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Name here is Dwayne. I am currently using Novel Network 4.1 (Which is very old, but extremely nice)
I was told that Linux and Samba can mimic 4.1 with no problems at all. thus when the server is up (Linux Server that is) it will act like NN 4.1, and assign the drive of "F" such that all computers connecting to the server treat the drive as "F:"
Is this true, and if so, Which Linux server should I download?? There are so many out there I can't tell the difference. Also I read that SAMBA is what I needed. Does this run on all of the different Linux servers?
I have a old copy of RedHat 7.0 is that what I need?
You can pick about any Linux distro you want, use it as a server or as a desktop. The less that a server has installed in regards to GUI, the better the performance in my opinion. I don't know how Novell Network works nor do I have experience with it. But assigning drive letters like Windows does, it not something that's used in Linux. You can of course mount your share (Samba) on any Windows desktop and assign it the letter F: if you want to, but that's the Windows (and as you say Novell part). Samba is software that you can install on any Linux distro, as there are also LDAP for authentication.
If you want a feel like a Windows domain controller, then I'd go with Calculate Directory Server, that one comes with everything installed. It takes some time and reading the very well documented Wiki in order to configure it, but once you get it up and running it's a powerful thing to have (I've started testing this week).
I don't advice you to use RedHat 7.0 since it's pretty old, best thing you can do is download some CD/DVD(s) from here and start trying them out. You can read some good distro reviews here. I always use the Debian netinstall and take it from there. But every distro has its advantages and disadvantages (if any ).
If you could be more specific of the services you want your server to offer, then we'll be able to point you in a specific direction.
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.4,DD-WRT micro plus ssh,lfs-6.6,Fedora 15,Fedora 16
probably possible but if i recall correctly novell 4.1 only had limited support for tcp/ip and primarily relied on ipx/spx
samba however uses tcp/ip and emulates the smb protocol used by microsoft oses since ms/dos (yes you can mount a samba share in DOS with the micro$oft network client for DOS) so really you dont HAVE to emulate a novell server in that case since samba probably does a better job anyways
as for which linux, ANY linux can provide samba, so your choice should be any server distribution you are comfortable with
Yes, 4.1 was very much ipx specific. It made it really nice, because it was a auto security wall from hackers who mostly use tcp/ip. But the system is aging. It is running currently on a 1 gig hard drive. But has been exceptionally well running for us.
Which linux should I download? I hear so many different kinds. Like Mint, RedHat, and such.
The system is just a server by itself. Just storage of data as a server. It may be connected to the internet, or may not. Depends upon the future.
I could use any old simple computer for my server by mapping my files via a INI configuration, but I didn't really want to do it that way. (And I just may end up doing it that way, depending upon what happens).
For a server, you obviously want something stable you can just install and leave for a few years; not the sort of distro that has a new version every six months, full of the latest (i.e. potentially not-quite-ready) software.
CentOS is a free version of RedHat. The current version is very sound, and there will be a new one in a couple of months. These are supported for five years.
Debian Stable version would also be a good choice, although a little more fiddly to install.
Both include Samba; as Frieza said, that's in almost every distro.
If you're going to use 'any old computer' then you'd better stick with something that's not to heavy on the resources and preferably use the command line and no graphical interface (that's what I prefer on servers). Mint is a Debian based distro that's very easy and mostly used as desktop, not as server. RedHat is not free, but you can use Fedora or CentOS which are free and are RedHat spinoffs if you want to stick with RPM packages. Debian based servers (Debian itself, Ubuntu server, ..) use DEB packages. There are some basic differences in commands and the way they do things but the groundrules (the directory structure and location of system files) is pretty much the same.
If you want to learn along the way and have a minimalistic system that does what YOU want it to do, then I'd go with the Debian netinstall and take it from there. At the end of the installation procedure you can select additional things you want to install (Desktop environment, Samba server, FTP server, Mail server, SSH). Whatever you select gets installed and basic configuration is put in place.
First of all, I want to thank all of you for your help. It is greatly appreciated.
I am guessing here, so I am assuming and evaluating based upon responses and previous knowledge.
About 10 years ago? I ran a Web server off of RedHat 7.0? (I have the disks still), I was also able to serf the internet on the system too. That was closed up after a year or so. Thus I am very vaguely (Vaguely might not be strong enough word) familiar with RedHat.
So, I need your suggestion on the following:
Run a system of Debian for the File Server? and install SAMBA?
Can I assume I can use a gateway on this system in the future to route the WWW into our system under a firewall like the RedHat did?
Yes, you can use Debian as file server, just do the installation using the netinstall CD, install Samba, configure it and you'll be up and running in no time. Whenever the need arises to use it for an additional task, just install what you need, configure it and you're set. Anything you could do with RedHat 7, you can do with any Linux distro.
And yes to you're second question also, you can set it up as a gateway to route www traffic using iptables or install a Squid proxy. The choice is yours, with Linux YOU are in control.
I downloaded Debian and installed it with the defaults. When it boots up, it is in command mode. Playing around, I was able to find some directories, change between the directories manually, but not able to do much else with it.
Is there a graphic interface I can use? How can I load Samba? What do I have to type on the command line to do such a thing? Do I have to download some more stuff in order for me to accomplish what I need?
How do I get on the internet and surf a little?
If I download with this system, how can I install the download? or do I have to burn it to another CD and go from there?
How can I get my USB wireless to be recognized by this system, so that I can connect to my WIFI and use the internet?