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Old 05-10-2004, 09:12 AM   #1
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Question windows or linux-based domains?

hi all,

i've been charged to to setup a domain-based network and want to know if i can use a copy of redhat es instead of windows 2003.

can it be done and if so what are the pros/cons over win2003?

Old 05-10-2004, 09:28 AM   #2
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It is possible to use Redhat (or linux in general) as a PDC. I have converted a few office networks to linux servers. Typically I setup the machine with Samba (which will act as the Primay Domain Controller), apache (way better web server then IIS), postfix (e-mail), and a transparent SQUID proxy (for monitoring web usuage or just caching pages to save bandwidth). Linux is also very easy to setup as a firewall or to block things like AIM if you are interested in that type of thing.
Old 05-10-2004, 03:23 PM   #3
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While it is certainly possible to setup a Windows-type PDC with Linux using Samba, it really isn't the best choice in some situations.

Windows 2003 is a much better PDC than Samba, but that it to be expected. After all, the Samba team is trying to emulate am extremely complicated, closed-souce system. Because of that, they are a few years behind Windows in terms of PDC features.

Samba can now pretty much perfectly emulate a Windows NT4 server (NT was released in 1995). It will probably be quite a few years before it can properly replace a Windows 2003 server (or Windows 2000 for that matter). Active Directory is not supported yet (it can act as a AD BDC, but not as a AD PDC), which is the driving force behind Windows 2003/2000 servers.

Those are the cons, for the be honest I really can't think of any. Other than that it isn't Microsoft, if you are the type of person who makes decisions based on that.

I looked into replacing a Windows PDC with a Samba one, but after all my research, I really couldn't find a single advantage over using a Windows PDC (other than the advantage of cost, but in my case, we already had the Windows license, so cost was no longer a factor).

So it really depends on what you need to do. If you have a lot of users and machines, and you want Active Directory features, Samba just isn't an option at this point.

If you are running a smaller network, and are satisfied with running a NT4 type domain, then Samba might be the choice for you.

We would need more information to give accurate advice.
Old 07-01-2004, 01:10 PM   #4
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We have a small (40 person) shop and Samba works wonderfully for us. However, if you do need advanced features, Samba may or may not work for you. We use it for a PDC, File server, Print Server and such and it's had an uptime in terms of months, rather then our old AD server's uptime of days. So I would ask that you do some research on what you need and see if Samba can make it happen for you. I picked up The Official Samba 3 Reference Guide from Amazon and it helped GREATLY! Windows is easy to set up, but Samba is WAY more stable.

Travis Beehler
Old 07-01-2004, 02:26 PM   #5
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If you are looking to use active directory then use samba-TNG.
Just google for it. Only beta versions are running right now but they seem promising.


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