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Old 09-20-2005, 07:19 AM   #1
zapcat
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Registered: Sep 2005
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Best linux version for server?


I want to set up a server in my office using linux as the operating system. I have never used anything other than Microsoft and have no programming experience. In the long term I will want to be able to do the following -

- Have the server download all emails and distribute them to pc's running XP & Outlook.

- Look at my emails remotely, either from my laptop or pda whilst I am away from the office.

- Be able to access my files (stored on an external HDD connected to the server) remotely if I have to work from home.

- Hook it up to my Belkin wifi modem.

- Secure the server from attack.

Can you recommend which version of linux I should go for to be able to achieve the above? I have not bought the hardware yet so if there are any comments on that front too I would not say no!!

Many thanks!

Zapcat
 
Old 09-20-2005, 07:33 AM   #2
teebones
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Hi there,

All the things mentioned can pretty much be done with every distribution (mainstream distro's that is). But it's not going to work out of the box! You need to configure most things manually (for what you need anyway).

A distribution is merely a personal choice to make. The glove that fits the hand sort of thing (or is it the other way around? ).
Some distro's are targetted towards the so called "noobs or newbies". Some are more for experienced users or people who like to dive into the deep of the linux ocean.

Some Free Distro's (not all are listed here) which are well known for server usage:

Debian
Slackware
Fedora
Centos
Gentoo
Suse

And the Unix counterparts :

FreeBSD
OpenBSD
Solaris (10)

----------------------------------------

For the things you want, the following pops in mind:

- Have the server download all emails and distribute them to pc's running XP & Outlook.

Install a SMTP and a imap/pop3 server.

- Look at my emails remotely, either from my laptop or pda whilst I am away from the office.

Install a webmail script on the server (in conjunction with apache).

- Be able to access my files (stored on an external HDD connected to the server) remotely if I have to work from home.

Use a tunnel setup, to safely connect to the office from home.

- Hook it up to my Belkin wifi modem.

ehm.. check the HCL on this site..

- Secure the server from attack.

difficult one . Well it depends on de the daemons and such... but a good Firewall and up to date software is 50% of the security measures.
Read many howto's and advisories on certain services running.


Hope this will help you a little
 
Old 09-20-2005, 08:48 AM   #3
zapcat
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Thanks Teebones.

Do any of those linux versions suit complete like me? I expect I'm gonna need a fair amount of help when I set this up.

U say install a 'Install a SMTP and a imap/pop3 server. '. Can this communicate directly with another smtp & pop server like the one provided by my isp?

So if a firewall & uptodate software is 50% of security, what is the other 50%?

Zapcat
 
Old 09-20-2005, 09:03 AM   #4
teebones
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Hi,

Q: Do any of those linux versions suit complete like me? I expect I'm gonna need a fair amount of help when I set this up.

A: Suse, fedora, Centos are (for many users) newbie/intermidiate level Distro's to master.
They include many handy tools to config parts of the Distro/Services.


Q: U say install a 'Install a SMTP and a imap/pop3 server. '. Can this communicate directly with another smtp & pop server like the one provided by my isp?

A: some can some cannot.. most likely you need fetchmail.

Q: So if a firewall & uptodate software is 50% of security, what is the other 50%?

A: One could think of using safe sources (software), correct configurations and such. Also active logging (or the usage of IDS: Intrusion Detection Systems) are also important.

Last edited by teebones; 09-20-2005 at 09:05 AM.
 
Old 09-20-2005, 09:08 AM   #5
Fritz_Monroe
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Many distros are not overly newbie friendly. However, if you go with something like Slackware, there's hundreds of pages written on how to set it up like you like. Slackware is not as tough as many think. The biggest issue with Slackware is that there aren't many graphical tools to configure the system. Everything is done at the CLI. This can be intimidating for a newbie. However, you don't really need a GUI on your server, after all, how often is a user going to be using it as their workstation?

A good place to start if you go with Slackware is Shilo's Slackware site. It may be enough to get you up and running, but I would suspect that you need a little more info on securing the server.

As to firewall and Updated software being 50% of security, the other 50% would be everything else. Strong passwords, not using root as your day to day log on, disabling unused services, etc. Remember that nothing connected to a network can ever be 100% secure.

F_M
 
Old 09-20-2005, 09:47 AM   #6
zapcat
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Thanks guys! This has been really helpful. I have one last question.... Is there a Linux version with a GUI for setting up? It sounds like an appealing function for a newbie like me!!

Zap
 
Old 09-20-2005, 09:53 AM   #7
reddazz
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Quote:
Originally posted by zapcat
Thanks guys! This has been really helpful. I have one last question.... Is there a Linux version with a GUI for setting up? It sounds like an appealing function for a newbie like me!!

Zap
Mandriva, Suse, Fedora Core etc.
 
Old 09-20-2005, 12:12 PM   #8
zapcat
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Location: uk
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Thanks guys. Time to get reading up on those linux versions.

Zap
 
  


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