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Linux Tips for eDirectory - Part 1

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Posted: 4 Aug 2004

Here's the first installment of a series on Linux tips - using eDirectory in a Linux environment. If you have tips of your own you'd like to share, let us know!

1: Making Home Directories for Users

With the module, home directories can be created on the fly when a user is logging in. If you tie your PAM configuration into LDAP, then the directories can be created when authenticating in with eDirectory as the back end.

2: eDirectory and File Systems

It's important to remember that eDirectory is a directory service (database). It doesn't do anything with file systems (volumes, disks, home directories, etc.). Novell NetWare has two file systems (TFS, NSS) that are eDirectory aware and that provide for things like Volume Objects and file system access controls based on directory services.

Microsoft's file system, with Active Directory, essentially does the same thing but only runs on the Windows platform (equivalent to NetWare with eDirectory and TFS or NSS).

On Linux, the file system is CIFS (SAMBA). There isn't (yet) an equivalent to a TFS or NSS emulation you can run on Linux that works like SAMBA. Note that Samba can authenticate to LDAP.

3: Configuring OpenSLP as a DA

To configure OpenSLP as a DA on a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, set net.slp.isDA to true in the /etc/slp.conf file. For more information, see the OpenSLP documentation at:

Replicating a Partition of a Tree
To replicate a partition of a tree in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, follow these steps:
  1. Create a partition, splitting an existing partition into two parts. You can do this in ConsoleOne.
  2. In the left pane, click on the container object that you want to be the partition root.
  3. Click on View -> Partition and Replica View
  4. Click on Edit -> Create Partition

After a while, this will create a new partition from an existing partition. If you're starting with a basic tree that has only the [Root] partition, you'll now have two partitions: [Root] and your new one.

Partitions are logical divisions of the database. Each partition will have one or more Replicas, which are physical instances of the partition data being stored on a server. When the new partition is created using the steps above, it is set up with replicas on the servers that hold the replicas of the partition it was split from. Once your partition exists, you can use the Partition and Replica view to add new replicas to new servers, or remove replicas from servers.

You can install eDirectory on a Windows server and then install the very same version of eDir on a SUSE Linux server. By using the "ndsconfig add" command, you can add a Linux server into a Windows eDirectory tree. By default, you would have the [Root] partition with two replicas, one on each of these servers. The first installed server will have the Master replica, the second will have a Read/Write.

If you want to create a partition of an existing tree and replicate (on a different server) only a non-root partition,

  1. Install the "different server" into the existing tree.
  2. Create the partition (as above).
  3. Add a replica of it to your "different server".

Before using filtered replicas, be sure you understand how to use the basic Master and Read/Write replicas.

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