I'm looking to create some sort of local domain for my office [ON THE LOCAL NETWORK] - all our machines run CentOS7 and I would like to startup a machine, see my name, then log-in, add something to my desktop, do some work, log off. Then use another computer and see the same name, I login, find all my documents, desktop etc. there. A bit like a work login that works for all computers on side. If anyone knows how to make this happen, your answer would be much appreciated, especially if it can communicate with Windows and work that way too, but that isn't needed.

Example on machine 1:

enter username: myusername enter password: mypassword

"Logging in NAME" - logs in, I can use the computer to work on/save files.

Then on machine 2 later on:

enter username: myusername enter password: mypassword

"Logging in NAME" - (recognising my account the same as the other machines on site), then can access the files I saved to my desktop on my desktop now and carry on with work....

Just some kind of local network domain that many schools, offices etc. use - even some sort of management hosting application that works over a local network.

Thanks, Oliver

[Screenshots for @jsbillings have been removed by @ORICKETTS]

  • ... how do you want the files to be shared? Sync them to the local machine on login, or keep everything on a network share that's being mounted?
    – Panki
    May 27, 2020 at 12:24
  • @Panki How can I sync them to the local machine on login - I currently have a network share accessed through my CentOS file explorer at the path: smb://ipaddress/sharedfolder
    – ekv_56
    May 28, 2020 at 10:35
  • @Panki - good idea actually
    – ekv_56
    May 30, 2020 at 9:07

1 Answer 1


For account management, you can use FreeIPA, which will create a centralized identity management platform. It uses LDAP for managing the user account information and access, and kerberos to authenticate users. It is similar to Active Directory in that you have a central location for managing users, and single-signon enabled for the entire realm. There's even some configuration you can define in LDAP that CentOS systems can use, such as sudo access.

Once you have identity mangement set up, you can set up a shared home directory network storage service. The easiest is to use NFS. With NFSv4 and Kerberos from the FreeIPA service, you can secure NFS.

  • I'm having a look at the download instructions on FreeIPA's website: link for CentOS7, but if you look at that link, I need to know if I should download and install an IdM Server or Client - I also have an NFS setup with a windows share that works with CentOS and I also have the option for a network drive from my router. - Also, is FreeIPA and their NFS system all 100% FREE? Many Thanks for your help
    – ekv_56
    May 27, 2020 at 15:50
  • - and @jsbillings where it says 'STEP 2' - set a servername - server.example.com - what do I do there? - Do I have to have a domain purchased or just make one up. If the link didn't work before. This is the page I'm discussing: CLICK HERE
    – ekv_56
    May 27, 2020 at 15:56
  • @ORICKETTS yes, FreeIPA is free, and the built in NFS server in CentOS is too. Red Hat packages up FreeIPA and some other tools into a commercial product, but all the components are free in CentOS, you just need to set them up yourself. You can get a domain, or just make one up, just know that DNS has to be correct for everything, so you might need to run your own DNS server too.
    – jsbillings
    May 27, 2020 at 17:37
  • Thanks for your quick reply - I still don't quite follow, does it need a seperate machine to host it or can I just install on my CentOS7 machine and it will work for the rest of the machines on the network? The server/client thing? - Do I setup the server on the hosting one (my machine) (also does that have to be constantly on) - and setup as client on the other machines one by one? - So I could setup and make up a domain for free? DNS server? - sorry, I did mention I'm really inexperienced, could you explain. - Thanks so much
    – ekv_56
    May 27, 2020 at 18:03
  • It's going to be a problem if the 'server' machine that the IPA server is downloaded/installed to has to be on all the time - if I could get my hands on a virtual machine - could I host from there? LINK
    – ekv_56
    May 27, 2020 at 18:11

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