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80% Mac office, need central directory

Posted on 2011-02-13
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I have an office that is about 80% mac's, 10% windows, 10% ubuntu.  We need a basic office service.  Most of all we need a central directory, like Active Directory domain environment.  What kind of solution is there for a mixed workstation environment and setting something like this up?

Mac mini integrated with AD?  Can a mac user access a NTFS file share? Printers? etc.

Thanks!
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Question by:LrdKanien
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by:roylong
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Just build yourself a simple Linux server running LDAP.
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by:Tasmant
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You can follow this link for Mac integration with AD:http://www.mactech.com/articles/mactech/Vol.20/20.11/ActiveDirectory/index.html

Microsoft servers provide a way to share directories to Mac (Add/remove Programs, Other Network File and Print Services):
- File Services for Macintosh
- Print Services for Macintosh
- Print Services for Unix

I've also found this usefull information (maybe) http://allinthehead.com/retro/218/accessing-a-windows-2003-share-from-os-x
You should test prior.
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by:roylong
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AD requires quite a bit of cost Linux requires only hardware and skills training investment.

services for macintosh were phased out after win-2000 and through 2003... ...all of the latest installations with macintoshes in AD run SMB protocol for files and the built in windows print services on the macintosh..
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by:roylong
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@Tasmant -- I just checked your link above and it's dated 2004!  and relates to macintosh OS X 10.3!
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Macintosh computers can access NTFS shares if they are shared out from a central file server - the underlying Windows OS deals with the disk reads and writes and presents the files over the SMB/CIFS protocol so the format of the disk is not seen by the macintosh.

If you did want to invest in a macmini with OS X server on it; you could always set this up as an Open Directory master and use the open directory, which is pretty similar to AD but not tied to windows.  I am not sure how well Windows clients work with open directory, but the macs certainly will, as will the ubuntu boxes.

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by:joshopkins
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We are about a 65% Mac, 30% Windows, and 5% *nix.  We have centralized setup with Microsoft AD.

To answer your question :Mac mini integrated with AD?  Can a mac user access a NTFS file share? Printers? etc

Yes to all.

If you are a GUI person then MS AD is the way to go.  Makes for setting up users, shared network storage, and  printers easy.  While I understand the *nix has a GUI it is not as simple or intuitive as Microsoft's.

To add a mac to AD/LDAP all you have to do is bind the mac to the AD/LDAP server. To bind a mac to the server you will need to use the Directory Utility (10.1-10.5) or under the Accounts --> Login Options for 10.6.  

I would also recommend that you enable mobile accounts under the advanced options to allow users to login either when they are traveling or if the server is down for whatever reason.
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