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  Author  Subject: Re: Authentication -
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Posted on 04-30-2003 12:25 p.m. ET  reply

Original Poster: Derek

Ok - I will offer to give a presentation on this if enough are interested.

If you use Samba, note that a user logging in from a Windows PC needs to have
both a Samba account and a basic Linux account. The process of creating
accounts can be done "on the fly" automatically - or manually if just a few
users. And, you do not have to use Samba as a PDC or "domain" server, it
works great as a workgroup server and for many networks, that is just fine.

Linux/Unix/BSD/Whatever + Samba = best choice to serve Windows PCs. Better
than Windows Server itself - more stable, more performance, more flexibility,
no per-user license fees. In use around the world by major corporations,
government agencies, and universities - serving huge numbers of users that a
Windows Server could typically not handle.

You need to have Samba services (SMB and NMB) running on your system. You can
download it from http://www.samba.org unless you already have it in your
distribution (most likely). Samba's settings are basically controlled by a
single configuration file that you can edit like a normal text file.

You will set the name of the server, name of workgroup (or domain) and other
similar settings. You can also make your Linux server a print server for
Windows PCs and many other more advanced things. (print jobs will be passed
through to your print system: i.e. LPR, CUPS, etc..)

PDC = Primary Domain Controller
If you make your Linux/Samba server a Windows "Domain" - that means your
Windows PCs will have to log into the domain in order to access the server
resources. On the client side, you can set that in Win98 by looking
at "properties" of Microsoft Networking Client listed in Network under
Control Panel. For Windows NT and 2000, it is a little different. Windows XP
Home will not connect to a true domain - only a workgroup! Windows XP
Professional will work fine - but there are a couple extra things you need to
do to make it work correctly.

If you have never used Samba, there are books about it and lots of info on
the internet. There are some graphical Samba configuration programs - but I
have found all of them to be lacking Windows Domain (PDC) settings, which
sounds like you may want. Plus, it is good to know how to do it yourself and
is really only a single config file that you have to work with.

Samba is available for Linux, Irix, Solaris, BSD, AIX and most every
Unix/*nix. It is extremely reliable and can outperform a true Windows server
running on the same hardware platform. It works great as a file server, PDC
(primary domain controller), print server, and basically can do everything
that a Windows NT/2000/XP Server can do including roaming profiles, auto-
install print drivers, etc.. Also, you can use Samba to pipe file requests to
native *nix processes/programs. For example, you can set up a Samba server to
instead of saving a file that you send to it, to first e-mail and then print
and then etc... You can even script a whole series of operations to be
performed and essentially create a very customized server to do special
things. But normally, you will use it as a file server.

Here are a few good links to help you:
http://us1.samba.org/samba/ftp/docs/htmldocs/Samba-PDC-HOWTO.html
http://us3.samba.org/samba/ftp/docs/htmldocs/samba-pdc-faq.html
http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/esdd/tutorials/samba.html (must register first -
but free and recommended - a good article with XP info too)
http://www.linux-mag.com/2002-02/samba_01.html

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