The smallest Windows domain controller on Earth

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Fsg-3.thumbnail.jpg

For some time, I’ve been playing with Debian on Freecom FSG-3. The device is quite cool – a size of a book, with built-in HDD, 4 ethernet ports, 4 USB ports, 64 MB RAM, and 266 MHz Intel XScale CPU (ARM). With these specs, it’s more powerful than some smaller servers from the late 1990s.

Why not run a full blown Windows domain controller for a group of small office branches?

In fact, we deployed such a setup in a company I was working for. Each branch office has a FSG-3, which runs the following:

  • Samba as a Windows domain controller,
  • OpenLDAP to sync users between the branches,
  • CUPS for printing,
  • OpenVPN to secure communication between the branches,
  • WPKG for software deployment,
  • Unattended for initial Windows deployment,
  • ISDN dialin – in case a remote DSL dies, we can always log in using a ISDN telephone line,
  • of course, other Linux goodies offered by Debian.

Works great – the solution is really flexible, there is no need to place a traditional PC-server anymore, and moreover, we didn’t have to pay a dime for a Windows Server license.