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Old 01-12-2006, 02:12 PM   #1
GMathews
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Server Project for School


Hi there

I met my principal of my previous secondary school last week by chance and I found
Out that he was interested in obtaining about 8 computers for his school
which had to come out of the school's own budget. The school is in fact
a public school and funds dont come easy for projects like this. Anyways
he asked me for my opinion regarding networking all these computers with a
common office printer/copier. I then thought about it and since Ive just been recently
aquainted to the Ubuntu/Linux world I thought that maybe setting up a server
which can handle a few of his requirements which could be based on the ubuntu
system and other open source programs. Ive drawn up a few of the requirements
and they are as follows :

1. 6 Windows XP computers on a LAN connected to a server with Ubuntu on it.
How exactly do I go about doing this? I know how to basically connect
a few computers on a LAN for playing games but will it be the same method ie.
using a 8 point HUB to connect all of them?

2. Now remember that it is a school so I was thinking of maybe create individual
accounts for each student of lets say 5-10MB of space each.Im not really
sure about the total number of students who will have an account on this server
but Im guessing in the region of around 100.It might expand in later years.


Now when the student logs on on the Windows Computers via a Client a drive must get mounted on
the Windows machine that he/she is working on. I am basing this idea on the Novell
Client my university uses.

Is there a similiar open source server for ubuntu and a client which can be used on a Windows
machine? Using the same software (or alternate) can I create a login screen/message
to state for example (welcome to XXX School, Property belongs to XXX School, Rules
of using these computers, etc)

3. The server will be connected to an Office printer. Now on the 6 machines is there an
open source printing software (or is any needed) so that it is password protected? I am
asking for this so that only teachers with the password can use the printing facilities.

Or maybe using the same method as mentioned in point 2, create account for teachers as
well and then allow for printing rights for these accounts together with a printing count(ticker)
for each account. I am running Breezy on my personal machine and I have problems with my Canon
i350 (it detects it fine but I need to download drivers from turboprint it seems which further
costs money. Are there printers (officejet) that don't need any more drivers to print on the Ubuntu system?

4. Any other open source software that you can recommend for this venture?

5. Also I want to know if there is an open source program similiar to Novell which can run
in Windows which can perform the functions listed above...just for interests sake then I can
compare the windows vs ubuntu servers although Id prefer the server running in Linux due to stability.

6. This is a question for more experienced Windows users. I want to create 2 windows accounts on each of the
6 machines. One called 'Administrator' and the second called 'Student/Teacher'. The latter should not have
write privilages on C:\ but only for the mounted drive, for example F:\ (5-10Mb as mentioned in point 1)


I am very keen on setting this network up which I intend to base the server on the Ubuntu system
as Im sure Novell and other software must be pretty expensive. The school intends to get
the computers by the end of this year so I have some time to research it well. Please post
your suggestions / links to guides or any other important information that could help
me in this project.

I am still a newbie to the whole linux setup. I have Breezy On my system with dual boot with XP so
I can test any of your recommendations on my pc before attempting it on this network. Please
try and explain it in easy terms and fully if you can. Im sure that if you are able to help me you
will be helping others with regard to the demands for a server/client network of a similiar nature.

Thanks a lot

GMathews
 
Old 01-12-2006, 02:58 PM   #2
Finlay
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Location: Seattle
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What you want to do is possible.
But from the amount and type of questions you are asking i think it best if you recruited someone locally to assist you.

to design and implement this network would take a lot of posts in a forum.
not to mention the future support of the network.
 
Old 01-14-2006, 07:44 AM   #3
GMathews
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Hmm ok, Im going to try my luck In the ubuntu forums as well
 
Old 01-14-2006, 07:47 AM   #4
Oxagast
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I'd be hazy about using Ubuntu as a server... little heavy.
 
Old 01-14-2006, 07:48 AM   #5
micxz
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Maybe Novell would donate the software if you asked? I just bought SuSE 10.0 for $50 so the budget does not have to be big especially for a opensource project.

- Micxz
 
Old 01-14-2006, 08:10 AM   #6
Oxagast
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I would probably have just linked them togather with a 8 port ethernet switch, and made sure that the printer that you get is supported by linux in the way you want or it'll be a total pain in the ass. For the next thing, setup quotas on the linux machine (have to enable it in a custom kernel probably, unless it was compiled in with the distro, and then install the tools to get it to work and modify fstab and all that to set it up), and set each user's quota to 5-10mb or whatever you want, and you can change their quota at a later date if you need more. If your going to have every student storing allllll their stuff on this one linux box, it may start to take a shitload of space, so you might have to start thinking about setting up a raid array or something to get more space. On that note, also, You should probably think about getting some fast ethernet cards, because if a whole class is in there using the stuff at once, it could start to bog down with 10 or 100BaseT... not sure about what kinda load your going to be putting on it though. Then I would setup ProFTPD or whatever secure ftp server you like on the linux box and let the users have remote access to the ftp, and then you'll have to find a windows program that will make it so that when the user logs in on the windows machine with their username (i would think it would have each student have their own username so that it knows which account to connect to on the linux box's ftp server) and the windows comptuer should automatically mount this ftp server as a drive (I don't recall the program I did that with, but i know its possible), and so now each user would be logging in and automatically be connected to a quotaed ftp on the linux box from the windows box (they would only have to deal with windows, and the ftp server would be mounted so it wouldn't make any difference to them), and I would say that when logging into their account on windows would serve purpose enough of keeping the printers secure... then again, it is a school... so i donno). As for the windows security thing... Who the hell knows... I think novell can do it, but I'm assuming you dont want to use novell.
 
Old 01-14-2006, 08:20 AM   #7
micxz
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Use Samba for the "automatically mount" part.
 
Old 01-14-2006, 08:30 AM   #8
Oxagast
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I always thought of Ubuntu as being more of a desktop distro rather then a server distro. You'd probably be better off to use something like Slackware or Debian. I'm probably partial to those minimilist distros though. The way I think about it is, the less extra baggage you have running in a server, then the more resources (memory maily, but also disk space, and to a lesser extent, processing power) you have to be able to do other things. As in, you definatly dont need an Xserver running on a server, if all it's going to do is serve. I have a Slackware box that I just use as a webserver and fileserver, and it doesn't even have a monitor or keyboard hooked up to it, all I need is to be able to SSH to it. Of course, you'll probably want the monitor and keyboard durring install, because the installs ususally graphical to some extent in almost all distros, and its just easier that way, but then later on you can disconnect all that stuff and use it for something else sence you dont really need it and when you need to administer the server you can just SSH in, and use FTP or whatever to transfer files to and from it.

Oh yeah, bout the Samba thing, I thought of that right after I posted, micxz is right, that would probably be a better choice because Windows is more accustomed to using that sort of setup nativly.

Last edited by Oxagast; 01-14-2006 at 08:32 AM.
 
  


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