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[Discuss] LDAP at Installfest

From: Will Rico willrico at

> I received this query from someone who isn't on this mailing list, but interested in attending Saturday's Installfest.
> Any suggestions for how to reply to him?  See below:

>> Do you know if anyone at the next install fest knows LDAP?
>> If so, would it be acceptable for me to bring a server and a client to
>> get help installing / configuring the server as a gateway (public /
>> private nics for internal and internet) with
>> services?
>> We are ready to toss our old network, and I would really rather go
>> Linux that Windows.

I guess I should give you a little more about this.

My name is Steven Santos, I am the director of Simply Circus, a
not-for-profit circus school in Newton, MA.  We teach things like wire
walking, aerial arts, unicycle riding, etc..  Our biggest claim to
fame is that 100% of the kids who stay with us JR and SR year of high
school have gone on to college (since 2002!).  Many go on to
engineering and scientific degrees in large part because of us.  I
can't count the number of kids who first used Linux here.

So, I have been around linux for quite a while now, starting back with
the K12LTSP project in 2005, and I can do a great many things with it.
 I have even written some documentation on Linux, mostly for the sane
project.  Here are two support documents I wrote:


BUT their are some things that I just have not been able to wrap my
head around, and I really need some help to do it.  I would even be
willing to write good, clear documentation in exchange for helping me
learn these things!

For example, I can get DNS working without too much trouble.  I can
get DHCP working, again, without too much trouble.  I can't seem to
make them work together (e.g. so dhcp leases are entered into the DNS
server to allow reverse DNS).  I also have not been able to make my
dhcp leases static (e.g. for the printers).

LDAP has been pure hell for me.  I have been messing with it for 2
years, and have yet to get a working configuration (well, for the
first time I was able to get the local machine to authenticate via
ldapi, but I can't the next box to talk to it...).  I really don't
understand why this is so hard, but it is.

I want to have home directories shared among the workstations in the
network.  We have a couple of 2TB drives sitting idle in a server that
we want to mount to all machines as /home, but I can't seem to make it
work.  Again, this SHOULD be easy, and its just not.

At our school, we run mostly Ubuntu 12.04, however we also have 1
older box running 10.04 (we are replacing this soon, its graphics card
won't do the newer versions), and we have a station set up with KMV
switch for Linux and Windows (Adobe CS5, scanning utility)

So, our current setup looks like this:

Building internet (private network on 10.1.1.x) - VOIP box
Router - Wireless clients
Wired clients
NAS - Printers - Linux and Windows workstations

What I would like it to look like is this:

Building internet (private network on 10.1.1.x) - VOIP box
Server / gateway - WIFI Access point
Internal network

With all machines getting /home, /shared, user auths, printers,
scanners, time, (and I am sure a few other things!) from the server.

I know it can be done, I just have not been able to make it work!

If the offer of documentation is not enough, I will go one further.
If you guys can help set my school up this way, I will happily host a
gathering of the BLU at our school.  You can all come and try things
like walking on a tightwire, doing aerial fabrics, etc, and then we
will serve dinner for you.

So can you help us?

Steven Santos
Simply Circus, Inc.
86 Los Angeles Street
Newton, MA 02458

P: 617-527-0667
F: 617-934-1870
E: Steven at

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