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Old 07-16-2001, 02:42 PM   #1
punt
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Talking linux fun stuff


so this is a very strange question, but i figure i'll ask anyway: i'm pretty familiar with basic linux concepts. i've spent days looking online with google, checking out a couple of howtos, consulting friends and coworkers, etc. i know the basic/intermediate commands, i've already installed apache from source, but now, i want to go beyond that and figure out what's next (and how i can further my quest for linux fulfillment)

so i ask here for all to contribute:

what really fun things can i do with linux?

i'm not sure if i'm thinking apps just yet (learning by using/installing/configuring programs), but maybe i am. i guess i could be looking for application recommendations and the like. i DEFINITELY want to learn the OS, but i want fun and challenging things to help me along the way. as i mentioned before, i've skimmed howtos, but i haven't decided what really to focus on because i have no specific goals in mind so i don't really know if that's the best idea for me.

any help is appreciated. thanks!

tamar
 
Old 07-16-2001, 02:47 PM   #2
jharris
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Have you got a network up yet? If you haven't then thats the next big learning step. Once you have that going then you can start playing around with DNS, mail servers (SMTP relays, pop, imap), Samba, NFS server, NIS server, CGI and/or PHP programming on with Apache... there lots left to play with after that too...

just a few thing that I'd play with (and did play with) if I were you.

cheers

Jamie...
 
Old 07-16-2001, 02:52 PM   #3
punt
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true, that's a start. i have a network running (i think -- i'm sshing into my box right now). how do i start off with all that stuff? and what do they do?

thanks again.
 
Old 07-16-2001, 02:54 PM   #4
gizmola
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I'm kinda partial to running various services on my linux boxes. I suppose it very much depends on where your interest lies, but the power of a linux server running apache as a publishing tool could certainly occupy you for many months.

For example, adding php and mysql to your system with linux would allow you to create full dynamic content websites. This would get you into relational databases (mysql) and a website development language (php) which is a very popular combination.

Assuming you have these installed and working together, you could for example, get a copy of phpBB and install a working forum system very similar to the one being run by www.linuxquestions.org, in about 20 minutes. Since this is all open source, you could then examine the code and database schema to see how such a system is put together. I highly recommend php and mysql, being open source products that work well together and power many popular websites.

I also think perl is a very nice and worthwhile addition to a sysadmin's toolbox, and the variety of available perl applications is endless. Furthermore, perl has an install system unto itself, called CPAN, that is just amazing on a networked workstation. You get into CPAN, and you can install and load Modules from there and do all sorts of cool interesting things. If you're a chat fan at all, you can get into irc, and using a perl based irc client like sirc, write some fun bots.

Just to give you an idea of what you might do, you could create a bot that at your command inside irc, went out to a website like slashdot, and got the most recent headlines, then returned the headlines and an abstract to you there, with the url of the actual article.

There is also audiocasting: you might install shoutcast or icecast, and try offering audiocasting from your server. Some people run game servers that have have linux ports like quake, halflife/tfc or Tribes2.
 
Old 07-16-2001, 03:09 PM   #5
jharris
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Well, as always RTFM! Start off by reading the relevant HOWTO at http://www.linuxdoc.org. As for what each one does...

DNS - Domain Name Service - changes names into ip addresses and the other way around. So when you go to www.linuxquestions.org a DNS server is used by your to find out what IP address to acess.

SMTP - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol - How mail gets from the person who sends it to the person its supposed to be read by. An SMTP server allows you to have someuser@yourmachine email addresses. Basically your own incomming mail server.

POP - Post Office Protocol - a protocol for reading your email from a mail server, often used by ISPs. It downloads your email from the server to the local machine before you read it - hence the ISPs like it as they save disk space.

IMAP - Internet Mail Access Protocol - Like POP but newer and more versatile. Your mail typically stays on the server but this means it doesn't force you to download the whole message before you can do something with it.

Samba - Makes you Linux box look like a WindowsNT/Win2K box on the network so you can share your files to Windows machines with ease.

NFS - Network File System - lets you easily share files with other *nix users

NIS - Network Information Services - lets you have a central server to share things like usernames and passwords and network configuration information to a group of *nix machines.

CGI - Common Gateway Interface - A method that allows you to pass parameters to a program that is executed on a web server and the result is returned by the web server to the user's browser

PHP - PHP Hypertext Preprocessors - An HTML embedded programming language. This is what runs www.linuxquestions.org's web pages. (with MySQL behind it I believe)

Apache - you know this one already.

cheers

Jamie...
 
Old 07-16-2001, 03:13 PM   #6
trickykid
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I have always once I get some old machines is to setup a Linux Cluster, that always seems like a really cool thing to try.
 
Old 07-16-2001, 03:39 PM   #7
punt
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hehe, i've read too many manuals. they're (usually) quite boring

yeah, i'm familiar with some of those, although samba and the linux-specific things are new to me, so i'll check them out.

thanks again
 
Old 07-16-2001, 03:46 PM   #8
jharris
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Quote:
Originally posted by trickykid
I have always once I get some old machines is to setup a Linux Cluster, that always seems like a really cool thing to try.
I agree!! Someone started a thread on this a little while ago which then changed into a thread about Mosix if anyone is interested. I just need a few more linux boxes and I'll have enough computing power to rule the world!! <cue evil laughter>

Jamie...
 
