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switching to LDAP


After studying the OpenLDAP docs for a while and doing some testing, but
I have a few general questions and am looking for guidance and wisdom.

Can LDAP completely replace /etc/passwd for all purposes?

Can, for instance, Samba authorize users against an LDAP database?

I have been running, as a test, the "migrate_all_online.sh" tool from
www.padl.com. It seems to imply that one could rely solely on LDAP as a
global registry of users, services and protocols instead of flat text
files in the traditional unix way.

How far are we in that migration towards LDAP? Is it widely accepted as
a Good Thing (tm) ?

I am asking these basic questions because we have a growing enterprise
network, based on several Linux (firewall, Samba, web, mail, etc)
servers and I would like to use an elegant and modern system of
replicating user info across these servers. Is LDAP the answer? How
does it compare to NIS?

Thanks in advance for your insight, cheers,

Louis-David Mitterrand - ldm@apartia.com - http://www.apartia.com
Debian-Linux consulting: http://www.apartia.fr

First Law of System Requirements:
   "Anything is possible if you don't know what you're talking about..."