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X2Go in a Swiss school, with Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Single-Sign-On

We are a small school (200 students) in Switzerland for students that have finished their public school but haven't made it to an apprenticeship training position yet. So our main goal is to prepare them for the “real” world in many different subjects.

We started using X2Go a few years ago, as a terminal server solution for the students that like to get into the the ICT-sector. As a teacher (and hobby-sysadmin) I appreciated X2Go's ease of use. I was able to provide a stable environment with no costs. The hardware we use is old and was rejected by our Windows admins as “garbage”, so we got it for free. The Windows folks - admins and users alike - were extremely surprised when they saw what the machines they had rejected as too old could still do.

Soon we also saw what a huge advantage X2Go was for our students. They are able to switch seamlessly between working from home or at school. Missing homework because of a lack of infrastructure? Not at our school.

By now X2Go has become an essential tool for several courses. Our X2Go installation (on Debian 8, with an XFCE desktop) even has Windows Active Directory integration (Single-Sign-On and Windows shares). As our school's ICT system is Windows-based (with Windows Server 2008 acting as an AD Domain Controller), this was necessary to allow seamless integration into the rest of the system.

We use special tools like Blender, FreeCAD, and other fancy stuff a lot - stuff our Windows admin is not willing to install and maintain on all the other machines. X2Go gave us the possibility to provide access to these tools without any further expenses.

We sometimes have courses with guests from outside our school. Instead of having to get Windows domain user accounts set up for them, I just provide them with local Linux user accounts on our X2Go server. Within minutes I have everything set up that they need for their course, and they can even continue their work from outside.

I've tried LTSP, NoMachine NX and tinkered around with several VNC servers. But the thing that really made a difference was X2Go.

Thanks to all the great developers out there that made X2Go a viable and affordable alternative to what the so-called market leaders have to offer.

-Ueli Leutwyler

doc/success-stories/x2go-swiss-school-with-windows-ad-sso.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/16 16:44 by stefanbaur