Ok, I've taken a few classes and done some UNIX/GNU Linux reading but have never seen this in any of my reading. I understand it at a local machine level, setting up users and groups with access to specific resources but never at a LAN/WAN level. Working in a completely Windows shop may have deluted my concepts as well.
What does Linux use for a multi-user Windows-domain-style set up (without a Windows domain)? I've seen a lot of 'server' versions of GNU Linux and distros but how do they authenticate in a multi-PC environment? Does GNU Linux offer the option to authenticate with a single server or 'domain controller' and then have access to multiple resources on the network? Where do you set up the users/groups?
Links are appreciated.