For years I’ve had two to five computers around the house, with a variety of accounts for myself, my wife, and now my kids, not to mention a couple of special management accounts. Manually configuring these systems can be pretty tricky, because we’ve never installed any kind of central system for controlling users and passwords. We just try very hard to keep the UID numbers the same on all the different computers (which annoys my wife, because she’s the “second user” even on her own computer). With the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), it very much looks like I could untangle this mess and manage my network the way real pros do. For me, or for you, if you happen to have a network at home or work that you’d like to sort out, this book by Tom Jackiewicz is just the manual you need.
I haven’t started trying to set up my own directory at home yet, but it appears that everything I will need is here
The book is very straightforward, briefly presenting the history of the directory concept, and what it can be used for, and then moving on to how to configure OpenLDAP to adapt an existing network or start a new one. There are lots of examples, and coverage for a variety of different platforms, information sources, and applications. I haven’t started trying to set up my own directory at home yet, but it appears that everything I will need is here.
This book should be good for anyone who wants to set up LDAP services on their networks, which probably means anyone with more than a couple of computers and users to manage.
OpenLDAP, is, as the name implies, a free software package, and since the book primarily targets Posix operating systems, it will be of most use to administrators managing entire free software systems. However, it includes information about using the software on proprietary Windows or Macintosh systems as well.
The book is clearly and concisely written, without annoying ambiguities or other sources of confusion. The book gives plenty of context and background for the LDAP technology, so as to put the reader into the right position to understand the author’s explanations. There are plenty of example configurations, and a number of examples of applications which don’t shy away from real world problems like adapting existing systems to work with the new LDAP system. I never found the prose distracting or confusing, so it was a real pleasure to read.
This book has what may be the dullest cover I’ve ever seen, and in general, I might have preferred a few more diagrams.
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