How are profiles set up using Linux Enterprise?

Posted on 2004-04-20
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Meaning, how are user profiles, and other profiles created in Linux?  I know with WIndows 2000 Server you user user profiles through Active Directory when on a domain, but what does Linux use?
Are there any informal websites that can help me with this.  The reason is that we are playing with Linux Enterprise but cannot figure out how to set up user profiles.

Please help
Question by:cjjimbos
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Expert Comment

ID: 10872154
What exactly are you wanting to do with "user profiles". on Unix/Linux a "user profile" is generally referred to as what is set up by shell init scripts, either globally or those located in a user's home dir. These will do things like set default shell prompt, set up the PATH, create command aliases, etc. The user's home dir, shell, and UID & GID are set in the passwd file.

Author Comment

ID: 10872300
What I need jlevie is how to understand how users profiles and accounts are stored in a Linux Server, compared to a Windows 2000 Server.  Does Red Hat Linux have their own version of AD, or does the profiles, such as roaming profiles, the same as WIndows?
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Expert Comment

ID: 10872935
At the base level a Linux system uses the information from passwd, shadow, and group to determine what users are on the system, their shell, and home dir. A user's home dir will contain shell init scripts, application profiles (like for Mozilla, Evolution, etc), and their data. This roughly corresponds to a windows box set up as a Workgroup machine.

At the next level a Linux box can be configured to use NIS or LDAP for the same purposes that the passwd, shadow, and group files provide. Additionally home dirs can be stored on one or more file servers and accessed via NFS from a Linux workstation. When NIS or LDAP is used for user authentication/info and home dirs are accessed via NFS you have the rough equivalent of an AD environment and roaming profiles.
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Author Comment

ID: 10873081
does Linux have profiles for users such as roaming profiles?  Thanks jlevie.
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Accepted Solution

jlevie earned 500 total points
ID: 10873666
If a user's home dir is NFS mounted on the workstation that user logs into you have the same affect as a roaming profile on windows, with the additional advantage that the user's data is effectively on each machine they log onto. Since NIS, NFS, and automouters predate windows by a large margin it is fair to say that Unix (Sun) was the originator of roaming profiles.

Author Comment

ID: 10873673
Thanks jlevie,
You have been a tremedous help and great resource.


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