Gentoo OpenLDAP server running on Sun Ultra 5

Well, my first Gentooserver is up and running on the Sun Ultra 5’s quite happily. It wasn’t as problematic as expected to be honest. I guess having done a few Gentoo installs before helped too!

The only couple of things I found was the system didn’t compile the network card driver correctly. I had to go back into the config, de-select the card, exit, head back into config and re-select before re-building the kernel. Plus, with a 3.5Mb limit on 2.4 kernel size on Sparc64, I only just managed to get it down to 3.4Mb after stripping off .comments and .notes as detailed in the excellent Gentoo Sparc Handbook.

Also on this first server, which will become the OpenLDAP server, it wouldn’t set console fonts correctly on boot, causing the system to hang. The correct setting had been applied, but booting off the CD and doing a quick “rc-update del consolefont default” and rebooting cured it with no ill-effects.

Lack of ssh access by default is a bit of an annoyance, but that’s just the way the Gentoo installer does things, so then had to leave the system a while compiling OpenSSH and setting it load on boot. Is easier controlling via ssh then switching back and forth with KVM’s and keyboards.

Onto OpenLDAP, and more great documention from Gentoo in the form of the Gentoo OpenLDAP handbook got everything up and running without too many hassles. The only issue was not including the full hostname within /etc/hosts – it must be hostname.domainname.extension, in this case, not fatcontroller.homelinux or communicating with the LDAP server would fail. Enabling SSL is a doodle, and importing users, groups, etc. from the local box was fine with the migration-tools. Not sure about how it would handle an import from existing LDAP server such as a Microsoft Active Directory, which would have interesting to try out. Not having one in my pocket hindered that slightly!

My test machine with a Gentoo system already installed has been commandered as the network client since it’s already setup, and a few simple changes to PAM got the workstation authenticating with the LDAP server. The next stage is implementing a Samba server to handle network home directories and profile storage, so whilst authenticating against the LDAP server, you also have the appropriate network drives mapped to the account.

Speaking of which, the Samba server itself installed within one evening having learnt from the problems building the first server. I decided it probably wasn’t worth the hassling unplugging everything, slaving hard drives, imaging them, then plugging everything back to together. Of course, making judicious use of [scp to move the kernel .config file and such across helped a tad! Also, the Samba server didn’t experience the console fonts problem on boot, so is quite happy booting. Currently, it’s starting to compile all the tools as per the Gentoo Samba3/CUPS/ClamAV HOWTO.

Overall, the speed of the systems in terms of booting up and running things seems quite okay. Compiling is a slightly different matter, as to be expected from the hardware. Won’t break any records for compilation time, but it seems fairly stable and that’ll do me! Am looking forward to getting my teeth into this project once Samba is up + running to really start manipulating the LDAP server to control shared group folder permissions and logins in the same manner network clients + users would in the workplace. Sticking an e-mail server into that will be next, but intend on having some fun with OpenLDAP + Samba first!


Senior Content Development for Microsoft writing about Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Model train nerd. Occasionally I play video games.

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