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Linux Lab & Server


I am planning on building a trial Linux Lab for my school.  So I thought I would get some second opinions first.  It's important that it work well first try.  (If anyone has good resources in addition to the HOW TO and Orielly books please tell me).  If anyone has additional suggestions or alternatives please suggest them to me.

I was hoping to use NIS so that all the login information is kept on my central Linux server.  I have heard that NIS+ is not really ready yet on Linux.  Any opinions?

I was also planning on using NFS for 2 purposes.  1) To let the user save and work directly to their user space on the server and 2) I thought that as much software could (/usr/local/bin & /usr/bin) retrieved from the server to simplify upgrades.  I am still hoping to have the applications run on the local machine to keep the server's brain as free as possible for other uses.  

How much of the base operating system is practical to have running with software retrieved from the server?  I assume /bin & /sbin are not practical to run from the server. 

In total the server would then be running netatalk, samba, apache, nis, nfs, sendmail, inetd, lpd, eventually ocs, cvw & vnc.  VNC scares me a little -- because it would allow people to use the servers resources directly is there a way to limit a users ability to use RAM and CPU cycles?  Any ideas on about whether I should use a separate server for VNC?  Any ideas on how good the machine(s) should be?  I will start with about 5 workstations, but if successful it could grow to about 50.

Your comments will be appreciated.