Ansible Modules for the Automation of UCS-Specific Tasks

Ansible Logo

As a long-term Univention partner, we at Adfinis Sygroup operate UCS environments for many of our customers. We employ Ansible for automation when running different Linux distributions as it standardizes the roll-out of UCS among other things.

Up until now there weren’t any Ansible modules available for UCS-specific tasks. To remedy this, we developed modules based on the standard script interface of Univention Directory Manager for recurring tasks in the maintenance of the directory service with the goal of simplifying the process. These currently include the following:

udm_group
udm_user
udm_dns_zone
udm_dns_record
udm_share

These modules are included in the Ansible extra modules as of Ansible Version 2.2 and can be used accordingly with Ansible, as can other modules. If additional Ansible modules are developed in the future (and not yet included in Ansible itself), it will be possible to add them to individual projects. The following offers a brief explanation of how these additional Ansible modules can be installed and then provides a brief introduction to the modules listed above.

Cool Solution Moodle – For Cooperative Learning

Moodle Logo

What are “Cool Solutions”?

Cool Solutions is the name we use to describe Univention solutions which expand UCS with practical, advantageous functions and which we successfully employ for our customers. These solutions are regularly showcased in the Univention Wiki in the form of Cool Solutions articles.

In this article I would like to introduce the learning platform Moodle and its interface with UCS. At the end of this article you can also find an interview we conducted with the Chemnitz education authorities, which are currently implementing Moodle in a number of the city’s schools.

How to Integrate with LDAP: “Generic LDAP Connection”

LDAP

In the blog article series “How to integrate with LDAP”, we introduce a whole range of different options and possibilities for how the LDAP provided by UCS can be expanded or used in cooperation with other services.

In the first section of this article, “Typical Configuration Options”, I will be using an example to demonstrate the sort of information typically required to perform user authentication against the UCS LDAP. I will be taking you through the necessary configuration steps using the project management system Redmine as an example, as this requests all the typical information.

In the second section, “Types of Search Users”, I will go into more detail on the possibilities available to you if it is not possible to search through the UCS LDAP anonymously.

If you are not all that familiar with the topic of LDAP yet, I would recommend you read our blog article: Brief Introduction: What’s Behind the Terms LDAP and OpenLDAP? first of all.

“Kopano to go, please!”

…or: How do I set up my own mail and communication server in just 30 minutes? That’s the question I asked myself when my daughter got her first smartphone and asked for an e-mail address. I needed something which was easy to use (I’m no Linux whiz) and compatible with both the web and smartphones, which also allowed me as a parent to retain some degree of control.

I published the following article on my own blog on August 13, 2016. And because what’s good for families with daughters of course can’t be bad for companies either, my colleagues at Univention thought it would be worth publishing here too.

Brief Introduction: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Bring Your own Device Illustration

The term “bring your own device” also known by the acronyms “BYOD” and “BYOT” refers to the concept of organizations and companies allowing their employees to bring their private, mobile devices to the office and use them. This can present a number of advantages for both employees and organizations alike, for example:

  • Potential for cost savings on devices from the organization’s perspective
  • Employee satisfaction at being able to choose the device freely
  • Simplification of the work/life balance for employees
  • Increased productivity from not being bound to specific locations and schedules

In addition to the advantages listed above, the development also goes hand in hand with a whole range of legal, organizational, and technical challenges.

How can OpenLDAP with UCS be scaled to over 30 million objects?

Serverschränke mit Zahnrädern im Vordergrund

The majority of the environments in which UCS is employed include anywhere from a couple of dozen users up to several thousand – sizes which can be directly implemented with the standard configuration of UCS. In the systems operated by the education authorities we see a leap to between 10,000 and 100,000 users – in this case, the UCS@school concepts allow functioning scaling.

Even including groups, hosts, and other LDAP infrastructure objects in the calculations, these environments rarely exceed 200,000 objects. But what happens when an environment with more than 30,000,000 objects needs to be administrated in LDAP?

UCC 3.0 released: Switch from Kubuntu to Ubuntu

UCC Univention Corporate Client Logo

This week we have published version 3.0 of Univention Corporate Client (UCC) our desktop solution for the operation and administration of PCs, notebooks and thin clients. An essential change in comparison to previous releases is the change of the technical basis from Kubuntu to Ubuntu. Our reason for this switch was that Ubuntu offers longer support terms (5 years) for the Long Term Support (LTS) Versions. Kubuntu 16.04 LTS only offers support for 3 years. Customers thus profit from a longterm support for UCC. With this switch the desktop environment was also changed from KDE to Unity. Unity was especially developed for Ubuntu by Canonical. To achieve a better overview of all UCC images installed in one environment, all actually installed client images will be reported to Univention Corporate Server (UCS) from now on. As UCS is the central identity management system for UCC, these images will then be displayed for easy search in UCS.

UCS 4.1-3: Third Point Release published

The third point release of Univention Corporate Server 4.1 – UCS 4.1-3 – is now available to download. It includes various usability improvements, important security updates and all errata updates that have been published in the last three months. One of the main focuses of this release is on the further extension of the App Center such as offering software vendors the possibility to provide Docker-based apps.