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How to expand Linux box ?

Posted on 2000-01-19
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Hello,
How can I expand my Linux box in order to support over 65535 user accounts ?
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Question by:No00
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by:gruse
ID: 2366747
In short: Wait. B^)

Slightly longer version:
Alan Cox is in the process of (done with?) integrating the UID32 patches into the kernel. Got that information from his diary at http://www.linux.org.uk/diary/. Sadly he doesn't state if those patches were integrated into the main stream kernel (2.2) or the development kernel (2.3). Everything seems to point at the development kernel, though. I don't use a development kernel, but from what I've heard, you should wait a while, maybe even until 2.4 comes out.
Apart from the kernel, you should check that your tools/programs are prepared for UIDs that are 32 bit wide instead of "only" 16 bit. Time to Use the Source, Luke! B^) If you're not into programming, you'll have to wait a while longer yet until some distributor packs together a "UID32-enabled" version of their distro.

Hope that helped...
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by:gruse
ID: 2370471
Update to that: Read on Linux Weekly (http://lwn.net) that UID32 *is* integrated into the kernel, but into the 2.3 tree, as expected. Rumours are that 2.3.38 seams to be the
"least unstable" kernel of the lot, so you might try that one. Be sure to check out http://kernelnotes.org for information, which other software has to be updated for a 2.3 kernel!
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by:dirge
ID: 2372456
Are these "real" user accounts or just accounts for something like free webmail? The reason I ask is that there might be a workaround if it's for the latter.
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by:jacobmj
ID: 2373031
I was wondering what hardware you've got that would actually handle 65,535 real users.  If they are acutally doing anything on that computer, it seems that you'd need a very large system, at which point it might be easier/less expensive to split the users onto two systems.  Perhaps it's just a password server though?
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by:gruse
ID: 2373533
No00 doesn't necessarily have to have over 65535 users, maybe he only wants to create accounts with a higher UID. That might be necessary for keeping UIDs in sync between machines for NFS shares.
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by:No00
ID: 2502777
Thanx for your comments.
I'm building a webmail system under Linux. So I have to support a large amount of users. Can you give me some advises ??
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by:gruse
ID: 2503135
I'm not an expert at webmail systems, but there are two ways that I can see that should be possible. Note that I didn't say *easy*...

1. Use a second user database beside /etc/passwd. /etc/passwd will be only for system users, any webmail user has to be authentificated (is that word correct?) against your webmail software. Hope your software has that feature, or you might have to build it yourself.

2. Use not only one, but several server. This might even make more sense, as webmail servers will have to take a pretty load. Dividing that load between several servers is a way to keep them responsive. An up-front authentication server would then divide the requests up to the real webmail servers.

To repeat: I'm not an expert in that area. These two ideas are off the top of my head, but hopefully have some merit.

Good luck to you.
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gruse earned 600 total points
ID: 2503449
Small update: Just stumbled upon two freshmeat.net entries that might combine into just what you need.
There's a software called perdition (http://vergenet.net/linux/perdition/) that gives you a content-free POP3 server that routes users to other, real POP3 servers based on the user, and there's w3mail (http://www.tbcc.cc.or.us/~spencer/w3mail) that's an web to POP3 gateway. Sounds like an ideal solution to your problem...
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by:dirge
ID: 2503546
Well, if perdition doesn't fit your bill, you could consider the following:

1. If using IMAP, try Cyrus IMAP with the mysql authentication patches or the UW-IMAP with similar patches;

2. Use the same UID/GID for all users, assuming your webmail software can let you get away with it and there is no login account with the UID.

Just some thoughts.
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by:No00
ID: 2504209
Thanx for your advise gruse.
I wish I could accept dirge's answer too. :))
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