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Old 10-07-2011, 11:08 PM   #1
Zero Angel
Registered: Jul 2010
Distribution: PinguyOS 12.04
Posts: 50

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Want to set up a computer lab with centralized user management

I'm planning on setting up a computer lab for a local Adult Ed. program, it's a non-profit organization and doesn't have a high budget, I am doing this work as a volunteer, and would like a solution that meets the following requirements:

- Preferably linux-based clients
- Want centralized user management, or at least the ability for the users to create accounts and then access their personal files from anywhere on the network
- User administration to be carried out by non-technical staff
- Low maintainence

Basically, I want to go in, set up the system and then leave day-to-day stuff to non-IT people, who I can give basic training to if necessary. I can do occasional maintenance tasks but will not be able to maintain it on ie: a weekly basis.

I'm thinking of installing PinguyOS (an Ubuntu derivative) for each client, though since it's a heavy weight distro, something a bit slimmer but fully featured would be nice too. As far as client-server stuff goes, I am thinking of setting up an Active Directory server -- but that's unless I can find a better solution.

Tips, ideas, suggestions?

Last edited by Zero Angel; 10-07-2011 at 11:49 PM.
Old 10-08-2011, 01:17 AM   #2
Zero Angel
Registered: Jul 2010
Distribution: PinguyOS 12.04
Posts: 50

Original Poster
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Here is what i'm thinking so far, for the server

- Ubuntu-server OS
- OpenLDAP server for user authentication
- Webmin Installed
- SSH Installed and configured (non-default port)
- Dynamic DNS set up

Also, can I set up the clients how I want them, clone the configured client, and then simply change the hostname per-client?

Last edited by Zero Angel; 10-08-2011 at 01:22 AM.
Old 10-09-2011, 04:26 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2008
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You kind of tricked us here. It is better to edit a post than reply to your own. Makes it look like it has been answered.

Might look at LTSP, stuff, there are many distro's that use a light weight desktop.

Might look at xpud even.

If you want you can look at remote desktops to some terminal server. Even a knoppix setup may do.

Dunno what you need the AD for.

If you had the bandwidth you could gpxe/ipxe to your home server or rack farm.

Might look at iscsi installs. Easy to clone over images if they get messed up.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
Zero Angel
Registered: Jul 2010
Distribution: PinguyOS 12.04
Posts: 50

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1
Well, the ABE (Adult Basic Ed) program possesses several e-machines @ 512MB of RAM, that were donated from another program that upgraded their computers. The thin client idea seems an excellent one, but I want to keep the project costs to basically nothing so don't want to requisition extra hardware (ie: a decent fast thin client server) if I can avoid it. Hence the AD/LDAP idea. Even a relatively weak server should be able to transfer user files and settings over the network no sweat, and if the network or server experiences problems then i'm hoping that I can have a basic guest account enabled for all the PCs.

However if you really think that it would be less of a hassle in the long run to use the thin client setup then let me know and i'll make some changes to my proposal. I really don't mind doing the extra work to set up LDAP if that will allow me to provide some kind of redundancy if the server experiences problems.

Thank you for the tips. I will look into the items you mention.


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