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Samba as a Windows Server Replacement

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
December 8, 2004 5:15:16 AM

My company is planning to switch from a peer-to-peer network with all Windows (mostly XP Pro and a few Win98) machines because we are expanding beyond the 10 allowable clients. Because our company is still small, we do not want to spend too much money on getting a Windows Server 2003 box. I have been reading on alternatives. The best one so far is Samba. However, although I know that samba will save me lots of money now in the near future, I am still not clear on the things that Samba can do to replace a Windows 2003 Server box.

My first question is can I use Samba to run a Windows network that is domain-based? In other words, can Samba act as a domain controller for 10 or more Windows clients? (We are willing to upgrade the remaining Win98 machines to XP Pro.) If it can, then can it also be used to act as a centralized storage place like a "real" Windows Server 2003 DC?

Secondly, what if I want to run a web server on the same box? Can I or should I delegate this task to another box? What does this other box have to be running to serve out webpages? I know it will run Apache, but can Apache be run on a Windows XP Pro machine that is just a client (not member server) of a samba-run domain?
December 9, 2004 1:41:27 AM

Sounds like you are jumping into the linux world with very little knowledge. That could hurt you at first. Samba can act asa domain controller and the same box can bew a web server. You should probably have another box acting as you web server siting security.
December 9, 2004 7:07:58 AM

Well, there is no rush right now. I mean if I need more time to learn about samba, I simply subnetting the network to get around the 10 client maximum limitation. I don't jump into anything major without carefully studying it first. let's face it, Linux folks are not the best of writers explaining the OS to newbies. But I enjoy a challenge. Is there a case study out there that resembles my situation?
Related resources
December 9, 2004 5:29:16 PM

There is a lot of good documentation referencing linux. Actually there is a ton. The O'Reilly books rock.
December 12, 2004 1:54:20 AM

I have one word for you. ClarkConnect.

I've used it now for quite some time (2 yrs plus) and I can't find its equal for SOHO use. The price is just right, they have tons of help via forums...and they're about to release their 3.0 version.

2.2 is the current version and it is based on RedHat offers a web interface for configuration. You can even make it a WINS server if need be. Head on over to and download the free (home) version to give it a try. Install it on a spare system and throw it onto the LAN. You won't be sorry when you check out how much you can do with it and how well it suits small businesses. Plus, it's thousands of bucks less than Windows and it is stable as anything. I'm going on a system uptime of 45 consecutive days (one power interrupt during a thunderstorm...otherwise I'd be at 136 consecutive). If you need any pointers or direct feedback, do not hesitate to give me a holler via this board, or pm me for my email.


<b>It is always brave to say what everyone thinks. </b> <i>Georges Duhamel</i>

December 12, 2004 5:01:21 AM

Clark connect is sweet. I've got it at home on a dual PIII550 xeon and it has been going strong for over a year. It is so easy it is almost cheating, lol. I've got mine running webserv, emailserv, webmail, dhcp, dns, vpn, bannerad filtering proxy, and more and it only took about 15-20min from start to finish. It would probably take less time on a faster machine :) 

<A HREF="" target="_new">My precious...</A>
December 14, 2004 5:41:06 AM

Does ClarkConnect, both the free Home version and the paid Pro and Office version support dynamic dns as a client? We at the company have a dynamic IP DSL account and a Linksys router acting as a gateway that when it senses there is a change in the WAN IP, it notifies, a dynamic IP/name resolution service site where we have an account, so that we can always know the current IP of the WAN side of the Linksys router. We use TZO for remote desktop sessions. Does ClarkConnect do the same as this Linksys router?
December 14, 2004 9:32:14 AM

I don't think it does it for that particular client...but I noticed that there was a perl dynamic update client for ClarkConnect has perl preinstalled just like most Linux distros so you'll be able to use the text based perl installer from (just like I use the dhclient for my account).

<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>

<b>It is always brave to say what everyone thinks. </b> <i>Georges Duhamel</i>

December 15, 2004 1:03:39 AM

Do you have the free or paid account at I have a free account there and find that it is less reliable than tzo.
December 15, 2004 9:27:27 AM

I've got the paid account. It's been 100% for me since I bought the domain in 1999. It's about 24 dollars for their custom DNS service and the domain is 8 bucks a year. I figured that around 3 dollars per month isn't bad :)  Plus my google ads make me about 12-15 bucks a month so it's already paid for itself.

<b>It is always brave to say what everyone thinks. </b> <i>Georges Duhamel</i>

December 16, 2004 5:04:20 AM

This is off topic, but how could you give me the gist of how you make money using google ads? I saw a book at a bookstore a few weeks back that shows how to make money with Google. I just browsed through it because I thought it was probably a scam or at least hype, but now that you said you actually make a little money from it, how is it done in general?
December 16, 2004 9:39:40 AM

Yeah..whip this question into a different forum and I'll be glad to answer.

<b>It is always brave to say what everyone thinks. </b> <i>Georges Duhamel</i>

February 2, 2005 2:38:17 AM

You can have more than 10 Windows workstations on the same LAN. There is no needto subnet them. The limitation is each Windows XP computer will allow 10 concurrent connection.