LDAP Account Manager
The LDAP Account Manager (LAM) is an application suite for managing POSIX accounts as well as Samba SAM accounts for users, groups and Microsoft Windows machines. LAM can be used with any Web server that has PHP4 support. It connects to the LDAP server using either unencrypted connections or SSL.
LAM is written in PHP and is available from the LAM home page, sourceforge.net/projects/lam, under the GNU GPL. The default password is lam. You should use only an SSL connection to your Web server for all remote operations involving LAM. If you want secure connections, you must configure your Apache Web server to permit connections to LAM using only SSL.
LAM requirements are as follows:
A Web server that works with PHP4.
PHP4 (available from the PHP home page, www.php.net).
OpenLDAP 2.0 or later.
A Web browser that supports CSS.
The gettext package.
SSL support—not necessary, but good to have.
Installation instructions are provided in the distribution tarball and are easy to follow. When you have installed LAM, start your Web server, and then, using your Web browser, connect to the LAM URL. Click the Configuration Login link and then the Configuration Wizard link to begin executing the default profile. Your LDAP server needs to be running at the time LAM is configured. This permits you to validate correct operations.
Alternately, copy the lam.conf_sample file in the config directory to lam.conf. Then, using your favorite editor, change the settings to match local site needs. The comments and help information provided in the profile file the wizard creates are useful and can help many administrators avoid pitfalls.
The LAM configuration editor has a number of options that must be managed correctly (Figure 1), such as setting the minimum and maximum UID/GID values permitted for use on your site. The default values may not be compatible with a need to modify initial default account values for well-known Windows network users and groups. The best work-around is to set the minimum values to zero (0) temporarily to permit the initial settings to be made. Do not forget to reset these to sensible values before using LAM to add additional users and groups.
LAM is not without its oddities. For example, one unexpected feature present on most application screens permits the generation of a PDF file that summarizes configuration information. This is a well-thought-out facility.
When you log in to LAM, the opening screen drops you into the user manager (Figure 2), a logical action that permits the most common facility to be used immediately. The process of editing an existing user, as well as adding a new user, is easy to follow and clearly expressed in both layout and intent. It is a simple matter to edit generic settings, UNIX standard parameters and then Samba account requirements. Each step involves clicking a button that drives you through the process. When you have finished editing, simply click the Final button.
As with the edit screen for user accounts, group accounts can be dealt with rapidly. Host accounts are managed automatically using the smbldap-tools scripts. This means the Hosts edit screen (Figure 3) is not used in most cases.
One aspect of LAM that might annoy users is the way it forces conventions on the administrator. For example, LAM does not permit the creation of Windows user and group accounts that contain uppercase characters or spaces, even though the underlying operating system may have no problems with them. Given the propensity for using uppercase characters and spaces (particularly in the default Windows account names), this lack may cause some annoyance. For the rest, LAM is a useful administrative tool.
John H. Terpstra is CTO of PrimaStasys, Inc., a company that mentors organizations in alternative information technology choice evaluation and facilitates profitable change in practices. He is a long-term member of the Samba-Team, a member of the Open Source Software Institute Advisory Board and author of The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide and Samba-3 by Example.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide