Potential School Wide Linux Implementation

Christopher Chan christopher.chan at bradbury.edu.hk
Mon Apr 6 03:39:50 UTC 2009

Hello Tim,

I am also an one man IT shop for a school.

Tim Holmes wrote:
> Hello Folks:
> I am the One Man IT shop for Medina Christian Academy, and am facing a 
> potential situation that i am trying to avert in the future. I am 
> currently a largely Windows XP (fully patched and updated) network 
> built on a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory domain. I have some 
> samba servers for file servers and an APACHE web development server. 
> We have ~150 desktops spread between the classrooms, offices and 
> computer lab. The computers are mostly roughly 5 year old Pentium 4 
> gateways mostly have 40 gb hdd, onboard sound and video cards and 
> between 512 and 1024 mb memory
I take it that the samba servers share the same RID database?
> -- Printing -- we have a number of printers across the network -- 
> couple of which are all in one type units by keyocera - and all 
> stations/users need to be able to print -- so that means samba print 
> server -- again -- probably take some development work but i am pretty 
> sure it can be done.
If you switch to Linux, you drop samba for all but remaining Windows hosts.
> -- domain (or whatever its called in linux) -- users need to be able 
> to sign in on any computer, and have their files accessable similar to 
> what happens when a user logs into a windows domain.
Been there, done that. You need to configure kerberos and in my case, 
winbind and add pam authentication via winbind and user info lookup via 
winbind. Then you can keep the AD if that makes user management easier 
for you or you do not wish to migrate user accounts or you will still 
have some Windows clients left.
> -- Our School management software / gradebook -- not available in 
> linux, but im wondering about using crossover office / wine or 
> possibly VMWARE -- i'll need input on that -- its a client server app 
> sort of the gradebook writes out text files that are imported into the 
> main application which is based on microsoft access databases with a 
> custom written interface -- might have to run a Virtual windows 2003 
> server to run the server portion of it -- and like wine or something 
> for the users to access it -- i dont know
Best if it works with wine...otherwise, you will still need them XP 
licenses to run in a kvm guest or something.
> -- backup -- we have a quantum loader, so one way or another we'll 
> need to be able to back stuff up
You can choose to have one or more online (and maybe offsite) backup 
server loaded with big fat disks. I do not have tape backup anymore. 
With 500GB of data and growing, the tape backup system is no joke. Might 
as well just do HA and have multiple backup servers.
> -- file servers -- ive got a couple linux file servers now -- but they 
> are running samba i dont know how to share stuff via linux
NFS, Gluster, lots of choices...all depend on how you want to manage 
your data. But first, you first need to make sure that uids/gids are 
identical across all Linux boxes...whether servers or desktops. If you 
will still have a few Windows desktops for office staff, then it is best 
you keep the AD if you need group policies on the remaining desktops or 
you could consider converting over to NT style domains instead of AD.
> im sure there are things that i have forgotten so if anyone has ideas 
> / suggestions please chime in.
> I am tentatively planning to use kubuntu, for the desktop environmen, 
> and this project (if it goes) at least for now would be deployed 
> summer of 2010 for use beginning in the fall of 2010
Do you use group policies to limit what the kids can see? If so, the 
only easy to use equivalent on desktop environments available in Linux 
is KDE 3.x using the kiosktool. With that, you can assign desktop 
profiles to groups and control what the different users can see or use 
on their box.


More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list