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Integrating Linux into Active Directory keeps getting easier


Likewise Software has released a new, open-source version of its eponymous AD (Active Directory) program for integrating Linux, Unix and Mac systems into AD.

Likewise Fall includes two main features. The most important, LWIS (Likewise Identity Services) enables you to use Active Directory Authentication for your Linux, Unix and Mac PCs. Likewise states that LWIS includes a full implementation of the DCE/RPC framework with support for Kerberos, NTLM and SPNEGO security protocols. The company also claims that LWIS will run on 118+ non-Windows platforms..

With just playing with Likewise Fall, I can say that the basic functionality is there. Using it I was able to join my openSUSE 11 desktop to my Windows Server 2008 AD.

In addition, the program comes with the LAC Likewise Administrative Console. This enables administrators to manage AD users, computers and access rights from Linux. This also worked for me from openSUSE. The program also includes an event log daemon. This stores stores authentication and security events in a supplied database engine.

In a statement, Barry Crist, Likewise’s CEO, said “Our latest version features a next generation authentication engine that makes the administration of mixed networks even easier by allowing IT to manage users, access rights and policies from any computer.” While I’ve barely kicked its tires, it looks to me, based on both this and my experience with older versions of Likewise and its predecessor, Centeris, that it delivers the good.

The new edition, Likewise Fall 08, is now available for download. It is licensed under the LGPL 2.1 for client libraries and the GPL 2.1 for daemons. There is also a version of the program available under a proprietary license.

If you want more, like being able to manage AD Group Policy, you’ll need to get the Enterprise edition of Likewise. The list price for this edition is $249 for the server license and $49 per workstation. Volume discounts are available.

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