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What you are asking for is a combination of a universal authentication system and a shared home directory, so that when you login to any configured computer in a lab, your home directory is automounted.

There are quite a few ways to do this, but it does break down into two parts:

Universal Authentication System

  • Your options here are NIS, NIS+, LDAP, or Kerberos.

Shared Home Directory

  • NFS is usually used here, although, AFS/OpenAFS are also used in some large configurations. Autofs or Autodir will handle the automounting on login.

There is a lot of documentation out there on how to set this sort of stuff up, but here are some good starting points: