Using Debian to provide authentication and file and print serving via NFS, NIS, CUPS and Samba to ~100 desktop, laptop, workstation and data-taking machines in a research group studying aspects of semiconductor devices, particularly at low temperatures. A backup server performs rsync-based 'snapshot' backups and writes tapes for archive purposes. This combination has recently survived the complete failure of our 0.5TB RAID system with a loss of only about 16 hours' data. Our 'user' machines run, in approximate order of descending number, Windows, RiscOS, Linux (Debian, Red Hat, Mandrake), MacOS, HP Unix. For a cash-limited research group, the free software route is an obvious choice. Debian ties in well with our existing expertise (the main administrator of the server has been running Debian since 0.93) and is supported by the University Unix Support team.