[kwlug-disc] Linux replacement for Windows Domain Server

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Wed Nov 25 13:52:24 EST 2009


Bob Jonkman wrote, On 11/25/2009 1:32 AM:
> It's like you read my mind.

Some thoughts for you:

One way to get rid of some printer sharing issues is to get NICs for 
each printer and lose the workstation connection. Go to LPR printing. 
Even if you only tell the Samba server about the printers, to get 
central authentication. Issue in the sense of an item making your life 
more complicated in trying to move forward. There are external printer 
sharing devices out there that aren't too expensive. Even some dsl 
routers have printer sharing capability - not that I'm suggesting you 
put routers everywhere for the routing use. (Cheap routers also turn 
out to be cheap localized 4 port switches. You can save running a 
cable by hooking a printer and computer into it and the net cable 
currently going into that computer.) This is also an opportunity to 
reduce the number of printers and, especially, the number of 
incompatible ink cartridges you have to keep in office supplies inventory.

- $15 - http://www.factorydirect.ca/catalog/product_spec.php?pcode=NE6145
- there is a gotcha, IIRC still in linux. In Windows, the act of 
connecting to a shared printer sucks down the driver for it. The same 
won't be true of other solutions. IIRC you can create a shortcut or 
simple link for people to run when they get a new computer / want to 
connect to that printer the first time. Seems to me I simply created a 
shortcut to a centrally stored setup.exe of the printer software.

Suggestion: lose printer authentication. It's just pointless. You're 
trying to solve a human issue (Don't print on MY printer!) with a 
technical solution. Just a point of maintenance hassle that users have 
passed on to the admin because they can't govern themselves. If 
everyone can print everywhere whenever, a level of complexity / 
authentication just goes away. And for the bigwigs with their own 
personal printer and they won't get up ... don't share those.

- usually this issue comes up with colour use. If it's a personal 
printer, train the person to turn the printer off when they leave 
their office. Problem solved. <sigh> [It's a human issue. Trust your 
people, people. If you don't trust them, they'll work around you, 
regardless.]

 From what you have described, you could simply add Samba to your 
current server. Perhaps this is an opportunity to add disk space to 
it, or even better, put in a duplicate server and gain some 
redundancy. Slap some external (esata) drives on one and you have a 
place to back up to, and something to grab in case of fire.

If you can get sharing OFF local workstations, and printing, 
workstations become as generic as the phone on their desk. There are 
significant administrative (central control/monitoring - as in userids 
and disk space) and security (as in file redundancy / backup) benefits 
to that. But there is also a culture change from disassociating MY 
computer from MY data (that the admin. is responsible for 
safeguarding). And when a workstation dies, some stress is reduced 
when you replace it and know you don't have to try to recover 
something off the old machine.

- this actually becomes a selling feature. "If I keep it on the server 
I know it will be backed up and my data is safe!" yada, yada.

- the gotcha is laptop users who need their files when they're out of 
the office, and need to have it auto. sync when they get back in, so 
files are backed up.



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