rate the department needs (i.e. 90% of the accounts are temporary and will need to be redone/renewed every four months). I could do all this no problem on a M$ server set up (I know - boo, hiss!), but that isn't an option.
Hence I am looking for input on which version of Linux would best accommodate the nature of my needs at this time. It is likely that I could convince the department to spring for a licensed version after a quarter or two, but for now, this is the way it goes. Can Red Hat do all that with GUIs, or would Mandrake be a better bet? Or maybe something else? Any and all feedback is welcome. I've tried to be as specific as possible with my system needs, but if more info would help, let me know.
you gotta realize that linux is linux. just that some distro's come with a few scripts to make your life easy, and some dont (which will prolly make you learn stuff faster, imho). and some distro's have certain config files in places where others dont.
also, the bigger the corporate profile (read redhat/mandrake/suse), the ease-of-use and setup might be more. but then you can take any other distro and make few changes to your desktop environment, and itll be the same (but from your job description, it doesnt seem like you need much gui/frontend).
I think there is no definite solution as to create a click-n-run sort of management. I mean , sure... user accounts and properties, as well as basic administration can as well be handled with any recent distribution (Red Hat, Mandrake, whatever).
I just think writing scripts would be a nice option (it won't really take that much time and will save lots of effort, especially for those backups, etc). That's what I actually like about Linux. You can automate everything with scripts.
Yes.. That is what he said. Mandrake must be installed. Knoppix is a live CD. There is a Mandrake based live distribution called MandrakeMove. However, it costs (you can download release candidate 1 for free, though).