Looking for a distro (maybe..or some really good directions)

Forum: LinuxTotal Replies: 9
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Jul 12, 2011
6:50 PM EST
So here's the deal. We are redoing the school labs with XP (*gag barf and all that*, oh well, at least I had them on Debian for a year). And of course, they are asking if we can do individual user accounts.

Now that's nice and all, and I would love to do it, but I've never delved into a full domain setup myself. Obviously I'm not about to setup a Windows dc (we don't have licensing for windows server anyway I believe).

So I'm wondering if someone knows of a fairly light distro that is designed to be used as a samba/ldap domain controller (i.e. has a nice setup wizard and good web admin - preferably with assignable roles)?

What I would LIKE to do is: Build a new virtual machine as the DC (that's all it does). Have all the user profiles stored on the fileserver (Freenas 8) - My Documents would of course be pointed to there. Setup Dansguardian/Squid to use ldap authentication for easier managing of filtering rules and exceptions.

It would need some sort of easy to use web administration panel for managing user accounts (create/delete/etc), as that task would be handled by someone in the office.

(I'd like a nice interface for managing Dansguardian as well...but didn't really find anything last time I checked)

Keep in mind I've never really messed with ldap (it's been on my list, just never had time to seriously dig into it), or with external authentication for dansguardian/squid (my filtergroups right now in dans are just ip based).

Any input appreciated!

Thanks all as usual.

Mark II

Jul 12, 2011
9:19 PM EST
Assuming you haven't had time to Google the subject:



I can't speak for either of them.

The best link I could find on a roll your own solution dealt with two Ubuntu and one Debain write ups. All of them are fairly out of date at this point, but may still be usable:


And there's a Gentoo writeup at http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Samba/Primary_Domain_Controll...

Hopefully something there will be of assistance.


Jul 12, 2011
9:28 PM EST
Thanks. Someone pointed me to the turnkey one. I did a quick test in vbox and it might be worth a shot. It's samba only (not integrating ldap), but that's probably fine for now.

My main concern with it is hooking up to the fileserver for the profiles and such. I guess I need to get it setup on location and do some testing.

I did find a decent ubuntu tutorial about setting up that should be easily adjusted for raw debian. I tried that quickly and broke my ldap (haha), so will try that again later from scratch. :P


Jul 12, 2011
9:31 PM EST
That Zyntel one looks interesting as well. Downloading it now. :)


Jul 18, 2011
3:24 PM EST
I got Zentyal setup in a vm at the church/school yesterday. It's pretty nice. I have it acting as a PDC and joined a machine to the domain and logged in with my test user account. I haven't played with all the options/features yet, but I'm hoping to move some of the other services (web filtering and vpn at least) to it as well if I can get them configured and tested. That way I can let the office person handle those so I won't have to do all the administration of those services (since I'm kinda busy with my paying jobs most of the time...). :) I'd like to use some of its services as well (internal email would be nice, maybe the voip stuff as well, maybe jabber, etc.) when I have time to play with them.


Jul 18, 2011
3:51 PM EST
Hmm, I missed this thread, my job really cuts into my day. Anyway, I also have Zentyal setup in a school environment using it as a PDC as well as file and print services. I have not tried the firewall or VPN, since I have IPcop setup as the firewall using Dan's Guardian content filter. I do not like setting up the main server as a firewall too. I may replace IPCop with pfSense as soon as next month.

At any rate, I replaced a manual configured Ubuntu server that I had been running for over four years with Zentyal and haven't regretted the move.

Jul 18, 2011
4:12 PM EST
Cool. I'm not planning to use it for fileserving, as I have a nice new freenas box setup for that. I might move the print services to it though, they are just hosted by their own VM, but I haven't decided yet. Zentyal has Dan's Guardian integrated, which is the main reason I'm thinking of having it be the proxy/filter box. I'd have to import all my Dan's lists, but if I get that done and get the authentication and all working, it would make managing the exceptions and such for various people/groups much easier (and doable by the office person instead of me!).

My current router/firewall/dansguardian/vpn/vm box is a Proxmox install with shorewall and openvpn and whatnot setup by me (the Zentyal box is a vm on it hehe).

Jul 18, 2011
5:34 PM EST
We used TurnKey linux for our school's servering and it works great. Installing and setting up the Domain Controller VM is a doddle. Literally takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish.

Non tried Zyntel. All worth a look. These pre-rolled appliances are a godsend for small organisations.

Jul 18, 2011
6:48 PM EST
Yeah, especially for those of us who don't currently have the time to do all the research to learn how to set it all up manually...and then figure out how to teach someone to administrate it.

Jul 18, 2011
7:29 PM EST
> I got Zentyal setup in a vm at the church/school yesterday.

Great. My good deed for the day. :)

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