If all you want to do is to connect to pc's together and nothing else then you can use a cross-over ethernet cable. It does not matter which one you choose to start with but on the first machine define an IP of 192.168.1.1, Subnet 255.255.255.0, and a Gateway of 192.168.1.1. On the other define and IP of 192.168.1.2, Subnet 255.255.255.0 and a Gateway of 192.168.1.1. Startup the interfaces and from first pc ping with command ' ping 192.168.1.2 ' and from the second ' ping 192.168.1.1 '. Now if that works fine you need to setup samba on the linux machine and the other if linux setup samba there or if windows setup network neighborhood for workgroups. Lots info here on a simply samba setup. If both are linux then you can use NFS server setup on each. Also make sure you disable any firewall or firewall utilities on each as well.
Edit: Didn't see both were linux distros. I would setup nfs shares and gofrom there.
Second idea for a future thought.
A cheap way is to get a store bought router firewall and define the lan side of 192.168.1.1 and subnet 255.255.255.0. Then IP's on the others will be 192.168.1.2, 192.168.1.3 or setup the DHCP server on the router and then let the PCs get thier own IP's. You only need to conect the machines on the lan side ethernet ports. No connection to the wan side is needed. Maybe you may get high speed internet then all you have to do is define the wan side of the router and you are off an running in about 3 minutes for all machines.
Last edited by Brian1; 05-01-2006 at 05:19 PM.