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BusterX

network usernames?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello there,

 

I'm running a small computer network with 5 pc's for users, one pfsense server and another windows 10 machine that acts as a network storage and two virtual machines. i am using and would like to keep using a version of 1803 for the users.

 

My question is, how can a corporation (or faculty) have individual desktops for each user and how can i do that so that i won't have to make 8 user accounts for each machine with identical configurations between them (user A with photoshop, premiere, etc - editor, user b - office package, proprietary - etc - so each user with his own stuff).

 

I tought that i can run windows to go, but that fails after a few machine switches

 

I am thinking of buying each an ssd and have their accounts on that (and my account as the supervisor) but that would imply hanging cables etc.

 

Can i do this without hardware removal? like storing user accounts on an ssd in the "storage machine"

 

thank you

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Your question is very confusing. Are you looking to install the same thing on many machines ? if yes then build one, configure it and clone it. As long as the clone target drive is a similar type and the disk space is at least the clone image size + 10-20% it will work like a charm.

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6 hours ago, BusterX said:

My question is, how can a corporation (or faculty) have individual desktops for each user and how can i do that so that i won't have to make 8 user accounts for each machine with identical configurations between them (user A with photoshop, premiere, etc - editor, user b - office package, proprietary - etc - so each user with his own stuff).

For the user accounts: Active Directory

For the software: they don't. You got a machine, which has software X installed. Otherwise they install it on a terminal server and let you access it through that.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

i'm sorry for the confusing question...

i'm looking to have user account data stored on the network in a secured place, have a cloned disk with all the software installed and the users when trying to log in to windows to input password and username and automagically load their configuration regardless of the machine they are using.

all of my desktop pc's are 90% identical which is not a problem for windows 10, 8.1 or even 7 (would like to use windows 10 1803 tho)

 

when i was in college, i had my account accesible from all the computers with my personilised desktop enviroment with my apps that i used and all the configurations necesarry.

 

i don't have any knowledge regarding this process or how to use windows servers. what i use now is rudimentary by comparisson. 

 

a "for dummies" like guide would be usefull but i don't even know what to search for

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4 hours ago, BusterX said:

i'm sorry for the confusing question...

i'm looking to have user account data stored on the network in a secured place, have a cloned disk with all the software installed and the users when trying to log in to windows to input password and username and automagically load their configuration regardless of the machine they are using.

all of my desktop pc's are 90% identical which is not a problem for windows 10, 8.1 or even 7 (would like to use windows 10 1803 tho)

 

when i was in college, i had my account accesible from all the computers with my personilised desktop enviroment with my apps that i used and all the configurations necesarry.

 

i don't have any knowledge regarding this process or how to use windows servers. what i use now is rudimentary by comparisson. 

 

a "for dummies" like guide would be usefull but i don't even know what to search for

the apps where installed on all computers. You simply had what is called a roaming profile. By logging in the domain the profile is stored in the domain controller and transferred over the computer you log in.

 

Under normal circumstances your profile is usually in c:\Users\YourName but with a domain controller you can store that on the server and when you logging the user folder is redirected to the server. The users won't see a difference. An icon will look bad if the software is not installed properly and it will fail with many application where it does not save the user preference somewhere in the User folder or MyDocuments.

 

One example are photoshop scripts are by default stored in the photoshop folder in the program file folder which will be per PC. If you log on another PC you won't have your scripts. If you are lucky with your software like photoshop, you can redirect the preference folder and map it to it's redirected folder. If the application doesn't allow preference redirection like early beta Chrome versions user will never have his bookmark when switching computers.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
58 minutes ago, Franck said:

the apps where installed on all computers. You simply had what is called a roaming profile. By logging in the domain the profile is stored in the domain controller and transferred over the computer you log in.

 

Under normal circumstances your profile is usually in c:\Users\YourName but with a domain controller you can store that on the server and when you logging the user folder is redirected to the server. The users won't see a difference. An icon will look bad if the software is not installed properly and it will fail with many application where it does not save the user preference somewhere in the User folder or MyDocuments.

 

One example are photoshop scripts are by default stored in the photoshop folder in the program file folder which will be per PC. If you log on another PC you won't have your scripts. If you are lucky with your software like photoshop, you can redirect the preference folder and map it to it's redirected folder. If the application doesn't allow preference redirection like early beta Chrome versions user will never have his bookmark when switching computers.

how can i do that? can you point me to a guide that details everything i need to do and how to work the setup?

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1 hour ago, BusterX said:

how can i do that? can you point me to a guide that details everything i need to do and how to work the setup?

here's the basic on the subject.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/folder-redirection/folder-redirection-rup-overview

 

The whole idea if you have your domain controller a single computer with windows server 2012 and up (2008 sbs is doable but different if i recall).

 

All the other computer just need at least windows 7 and up professional (not home) and you add them to your domain. Then you control everything from the domain controller. You can also have all their personal folder redirected on the domain controller that is usually managing all the network drive / NAS.

Each computer simply need the bare minimum space to have the application installed. Once that is setup go to any computer in the domain and login with your domain account and you have all your favorite stuff.

 

Note that roaming profile look nice yes but there are caveats hence why it's not always used.

- The fact you have to auto install each application on each computer that are on the domain.

- Some application has settings and license based on components. So won't work while on a different computer.

- Many small company applications actually save preference to the local disk and have no preference redirection possible

- High network activity on a single server when you have many computer in the domain.

 

An alternative to all these are VM per users

 

Pro

- Easy clone and backup. Does Not work anymore ? just reload yesterday image.

- You do not need a full PC you can buy what is called a thin client. It's plus or less a small PC that open remote desktop to connect to a VM (~500$)

 

Con

- Many application won't work under virtualization which include but not limited to application that need graphic acceleration. One major example i had to deal often is Solidworks (a professional 3d CAD) you will outright get no support and bunch of feature will randomly fail. Remote Desktop is a GDI emulation so no real DirectX / OpenGL.

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On 5/23/2019 at 9:33 AM, BusterX said:

i'm sorry for the confusing question...

i'm looking to have user account data stored on the network in a secured place, have a cloned disk with all the software installed and the users when trying to log in to windows to input password and username and automagically load their configuration regardless of the machine they are using.

all of my desktop pc's are 90% identical which is not a problem for windows 10, 8.1 or even 7 (would like to use windows 10 1803 tho)

 

when i was in college, i had my account accesible from all the computers with my personilised desktop enviroment with my apps that i used and all the configurations necesarry.

 

i don't have any knowledge regarding this process or how to use windows servers. what i use now is rudimentary by comparisson. 

 

a "for dummies" like guide would be usefull but i don't even know what to search for

What you are looking for are Active Directory's roaming profiles.

And for the applications, usually an image is taken from a machine with the desired software and then cloned on the computers that you want to deploy. It's also possible to deploy MSI files with a GPO however I wouldn't recommend that unless it's really necessary.

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