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Centralized Mgmt in Linux - possible or not

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Ahmed Malik
Occasional Advisor

Centralized Mgmt in Linux - possible or not

i am a newbie.
i have a M$-based small network of about 30 computers. running Active Directory(ADS). I now planned to switch towards linux. I just have no idea of Linux. B4 taking any decission I want to know that is there any equivalent technology in Linux as we have ADS in windows ???

Till next time
Ahmed Malik
Mark Grant
Honored Contributor

Re: Centralized Mgmt in Linux - possible or not


Linux with the latest Samba has active directory support.

In general, centralized management of a unix/linux box is much much more sophisticated and ten times easier than on a Windows machine.

Unix and therefore Linux was designed from the ground up to be centralized in it's approach. windows was born of individual PC's spread around offices.

You may need to look at it differently than you did on Windows but remote and centralized management is what it's all about :)

Please do not be afraid to come back here and ask any questions you like. I think you'll find everybody extremely willing to help you with your intended migration.
Never preceed any demonstration with anything more predictive than "watch this"
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: Centralized Mgmt in Linux - possible or not

Linux can handle thee functions.

Samba can replace the Windows Primary Domain Controller and be configured to do most of the work that ADS does.

Centralized authentication management can be done with NIS or better yet LDAP.

All at a much lower license and support cost.

With clustering you can create a very reliable workgroup. Some ADS features still require at least one windows box.

Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
Ahmed Malik
Occasional Advisor

Re: Centralized Mgmt in Linux - possible or not

I just didnt expect about this very quick responses I receivesd. I must say THANKS.
I m feeling my self much lucky, by joining this forum.

SEP, could u plz make it clear a bit more. I mean whats better LDAP or NIS ??? I mean whats really the diff in b/w LDAP and NIS ?
And from where I can Learn LDAP or NIS ?

Dear Mark I really very appreciate your supporting words, and help.

I think I must make it clear more, that I want to replace my ADS Domain to Linux Domain(now I can say LDAP or NIS DOMAIN). but here a question rises, since I have 30 WINTEL boxex, so is it possible for LDAP/NIS Domain to authenticate, and manage the windows clients ? or more clearly is it possible that my windows clients can join LDAP/NIS domain ?? if then how ?

Ahmed Malik
Martin P.J. Zinser
Honored Contributor

Re: Centralized Mgmt in Linux - possible or not

Hello Ahmed,

if you want to gradually migrate definitly Samba is your friend, as it will allow the Windows clients to authenticate as they used to. LDAP is a light version of X.500. For some general, high level intro see

And for an actual implementation on Linux

If you want to get into this some reading might be helpfull. One possible source is

Greetings, Martin
Ahmed Malik
Occasional Advisor

Re: Centralized Mgmt in Linux - possible or not

Hi Martin,
First thing First, I must say Thanks to u for the suport.
I just dun know abt Samba, so right now its hard for me to understand, but I believe on you people.
I have a just have purchased a book,
Mastering Red Hat Linux 9 by Michael Jang.
I hope this book will help me as well.

Till next time
Ahmed Malik
Martin P.J. Zinser
Honored Contributor

Re: Centralized Mgmt in Linux - possible or not

Hello Ahmed, is a good starting point.

To give you some high level background

" Samba is an Open Source/Free Software suite that provides seamless file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients."

What it allows you to do is to provide the services your current Windows domain controllers provide to your Workstations. So you could e.g. first concentrate on the servers and leave the workstations untouched on Windows for starters (or permanently if you desire).

Greetings, Martin

P.S. Congratulations on getting a book. In my opinion still one of the best ways to get a start into a new topic.
John Collier
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Centralized Mgmt in Linux - possible or not


I didn't realize you had two threads on pretty much the same topic. If I would have seen this one first, I probably wouldn't have written such an extensive answer to your other one. It looks like the official Gurus have already answered most of your questions with more detail than I gave.

I wouldn't chime in on this thread if it weren't for the mention of the book you are currently reading. As I mentioned to you in the other thread, I am also looking at replacing M$ and I, too, have picked up a book that has been VERY helpful to me so I thought I would share it with you.

The book is titled "Linux Administration A Beginner's Guide" and is published by McGraw Hill/Osborne. The one I picked up is the third edition. While it may be a bit dated in some aspects (I think I remember it saying that the current Red Hat release at time of publishing was RH7.3), it approached the subject of replacing M$ with Linux from the viewpoint of a current M$ Administrator. If you are comfortable with M$ and want something that explains the comparable Linux equivalent to the things you are now using, you should at least look into this book.

Personally, if it were not for this book I would not be anywhere near to having a Linux box now, much less feeling comfortable with playing with it. As it is, I may have gained too much confidence. I have already blown my little Fedora box up twice since my first install! What better way to learn, right??

Hope you find it useful as well.

Best of luck,
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." Stephen Krebbet, 1793-1855