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Old 09-15-2004, 11:56 AM   #1
halo14
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Surprise, AZ
Distribution: Debian | CentOS | Arch
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Small Windows Network Server Distro??


I'm starting to plan for the implementation of a new server in the office of my families bussiness. It's a substance abuse treatment facility with 5 workstation computers (4 Windows XP Professional & 1 Windows 2000 Professional), and a single Windows XP Professional File Server which also has the DSL modem and router connected to it for internet access.

One thing I definitely want to do is use Linux for the new server. I also am going to be implementing a SmoothWall box to complement the server and relieve stress on it...

The SmoothWall box is a Pentium 1 MMX 200MHz, 3 GB drive, 64 MB RAM, and a couple Linksys NICs.

The Server Box has 2 40 GB Hard drives, mirrored, 1 GB of RAM, AMD Athlon 1 GHz processor.

It's nothing realy fancy but I'm wondering what the best distro to use would be?? I'm leaning towards either SuSE 9.1 Professional, RHEL WS 3.0, or Debian 3.1...

I have all of these including the license for RHEL WS...

I heard RHEL WS is more stripped down with less server features... Does it include SQUID, SAMBA, etc?

I'm probably more looking at SuSE because of it's ease of use, because this isn't my full-time job and I don't have a much time as I would like for configuration. Otherwise, I would probably use Debian...

Also, how difficult is it to set up a domain environment under linux, I have not done this yet... I know it doesn't have nearly the ease of use of Active Directory, but I'm eager to learn...

Really, what I would like to see happen is this:

DSL Modem to the SmoothWall box for Routing, DHCP, Firewall, VPN access...

SuSE 9.1 Professional with Samba, Squid, Possibly e-mail services. We use a FileMaker Pro database, and I am lookign into possibly converting to something like MySQL or PostgreSQL using a Visual Basic or C++ frontend... but that's for later down the road... I know FileMaker offers a server edition for Linux, but it says it only support RedHat 7.3 I don't WTF is up with that if they don't even support RHEL...

Any suggestions from anyone... I'm trying to do my research on this as I'm studying for Linux+ Certification.. which is giving me ideas for many of these things...
 
Old 09-15-2004, 12:17 PM   #2
czarherr
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Suwon, Korea
Distribution: Slackware 13
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use slackware if you want a seriously fast and small distro for server use. As far as a domain environment, look into yp, it isn't hard to set up. You're right, though, it does lack the ease of AD, as well as the slowness, gaping security holes, bizarre behavior, and licensing fees. :P

Last edited by czarherr; 09-15-2004 at 12:18 PM.
 
Old 09-16-2004, 10:41 AM   #3
halo14
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I have no experience with Slackware at all, so that's not a viable option. Plus, the reason I don't want to Debian is the same reason I wouldn't want to use Slackware--configuration is time consuming. This is why I'm leaning more towards SuSE 9.1 Professional with only the things I need and a KDE install, because when I'm not there which is 95% of the time... I can shutdown X and just have it running in the background, and then if I need to change something, I can always startx...

In that aspect, does SuSE work the same way as RedHat in that I could just run init 3 and kill X... oris there something different I should do?
 
Old 09-16-2004, 11:49 AM   #4
slackMeUp
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why even bother with X at all? ?

use it to setup the system... then drop down to init 3 and remove it.

Then just use SSH from one of your windows boxen (using Putty). . . to login and use the text based yast tool for any changes you need to make.

That way you can stick the box, headless, in the corner and never have to tuch it.
 
Old 09-16-2004, 02:47 PM   #5
halo14
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that is a possibility.... how difficult is it to use putty from a Windows machine?? I've never used ssh.. I was tring to setup VNC at home.. but I don't quite know what I'm doing...
 
Old 09-16-2004, 06:58 PM   #6
slackMeUp
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Registered: Nov 2003
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Ok well first thing you need to do is setup your linux system...
If you are going with SuSE then make sure to grab the yast, and yast2 rpms when selecting which programs to install.

By defult SSH is turned on with SuSE. . . so all you really have to do is make sure you have good passwords. If by chance it is not turned on you can do so by running the sshd demon. . . just edit with yast2 (the GUI version of yast) the runlevel to include ssh.

then drop down to init 3.

and run 'yast' (note it's just 'yast' not 'yast2')

it's a bit different to use... but if you are good with a keyboard and have gpm on you should get the hang of it quite fast...

Use it to remove the graphical side of SuSE.. . or leave it on, whatever you want.

Now get Putty for windows... it's an SSH tool.
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/

logon to your SuSE box as a user, then su to root. It will give you a term to work with...

then just use yast to change settings and other command line tools to get whatever you need done.

When setup, you shold only have two or three cables attached to your SuSe box. .. Power and one or two network cables.. (and don't forget to turn off 'halt on all errors' in the BIOS so it will boot without a keyboard attached)
 
Old 09-18-2004, 11:34 AM   #7
halo14
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Registered: Apr 2004
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Rockin... thanks a lot.... I'll have to start working on this... I finally picked up the old box I'm using as the Firewall.. and it's actually an old IBM Aptiva Pentium MMX... So it's not bad at all for a Firewall... I hope this goes smoothly since I'm planning it all ahead of time...

Thanks again!
 
  


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