Riding a MS Network with Linux


I work in a company that have an enterily MS-based network, which means, all that domain login crap and everything that comes with it: outlook, MS Communicator, proxies, monitoring and etc.

I particurarly hate to use MS Windows anytime, even more for work. So, I installed an Ubuntu Linux with the windows that came in my machine. Doing this came with some weird issues and workarounds, and this post will describe some of them.

Network

This was the trickiest: I needed an “GOD-mode certificate”, you should ask the domain admins for something like it. After that, the setup was pretty easy:

network setup

Proxy

You can either set the proxy direct on Network Proxy Setup and give the password ten thousand times a day or use CNTLM. I strongly suggest you to use CNTLM.

You can download it from here. Setup is a little tricky, but I will guide you. You shall have a /etc/cntlm.conf file, setup the URL, domain, user and exceptions.

After that, you may have to setup the password. I recommend you to encrypt it with the following command:

$ sudo cntlm -H -c /etc/cntlm.conf

Then put you root password followed by the domain password. Copy the given hashes to the /etc/cntlm.conf and restart the service with /etc/cntlm restart, setup your proxy as 127.0.0.1:3128 (8010 for SOCKS) and you are ready to go (remember to apply system wide):

proxy setup

This will fix browsing, apt and most of the things (everything that reads http_proxy environment variable). You may also want to chmod 0600 the config file to avoid others access.

Email

For email setup, you will probably need to call the network admin/support to ask the addresses and ports, then, setup it in Thunderbird (my preferred email client). After that, the setup will be easy.

The only trick I could give you here is about new message composing: Outlook create replies putting the new content above the previous emails, while Thunderbird put it bellow.

To change it, go to your account settings, and change the “Automatically quote the original message when replaying Then,” to “start my reply above the quote” in the “Compositing & Addressing” tab:

thunderbird

Lync / Communicator

For this -crapy- thing we have a web version available (as well as email), but you can also setup this (if you have luck) in pidgin, using pidgin-sipe (you can get all the needed packages from apt). You can follow this (link is now offline) tutorial, skipping the installation (use apt).

I don’t have luck with that, so I still with web version.


The rest work seamlessly without any tweaks. If you have any thought, please share it in comment box above.

Thanks.

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