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Old 08-17-2004, 10:52 AM   #1
Artimus
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Wisconsin
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Starting Linux user group questions


Before I start, I'm *NOT* trying to find new members in my area. I've got a group interested that is already larger than I can handle. :P

Details before I start:
A. We have six people coming to the first meeting counting myself.
B. We have five boxes that can be dedicated to running linux, a dumb ssh terminal, and two boxes that will have to run a live version of Linux off a CD, at least to start out with.
C. In order to network everything, we have a five port 100mbit switch, an 8 port 10mbit hub, and a 5 port 10mbit hub all chained together.
D. I've got one Linux box acting as a firewall & router for everyone.
E. One user has used Knoppix before. Well, two, but the other one ended up giving me the CD back because he said "Knoppix hates me."

Alright, now on to my list of questions:
1. How bad is the network going to get if you've got six boxes trying to get on the internet at once at once? The most stress I've ever tried to put on it before was 3 at once.

2. I assume I should preinstall all of these boxes with whatever version of Linux I want to teach with, spend the first meeting or two just letting everyone mess around, covering basic things and how to ask intelligent questions (google and check man pages first). Then installation. After that, I'll let them vote on we go to next. This sound like a half way decent 'plan of attack'?

3. About how many computers can you plug into an outlet before problems occure? There'll be about two computers and two monitors per outlet, as I'm limited for outlets in my basement. I am going to hope that my basement is on a seperate breaker than the rest of the house.

4. How should we handle IP addresses? Since I can't guarentee that I'll have the same setup of computers every time we meet, should I go with DHCP? Or just give every computer a static IP to use everytime its here?

5. KDE or Gnome to start them in? They're free to change and experiment as much as they want. Personally, I don't like either of them, but I'll just go with majority rules here.

Mods: I decided to put this in General as it has Linux, general computing, and electrical questions in it.

Any further insight on this would be good.

-Artimus
 
Old 08-17-2004, 01:08 PM   #2
penguin4
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Registered: May 2004
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artimus; start with; http://tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX/html sections 4.4
Networking with subsection 4.4.1 general through 4.4.10 Miscellaneous;this section covers most all about netwrking, then section 4.5
Applications/GUI/Multimedia & their subsection too.
 
Old 08-17-2004, 03:05 PM   #3
Mara
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Re: Starting Linux user group questions

Quote:
Originally posted by Artimus

1. How bad is the network going to get if you've got six boxes trying to get on the internet at once at once? The most stress I've ever tried to put on it before was 3 at once.
Not bad at all. Net access will be a bottleneck. If you don't suppose the people to download ISO images, every connection will do.

Quote:
2. I assume I should preinstall all of these boxes with whatever version of Linux I want to teach with, spend the first meeting or two just letting everyone mess around, covering basic things and how to ask intelligent questions (google and check man pages first). Then installation. After that, I'll let them vote on we go to next. This sound like a half way decent 'plan of attack'?
OK for me.

Quote:
3. About how many computers can you plug into an outlet before problems occure? There'll be about two computers and two monitors per outlet, as I'm limited for outlets in my basement. I am going to hope that my basement is on a seperate breaker than the rest of the house.
Should be OK. I've got 4 machines at home. You may look at the breaker, you have always a chance to change it if this one is not enough.

Quote:
4. How should we handle IP addresses? Since I can't guarentee that I'll have the same setup of computers every time we meet, should I go with DHCP? Or just give every computer a static IP to use everytime its here?

I suggest DHCP. Less configuration problems and you won't forgot to change the IPs

Quote:
5. KDE or Gnome to start them in? They're free to change and experiment as much as they want. Personally, I don't like either of them, but I'll just go with majority rules here.
Have a configuration when they have both to choose from. Make KDE default, however.

Quote:
Mods: I decided to put this in General as it has Linux, general computing, and electrical questions in it.
For me it's OK where it is.
 
Old 08-17-2004, 09:33 PM   #4
penguin4
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thank you Mara (moderator) u have rescued me . thank you ! penguin4
 
Old 08-17-2004, 10:25 PM   #5
Dark_Helmet
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Re: Starting Linux user group questions

Quote:
Originally posted by Artimus
1. How bad is the network going to get if you've got six boxes trying to get on the internet at once at once? The most stress I've ever tried to put on it before was 3 at once.
That depends What type of internet service do you have running to your house? You can do a little math to get an idea of what you would see. Let's say you have a 1Mbit connection. That translates to 128 KB per second. You've got to share that among all the computers connected. At most, you could have 4 computers connected to your 100Mbit switch (assuming you have the hubs daisy-chained), leaving 2 computers connected to the 10Mbit hubs. Since the "pipes" for all of your networking are faster than your actual internet connection, then just split the internet connection evenly at the switch. All 5 ports on the switch would get about 25 KB per second, and that mean the two computers connected to the hubs have to share that themselves, giving a little shy of 13 KB per second. That's about twice the speed of an ideal 56K modem. Now, you also have to understand that's a worst case scenario, which will only come up if everybody is trying to maximize their speed by downloading a large file (like Mara's ISO suggestion). You can play around with your network layout to even things out some, but it's probably not necessary. The link penguin4 provided probably goes into greater detail, but this is probably a good estimate.

Quote:
Originally posted by Artimus
3. About how many computers can you plug into an outlet before problems occure?
That depends (notice a theme?) Your basement probably is on a circuit by itself. The problem is, every outlet in your basement is likely included on that circuit. So it doesn't really matter how you plug them into the wall, each outlet is drawing power from the same "pool". Again, you can do a little calculating to get an idea if you're pushing the limit. Your breaker will tell you how many amps can be drawn before the fuse blows. So look at all the power supplies in the computers, monitors, printers, or other things and add up their wattage use. Then divide the total wattage by 120 (electric power (watts) = voltage * current ), and that will give you a rough, worst-case scenario of the current draw from each machine. You'll also have to estimate or look up the current needed by any other items in the basement (lights, washer/dryer, etc.) if you plan to have them on at the same time. If the total current drawn is less than what your fuse is rated for, you're good to go. If it's getting close, then you can limit things by turning each machine on one at a time. The biggest current taken is when the computer is initially turned on and has to spin up drives.

Quote:
Originally posted by Artimus
4. How should we handle IP addresses?
Yeah, go with DHCP. For static IPs, you need to record the MAC address of each network card. Since you can't know what computers will be present from one meeting to the next, that makes static IPs a real pain to deal with.

Boy, my fingers are tired

Last edited by Dark_Helmet; 08-17-2004 at 10:28 PM.
 
  


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