Ubuntu as server for small school?

Pete Hunt lists at ninjafriendly.com
Mon Jun 19 17:37:13 UTC 2006

david davidson wrote:

> I might be able to get funds for a cheap desktop to
> run as a "server", 

We have a P3 500Mhz serving files, printers and logons to ~60 users.

but as I think a Windows Server
> license will not happen now, I am looking at Ubuntu.

FYI: Schools get _stupidly_  _large_ discounts on software (in UK at 
least).  Depending on where you are, the Local Education Authority / 
School District should have software agreements with most vendors.  Ask 
the school to investigate.

> I would like to wipe all machines and start fresh, but
> I am need of some guidance to help me create a
> "maintainable" network.

If the school runs a Managment Information System (UK versions include 
SIMS, Integris etc), you may want to be careful before wiping anything. 
  For a school that size, it'll be installed on a single workstation and 
if you wipe the MIS by accident...... think "Wicker Man" :).

> Some sort of "traveling desktop" would be ideal, as
> there are more office workers than machines.  (I am
> unsure if this can be done without Windows Server.)

It can, quite easily - same as you'd set up a default profile in NT4 
server. You would create a default user profile using one of the 
workstations and then copy it to a netlogon share on the samba server 
(as you would for mandatory profiles on w2k / 2003 server).

It's reasonably easy to set up a linux box with Samba and / or OpenLDAP 
to function as a DC.  I haven't touched a snapserver in years, but I'm 
assuming you can re-share its storage space from the samba box, or make 
it part of the domain so it can grab permissions from the samba box?

Things to consider:

Who will be maintaining the network once it's set up?  Plan it with them 
in mind.

Suggested reading follows:

www.edugeek.net - where school sysadmins hang out
www.karoshi.org.uk - pre-built Linux network for schools
www.schoolforge.org.uk - uk-centric, but some useful stuff



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