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6-9 desktop computers connected wired and running Windows XP SP3
Wireless is available for Windows/Mac laptops
HP MediaSmart Server EX490/495 (only being used as a backup currently)

I am trying to setup networked user accounts at a non-profit so the students can have a private place to store their files and also access them from any of the computers on the network.

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If you want to centralize network logins, you will have to set up a Windows domain.

  • This means Active Directory.
    • Linux and Mac can be part of an AD domain too.
  • If you cannot use AD (Windows 2008 Server too expensive, or something), create a NT domain using Samba on a Linux server.
    • Beware: NT domains are ancient technology.
    • Samba 4 can act as an AD domain controller, but it is not finished yet.

If you need to have a file server, either Windows Server or Samba will work. Whichever you choose, it should be possible to just have one big share, with subdirectories for each user protected by standard ACLs.

  • You could even use roaming profiles, but they can be slow.
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I would suggest using a network drive with password protection for each individual folder on the drive.

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