Today I have to choose an operating system to replace a very old server with Windows 2000. Usually, when I have to do tasks like this one, I like getting my hands dirty with the old school approach: choose a very good Linux distribution (maybe CentOS) and setup all the services needed to do the job.

Today I’m feeling a little bit tired, so I don’t want to re-invent the wheel again 😛 and I want to see, in 2012, how the Open Source Software can help me into this field.

I have fired up my trusty browser and I have made a little research on Google. I have found three interesting players: ClearOS, SME Server and Zentyal.

Zentyal seems to me the more complete and polished solution (also the easiest) to replace the old Windows 2000 domain controller, so let’s go to install it.

From the Zentyal website you can download the ISO (550mb circa), then burn it and install on your brand new server.

Start your server booting from the CD…

The usual Ubuntu language selection screen, first boot

The usual Ubuntu installer language selection screen, first boot

You can choose the partition kind of your HD (I will erase all the HD on this test)

You can choose the partition kind of your HD (I will erase all the HD on this test)

Here you can choose the language of the interface

Here you can choose the language of the interface

Now the timezone step

Now the timezone step

After the previous questions, some auto configurations screens...

After the previous questions, some auto configurations screens…

Choose the hostname of the server

Choose the hostname of the server

Choose the username of the administrator

Choose the username of the administrator

Choose the password of the administrator

Choose the password of the administrator

Now the partition is automatically generated and formatted

Now the partition is automatically generated and formatted

The install process is begun

The install process is begun

The needed packages are retrieved for installation

The needed packages are retrieved for installation

The installation is finishing...

The installation is finishing…

Installation complete!

Installation complete!

Now, the first boot with some work left to do...

Now, the first boot with some work left to do…

This is the first boot screen, with the login form where you can use the user created before

This is the first boot screen, with the login form where you can use the user created before

Here you have to choose the right mix of services to ultimate setup

Here you have to choose the right mix of services to ultimate setup

From here, you have to configure the installed services (with the handy four main roles – the boxes on top). All is managed via the web interface, from the server itself or via LAN (you must use Firefox or Chrome, no IE allowed – nice! 🙂 ).


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