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I'm in the process of purchasing a dozen (or so) laptops for our volunteer-led organisation to use for training purposes. We already use an LDAP server to authenticate access to the wiki, the forum and the wordpress site. I also don't fancy trying to maintain credentials on 12 separate machines.

It's been a while since I've done any desktop administration, so I'm not really sure where to start. (I'm also not sure if this question is better suited to Server Fault...) I have distant memories of Active Directory and I seem to recall that this is just a pimped-out, proprietary version of LDAP, but beyond this I'm fumbling blindly.

My question then is:

  1. What version of Windows do I need? (I'm guessing professional.)
  2. Do I need any additional software?
  3. What do I do about users files? (Will I need a NAS to house the "My Documents" folders?)

Update: I've found some free software called "pGina" - has anyone out there got any experience with it?

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Active Directory is an implementation of ldap, but it is also much more than that (it supports features like automated security and other policy enforcement and software deployment). Active Directory will want to replace your existing ldap system, and as far as I know it will not wrap, use, or import your existing ldap data. That said, you can probably find a 3rd party tool that will import accounts to AD from an outside ldap service, though any ldap service worth using will also require you to reset all the passwords. Nevertheless, Active Directory is your best bet to get windows workstation authentication working well.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

OK, so I've solved this question using pGina. Since this has been tumbleweed for months, I'm going to mark this as answered.

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