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Old 09-25-2008, 03:10 AM   #1
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Turku, Finland
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo
Posts: 388

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Simple central authentication service for two desktop systems


I'm looking for a simple way to use same login information for two Linux boxes. The scenario is like this:

- "Server" is a server/desktop that shares internet connection with "Desktop"
- "Desktop" has no user accounts (yet)
- "Server" should contain all user login information
- "Server" should have all user home directories (/home)
- Both "Server" and "Desktop" will be running Debian Lenny

Now I know I can accomplish all this the "hard way" like this:

- Configure a LDAP server on "Server"
- Migrate existing user information to the LDAP server
- Configure "Desktop" to authenticate from "Server's" LDAP
- Mount "Server's" /home to "Desktop's" home with NFS

Now my question:

Is there a simpler way to do central authentication on two machines? LDAP server seems like a overkill... syncing perhaps? Any experiences with that?
Old 09-25-2008, 11:26 PM   #2
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Registered: Apr 2005
Location: BrewCity, USA (Milwaukee, WI)
Distribution: Xubuntu 9.10, Gentoo 2.6.27 (AMD64), Darwin 9.0.0 (arm)
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and, NFS:

Is exactly what you need.
Old 09-27-2008, 10:11 AM   #3
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Location: Bonaire, Leeuwarden
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You can have NIS set up in 30 minutes when you read the howto. NIS is lightweight, and by no means overkill.

What is important to remember:

- you have to edit /etc/passwd and /etc/group on "Desktop" to indicate that user names and passwds are to be retrieved from NIS.

- After adding user names on Server you have to run Make in the YP directory so the changes are reflected in NIS. I found that this is not done adequately by the scripts after using adduser, and the documentation does not emphasize on this.

And my NIS server is still Sarge, maybe matter has improved in Lenny since.

NFS is standard for file sharing, and very easy as well. Just carefully study the man page for 'exports'.

Old 09-27-2008, 10:58 AM   #4
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Turku, Finland
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo
Posts: 388

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Thanks Steve and jlinkels!

I'll try NIS. I'm already familiar with NFS so that not a problem.

I'll post a short howto here when I'm done.


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