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Or is it just silly of me to expect something like this to work?

All I want is this: (assuming it's possible)

  • I'd share /etc/passwd file of the serverX at serverY:/etc/passwd
  • I'd share serverX:/home to serverY:/home

Son anyone can login to serverY and their files will always be there. Then I can have many serverY's to distribute the resource needs.

Is this possible at all?

Thanks, D

ps: serverX is Plesk. NIS,LDAP requires Plesk to change how it operates, so it's not very handy. I don't know if it's ok to mention here but I'd be happy to turn this into a professional assignment if anyone can take this pain away from me.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

For /etc/passwd I wouldn't do it. Easier and less prone to fail would be to cron a job that distributes your new users every few minutes if there's been changes (make sure to send /etc/shadow and /etc/groups and potentially a few more along too). That's easily implementable in a short bash script.

As an alternative to doing that, there are alternate authentication schemes for Linux like OpenLDAP, but it sounds like you've already researched these and have discarded using one of them.

/home being shared would be best accomplished with NFS.

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"potentially a few more along too" can i have the exact list? this looks like easiest thing to do for now. If I could use OpenLDAP without letting my other software know about it (i.e. instead of e.g. useradd i don't need to reprogram Plesk to use new set of commands) I'd love to implement LDAP, but I couldn't find someone who is confident with it yet. – Devrim Nov 1 '09 at 8:08
@Devrim: I left that in there in case something distribution-specific crops up, but the list in the answer should be enough to get you by. – Jed Smith Nov 1 '09 at 19:00

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