In the past I have only used Windows 2003 Server to run a small computer lab. Active Domain was simple enough to understand for a person that had never dealt with domain servers before. I am in charge of a new computer lab now and have been giving thought to using a linux server instead of a resource-hungry and glitchy Windows 2003 server. I have never really used linux before, so I know next to nothing about it.
Which distro and what programs within linux are crucial for setting up a basic server that does the following:
- maintains a list of accounts that are allowed to log into the computer lab systems (Vista, XP and Linux systems, some dual-booting)
- have two different labs with different account lists
- apply group security policies and scripts (allow/deny access to certain Windows features, accounts designated as admin or limited, automatically check and add network printer to their account, provide home folder on server where their settings/desktop/mydocuments are stored automatically)
Other server features I will probably implement as I did with the old Windows 2003 server:
- FTP server that uses account list username/passwords so members can access their files over the internet
- Web/PHP server
- Network print server
- Network file server
- DC++ server
There are quite a few linux users living here that work with linux/unix servers professionally, but they are never around to answer any questions, let alone help me build a server.