Let’s take the Corona crisis as an opportunity

Together we will change the world written on the pavement with chalk

The Corona crisis has had a huge impact on our society. Office workers had to start working remotely, medical professionals had countless double shifts and delivery companies went into over drive. Winners and losers everywhere – Amazon grew turnover by 25% in the second quarter of 2020, the cloud computing department of Microsoft saw a 47% growth, we all know Zoom barely held it together, spending hundreds of millions on expanding their server farms.

EGroupware 20.1: further upgrades for home office-based users

DDie neue Version von EGroupware birgt spannende Neuerungen - unter anderem das Tool "smallPART", welches videogesetütztes Lernen und Lehren ermöglicht.

EGroupware is a team management solution which specialises in team communication. The software is not only open source-based, but can be easily integrated into existing IT infrastructures. EGroupware can be installed via the Univention App Center.
The great advantage of Univention Corporate Server lies in the integrated identity and infrastructure management system. This facilitates the administration of applications, users and resources. Userscan, for example, simply install a mail server or other additional components that connect seamlessly with EGroupware.

Due to the ongoing corona crisis and the resulting increased demand for home office support, EGroupware has brought forward features originally planned for version 20.1 and released it already in April 2020.

Connecting Ubuntu and Linux Mint Clients to UCS Domains: New Version of the Univention Domain Join Assistant

The Domain Join Assistant for Univention Corporate Server (UCS) automatically integrates Ubuntu and many Ubuntu-based systems such as Linux Mint into a UCS domain. That way, administrators no longer have to manually configure the client computers. Users can then log into the desktop environment with their UCS credentials – on any client in the domain.
The tool offers a graphical user interface and a command line tool for admins who prefer to work on the shell. We have just released a new version of the Domain Join Assistant that comes with various improvements and supports the latest Ubuntu and Linux Mint versions. In this article I’m going to show you how the tool works and I’m going to introduce the new features.

How To configure the BigBlueButton video conferencing solution for UCS and use it easily

Since the beginning of spring, school authorities and other educational institutions have been faced with the challenge of continuing their teaching with no or only limited face-to-face interaction. This article introduces the web conferencing system BigBlueButton, which may be a possible solution to this problem. In the first part of the article I would like to give you an overview of the most important functions of BigBlueButton and briefly discuss what you need to pay attention to the sizing of the servers and how to deal with problems caused by NAT and firewalls of the users. In the second part, I will explain how to integrate BigBlueButton into your UCS environment step by step so that users can use it with their usual credentials.

Samba 4 and OpenLDAP: SURF relies on UCS

SURF is the cooperative association of Dutch educational and research institutions. One of the goals of our organization is to facilitate research with HPC (High Performance Computing). We run national super computer clusters and provide computing power, data transport, data management and analysis for the Dutch academic community, i.e. to universities, universities of applied science, senior secondary vocational institutions (MBO), UMCs and research institutions.

Secure Communication Processes in UCS with (Self-generated and Signed) Certificates

Certificates – Why and What for

In this article I would like to give you an insight into the topic “Securing the Internet-based exchange of information through certificates”. I’ll take a quick look back at the beginnings of the Internet and the use of protocols such as HTTP, SMTP, POP … and their encrypted transport via SSL or TLS. Above all, however, I would like to explain to you how you can use public certificates with Univention Corporate Server to secure your data transfer or also how you can create trustworthy certificates by yourself with Let’s Encrypt. Completely secure and free of charge on top.

Release UCS 4.4-5 brings improvements in Single Sign-on, Self Service, more performance for LDAP and compatibility with Python 3

The release of version 4.4-5 of Univention Corporate Server (UCS) brings a series of technical innovations for the Single Sign-on of users to applications connected to UCS. There are also new functions for the UCS Self Service. Users can now register themselves at a UCS domain via the User Self Service and create a user account, assign a user name and password, and store further information. Performance improvements in the LDAP directory service have accelerated the replication of groups. And in preparation for UCS 5.0, which is scheduled for release at the end of this year, our development department has made more than 45 UCS packages compatible with Python 3. So when you upgrade to UCS 5.0, the corresponding code parts in UCS will run for both Python 2 and Python 3. In addition, we have also published a preview of the new UCS 5 portal as an app in the App Center for testers. It already brings important new technical features such as embedding apps directly into the portal page.

Create an SSO Login for Applications to Groups

SSO mit SAML für UCS-Gruppen
Since the introduction of single sign-on support in Univention Corporate Server (UCS) via Secure Authentication Markup Language (SAML), an administrator can assign a user within the user object to those applications, called service providers in the SAML context, he or she can log in to via single sign-on. As for administrators in organizations with many users, this assignment can be time-consuming.

Digital Sovereignty is an Indispensable Prerequisite for the Resilience of Our IT Systems – First Lessons from the Corona Crisis

We are in the transition to a “new normal”. However it will look different from the normality before the corona pandemic. Step by step areas of life are being ramped up that until recently were in an unprecedented exceptional situation. This involved a lot of stresses, but it has also brought new and valuable insights into how we can organize our lives. The significance of digital communication options has increased enormously. The use of digital technologies has been accelerated tremendously. It became clear that it is important to have systems that function independently of individual providers or even of foreign countries. Systems that are resilient and can react quickly and effectively to a crisis so that stable conditions can be restored.

Two Standards But One Common Single Sign-on – Integration of SAML and OpenID Connect

The integration of Kopano Konnect in the single sign-on network of Univention Corporate Server is an additional option for users to access a range of various applications that are integrated in UCS via a single, initial login using their user name and password.
The two authentication standards SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) and OpenID Connect have already been available to UCS users for some time. So far, however, these two technologies have been two separated worlds. If some of the web services used SAML and others OpenID Connect for the authentication against UCS’ identity management, users were forced to log in twice in those environments with multiple services. With the support of the Kopano team, we were able to release an extension of the app “OpenID Connect ID” in the App Center. This is integrating the two standards with each other and thus allows a single authentication process by the end user.
I would like to briefly explain how a single sign-on generally works with UCS. Then I explain the interaction of Kerberos, SAML, and OpenID Connect and show you which functions the new implementation of Kopano Konnect offers to UCS users.