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LDAP first installation

Hi I'm trying to my first directory service with LDAP, but I've some question:

- I've made the step of the quick start guide of www.openldap.org, and now
how I go on? It's enough to do this (edit slapd.conf and enter new file
.ldif) or I must to configure a DNS server and a Kerberos service to make
LDAP really functionally?
- How can I authenthicate linux machine to LDAP?
- Can I call an address of the directory service like the DNS (ex.: there
is a machine in LDAP called machine.mydomain, there a command that this
machine response to a question with this name, like a ping?)
The questions are much this is only the start...