[Samba] Basic questions regarding Samba capabilities

Jason Voorhees jvoorhees1 at gmail.com
Sun May 20 09:32:18 MDT 2012

Hi people:

I've been using Samba for a long time with some "basic" features like
Samba working as a PDC, integrated with OpenLDAP, being a print
server, among others, for a small number of "almost controlled" users
(no more than 30 or 50 users).

But now I'm interested to implement a Windows domain using Samba for a
University with 6000-8000 users distributed through several VLANs,
subnets, offices in a medium/big campus. I'd like to avoid using a
propietary solution like Windows 2008 with ADS so I'd like to know
some suggestions like these:

- How well can Samba manage policies for workstations?
- Is it easy or safe to apply and/or remove policies from workstations?
- What kind of things can I allow or deny from succeding in
workstations using policies? For example: could I avoid users from
changing the IP address of the workstation? Could I set a fixed
wallpaper or internet explorer proxy settings to workstations?

In a big scenario like the previous i mentioned:
- How many BDCs would be needed? Is it enough to have 1 PDC and severals BDCs?
- Is it possible to have multiple PDCs of the same domain each one
being in a different VLAN? or, what's the right approach in terms of
structure-architecture to implement PDCs and BDCs?

Definitely I plan to use OpenLDAP as backend but, similar to the
previous question about BDCs: how many Master/Slave OpenLDAP servers
do you think it would be necessary? It could be 1 BDC+OpenLDAP (slave
or master) for each office or VLAN?

- I know that are some procedures to join Windows 7 to Samba domain, I
did this before successfully. Do you know -maybe- of another possible
compatibility problem that you suggest I can be prepared for?
- If after some time (weeks, months or years) I plan to replace this
Samba based domain to Windows 2k ADS domain: is it possible to do this
migration without problem? it isn't necessary to reinstall all the
domain and rejoin all the workstation?

Technically I can investigate how to implement each of these features
(policies, BDCs, openldap, etc...) but before taking a decision like
this i would like to have some suggestions of people that have done
similar implementations before. This help it would be excellent for
me, I hope some one can help.


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