Linux Domain Controller

We are a Windows shop currently appalled by the money Microsoft charges for their user CALs on our domain controller.

We were wondering whether we could substitute a Windows domain  controller with one running Linux.

It would have to be able to allow users access to our network of Windows servers, including an Exchange 2003 email server.  In addition, users would have to be able to access shared directories and printers which would be hosted on the new Linux sever.  Lastly, the Linux box would have to be able to replicate with active directory hosted on secondary domain controllers that are running Windows 2003 server.

Possible?  Reliable?
excelacomAsked:
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pablouruguayCommented:
here you have a tutorial to install it all services
http://lilly.csoft.net/~vdebaere/handleiding/samba-activedirectory/index_en.html
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ravenplCommented:
You'll get many tutorials from http://www.google.com/search?q=samba+domain+controller&spell=1
But You have to know, that samba will work as domain controller, however managing it with nice tools is another story(but old user manager from windowsnt works fine).
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excelacomAuthor Commented:
So..in terms of reliability and uptime is distroX+Samba comperable to windows?
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Gabriel OrozcoSolution ArchitectCommented:
reliability and uptime?  in my experience, linux+samba is a factor of about 2.5 to 5 times better than windows.

in easy of use is where linux takes more effort
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ravenplCommented:
Totally agree with Redimido. From my experience linux domain controller is fast and stable.
However managing it requires some higher linux/samba knowledge...
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pablouruguayCommented:
yep tottaly agree. you can use GUI interfaces or web interfaces to admin all for example

www.webmin.com or fedora have one call system-config-samba
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jimcowanCommented:
Another Here Here on that, Linux is far superior, and i specialize in replacing windows with linux whereever possible, and you can likley be a full linux shop, because Linux can do anything windows can do, with greater stabuility and reliability.
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NopiusCommented:
So many posts, and nobody told that:
- Exchange 2003 _REQUIRES_ Active Directory, Samba PDC is not enough. Read here for other's experience: http://archives.free.net.ph/message/20040213.233747.18d5fd77.en.html
- Linux box is UNABLE toreplicate with active directory hosted on secondary domain controllers that are running Windows 2003 server

Be aware of that.
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ravenplCommented:
> Exchange 2003 _REQUIRES_ Active Directory
There's always: http://mirror.open-xchange.org/ox/EN/community/
> - Linux box is UNABLE toreplicate with active directory hosted on secondary domain controllers that are running Windows 2003 server
that's true, but You may run it on another linux. I guess that even samba is unable to synch, one could do it by running cron jobs ;)

But true: nobody says samba will fully replace w2003 server.
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NopiusCommented:
ravenpl,
I like Linux and not very like M$. Nobody argues Linux is good.
But before doing such 'revolution', I mean moving from Windows AD to Samba PDC,
they should think twice and must be ready for integration problems.
Also they probably need to hire Linux administrator too.
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excelacomAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all of your input.  Since there isn't a "right" answer to such a broad question I'm going to do the egalitarian thing and give each of you 100 points.  Thanks again.
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