[kwlug-disc] Linux replacement for Windows Domain Server

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at sobac.com
Wed Nov 25 01:32:09 EST 2009

It's like you read my mind.

There's already one Linux server in the office, doing Web and mail (so 
no Exchange).  Some Windows workstations running XP, a couple with 
Vista.  Some with shared printers attached.  No central file server, 
people are either e-mailing each other files or using sneakernet (and 
that's fine with them).

The problem I'm trying to solve is authentication/authorization to use 
the shared printers, without using shared passwords, and without needing 
to whack-a-mole every workstation when someone forgets or changes a 

I'm hoping to make the Linux server do the authentication in a 
Windows-like way.  For each workstation I can change the login from 
Workgroup to Domain, then perform user and printer administration from 
the server.

I'm also considering network printer ports for the printers, but those 
need Domain authentication too.


unsolicited wrote:
> Bob Jonkman wrote, On 11/24/2009 10:50 PM:
>> What would be the Linux replacement for a Windows Domain Controller?
>> Is there a Debian package for this?
> Sorry, Bob, your question is too vague.
> What part of a Windows Domain Controller are you looking to replace?
> (And, in this thread, I'd wait for John to chip in before considering 
> anything authoritative.)
> Apologies if stuff below is too basic or already well known to you - 
> don't mean to insult your keen technical intellect here. (-:
> Active Directory is an MS proprietary form of LDAP. So, in one sense, 
> the answer to your question is OpenLDAP.
> Another take on your question, as answered elsewhere in this thread, 
> is file sharing. In which case an answer might be Samba. Samba will do 
> printer sharing too. But printer sharing begs the question, why not 
> leave the printers on windows with the ability to use native windows 
> print drivers, and share the printers from there.
> - for that matter, if you have less than 10 XP or better workstations, 
> you don't need an MS server at all. You could share each attach point 
> directly. (XP has a limit of 10 connections for shared things.)
> The single most important detail to communicate is: Are you using MS 
> Exchange? If Exchange is not in the picture at all, you're gold. 
> Solutions are out there. If Exchange is in the picture but you have no 
> other use for Active Directory, there's quite a bit of info. out there 
> about Linux / Exchange interaction and cooperation. (Again, John could 
> give you some direction and magic search terms.)
> Another take on your question could be "I'm moving all my users to 
> Linux, what do I use for central authentication?", the answer to which 
> is, I believe, PAM.
> I'm going to guess you have some number of Windows workstations out 
> there, no Linux, and are trying to avoid having to implement a windows 
> server by implementing a Linux equivalent. Knowing your situation, 
> especially the presence or lack of Exchange, and what functionality 
> your Windows workstations are currently getting and you would like to 
> add to, would let the list give you better answers.
> There's a drinking from a fire hose level of information out there on 
> Windows / Linux interaction. So I can appreciate why you ask the list 
> so you can winnow down the material you have to chew through.
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