server setup - where do I even start?

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http://www.linuxforums.org – Hi guys and gals! I'll admit from the start - I'm not even qualified to be called Noob! So, I'm not able to use "correct" terminology for what I want to do... apologies! I am, however, a reasonably good learner (and tenacious, too), so I'll try to explain what I'm wanting. I guess what I'm after is a guide to creating a "user authorisation server" (?) of some kind... My photography Club has 3 non-networked Windows PC's, and around 35 Club Members using these machines. I currently maintain 3 identical User lists on each machine, so they can sit down at any machine and "Log On". Of course, this means I have to create 3 separate User records for every person who decides to join our Club! :dazed: So, I'd like to create a "network server" (?), on which I will maintain ONE User list, and which will recognise/authorise any User who logs into any attached machine. We don't need mail/internet (no internet access available). And would probably be OK with the User's photo files continuing to be saved/scattered across the separate machines (rather than saving them on the server), if that would make things easier. They've kinda got used to that idea :-) Of course, I could easily swap a couple of hard-drives into the server box if it's just as easy/easier to create a "file server" (I think that's the one bit of terminology I'm reasonably happy with!). So - can anyone point me in the right direction, here? Much appreciative of any help you can offer. (HowTos)