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.

Setting up an Automatic Account Lockout after Failed Login Attempts

By default, UCS users can enter the password incorrectly any number of times without being locked out by the system. In order to make brute force attacks to crack passwords more difficult, admins can set up an automatic lockout that prevents an account from being accessed after a user-defined number of failed attempts.

Univention Corporate Server offers several methods for authentication and authorization. In this blog article I will show you how to log failed login attempts to the system via PAM stack, OpenLDAP and Samba respectively and how you as an admin can set a limit for the number of unsuccessful logins.

Secure Passwords for the UCS Domain

Obviously, your first name, cat’s name or mother-in-law’s birthday are not good passwords. Also password or 123456 (actually to be found on the list of the most frequently chosen passwords!) are out of the question. As the administrator of a UCS domain, you can’t prevent users from writing down their passwords or storing them under the keyboard, but you can tweak other settings to make the system more secure.
Policies can, for example, be used to specify a minimum length or to require users to change passwords regularly. In addition, Univention Corporate Server provides a quality check that forces the use of a certain number of numbers, special characters, uppercase and lowercase letters in passwords. This article presents some tips and tricks for setting up a good password policy in an UCS domain. We also show what variables can be set in the Univention Configuration Registry to optimize the whole thing. If you are using Samba in your environment, this article will also explain how to adjust the password requirements for the Samba domain object to those of the new policy.

Distributed Data Storage with UCS and Ceph. More Servers, More Storage, More Reliability

More Services, More Space, Less Downtime?

Anyone operating IT services for companies or organisations will sooner or later be confronted with this: everything is growing, you need more space for data and virtual machines, at the same time the demands for the availability of services are increasing and the hardware servers also need to be maintained.

Classic solutions for available storage such as NAS (Network Attached Storage) and SAN (Storage Area Network) systems are often expensive and just as often proprietary – and therefore not necessarily the basis you want to build your own IT infrastructure on as part of an open source strategy.

Videoconferences at Univention

In times of telecommuting they have become indispensable: videoconferences.

Anyone who frequently participates in them knows that nothing is more disturbing than distorted scraps of conversation and lagging interlocutors. A flawless transmission, however, enables employees to focus on the essential topic and exchange information about it, even in a digital environment. It adds up to a good feeling keeping control of the data when discussing internal company information or when talking to customers.

How To: Easily Evaluate and Permanently Operate Apps with Appliances

IT environments are a dynamic situation with changing problematics, requirements and needs of users. System administrators have to face these dynamics while maintaining IT operations. Therefore, they have to regularly deal with new software solutions and check whether they fit the requirements, needs and circumstances of their own IT environment. In this article, we want to show how Univention App Appliances can help with this. As pre-configured virtual images ready for immediate use with an integrated operating system, they can be used to quickly try out new software, switch it off if it fails to deliver the desired results, or, if the evaluation is successful, transfer the test solution to live operation.

UCS: How to Connect your Printers

In this article with corresponding how to film we are going to explain how to connect printers in UCS. Univention Corporate Server offers a printing system that can be implemented even in complex environments. Printers and printer groups are managed in the Univention Management Console, UMC for short. The print services are based on CUPS – that’s the Common Unix Printing System. The printer queues are managed by CUPS and UMC.
PPD files (PostScript Printer Description) describe the technical capabilities of the printers. These files contain information about the printers’ features, i.e. whether it’s a color device, whether duplex printing is possible, which paper trays are available, which resolutions and which printer command languages are supported (e.g. PCL or PostScript). UCS provides a variety of PPD files, so most printers can be accessed and configured without having to install additional drivers. If you have to set up extra PPD files, please have a look at our manual.

bitpack.io Introduces New UCS-based Solution at ImPuls e. V. Association

An outdated IT landscape, many different desktop systems with proprietary software and corresponding license costs had repeatedly confronted the administrators of the association ImPuls e. V. from Hohen Neuendorf, Brandenburg, with problems. A solution was sought that would make both setting up new workstations and maintaining already existing desktops easier. The responsible persons also desired the possibility of interconnecting all facilities while at the same time retaining full control over their data.
We, the company bitpack.io from Birkenwerder, have modernized the IT infrastructure of the association in recent months. The new systems are running since July 2019: Univention Corporate Server is the central component; furthermore Kopano, Nextcloud and OnlyOffice are being used. In this article we would like to briefly introduce you to the project.