Old 07-16-2001, 05:48 PM   #9
nabil
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Originally posted by trickykid
I have always once I get some old machines is to setup a Linux Cluster, that always seems like a really cool thing to try.
........................

Actually I have done this before but it was not as enjoyable as some one may think...Basically the bottle nick here is software to run on a cluster enviroment... I basically have setup an HPC cluster for high performance computing but had trouble running usefull software.. I have used LAM for that purpose...MOSIX sounded pretty good except it did not work right for me and I ended up giving up playing with that....
 
Old 07-16-2001, 11:25 PM   #10
BrianG
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....after 4 days of installing linux and win2k..i had to stick with win2k. redhat 6.2 doesnt run on my mobo...7.0 was just aweful. I got apache and everything else working in 7.1 except FTP...which i needed. so i figured ill use this computer for web server, then ill get finish up this old celeron 400 system (which runs linux nice!) and use that for ftp and all that junk....in total...i think i installed linux 7-8 times and windows 2000 about 7....ugh
 
Old 07-17-2001, 01:23 AM   #11
gizmola
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrianG
....after 4 days of installing linux and win2k..i had to stick with win2k. redhat 6.2 doesnt run on my mobo...7.0 was just aweful. I got apache and everything else working in 7.1 except FTP...which i needed. so i figured ill use this computer for web server, then ill get finish up this old celeron 400 system (which runs linux nice!) and use that for ftp and all that junk....in total...i think i installed linux 7-8 times and windows 2000 about 7....ugh
If you have linux successfully running, there is no reason, you can't get an ftp server running. If you are having problems, I'm sure we could get you straightened out here.

I personally am using proftp as my ftp server, which has similar configuration files to those used by apache.
 
Old 08-29-2001, 10:54 AM   #12
Rex_chaos
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Question Can you tell me more about LAM/MPI?

Quote:
Originally posted by nabil
Originally posted by trickykid
I have always once I get some old machines is to setup a Linux Cluster, that always seems like a really cool thing to try.
........................

Actually I have done this before but it was not as enjoyable as some one may think...Basically the bottle nick here is software to run on a cluster enviroment... I basically have setup an HPC cluster for high performance computing but had trouble running usefull software.. I have used LAM for that purpose...MOSIX sounded pretty good except it did not work right for me and I ended up giving up playing with that....

Could you please tell me more abour LAM/MPI?
 
Old 08-29-2001, 10:58 AM   #13
Rex_chaos
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Can anyone tell me more about cluster?


Can anyone tell me more about cluster? I have no any idea about it!!! Thanks
 
Old 08-29-2001, 12:27 PM   #14
Stephanie
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A cluster is simply a network of computers all running in parallel. It allows for distributed computing, so the total work load of a program or running process is divided among the numbers of nodes, or computers, operating on this network.

Generally, there is one computer that is the head, or boss computer that an operator actually interacts with. All the other computers are more or less slaves, doing nothing but the tasks the boss computer gives it.

The great advantage to this type of computing architecture is that one can get supercomputing power, without the cost of a supercomputer, with older hardware. This puts many fields of science areas at an advantage, and allows those without an unlimited budget to get the computing power they need.

Many big companies use clustering, such as NASA, the Human Genome Project, SETI, JPL, just to mention a few.
 
Old 08-30-2001, 07:57 AM   #15
Citizen Bleys
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Re: the message boards. This is my specialty.

linuxquestions.org is running a <b>vbulletin</b> message board; this is currently the best MB software available on the 'net. It is indeed PHP/MySQL based, and by its very nature (PHP is a scripting language) open source. You <i>can't</i> hide the source code of a script. Problem is, in order to GET the source, you have to buy the MB or pirate it. Not good.

phpBB is one alternative. Although PHP/MySQL-based, it's very slow. A better choice to learn with would be blazeboard (www.bbhacks.com, IIRC). An up-and-coming (IMHO) vbulletin-killer is <b>AcmlmBoard</b>. I'm a little biased on that, though, since I'm being considered for inclusion in the development team.

AcmlmBoard has all the features of a vBulletin, except for the admin control panel. From the end-user's perspective, AcmlmBoard is vBulletin's equal already. (some argue that it's better, some that it's worse; I find that the opinions balance out). To see AcmlmBoard in action, visit http://acmlm.overclocked.org/

AcmlmBoard is not (yet) available for free download; You'll have to email one of the development team members, or PM them on Acmlm's board. I suggest Emuz or Phoenix (Emuz will probably reply faster, but I don't know his email off the top of my head. I know Phoenix's private email address, but I'm reluctant to give it out, to prevent her from being overwhelmed with even more email)

Hell, even <i>I</i> have AcmlmBoard, but I only have a development version that wouldn't be much good to an end-user.

Pick up phpMyAdmin before fooling around with message board development in PHP and MySQL.

Reccomended books (for those of you who like to have the answers ready, even when you're playing around with trial and error) are Sams' "Web Development using PHP and MySQL", and "Core PHP Programming" by Leon Atkinson. The latter (Core PHP Programming) is STRONGLY reccommended. Atkinson is an excellent tech writer. Not as good as Scott Meyers (of "Effective C++" fame), but pretty !#$# good.
 
  


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