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I might be setting up Ubuntu for a small school, but this school has an existing Windows network that allows students to log in before actually entering the desktop. Each student has a small folder containing all their files on the network that they can access after booting and logging in. They access programs from the PC itself, but cannot enter the programs' folders. Can I do the same in Ubuntu? Is this compatible with the existing Windows network?

If not compatible, would it be workable to make a backup of the current network files, switch the whole network over to Ubuntu and get the files running again? I understand that the users would have to be reinserted, but I guess that's doable.

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Yes, an Ubuntu client can join a Windows domain. You can use Likewise open for that, for instance. I haven't done so myself, so my knowledge about it is limited. But now you have something concrete to look for anyway.

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