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This evening I'll be taking a stab at setting up my first Linux server. I'm reading Open Source Web Development by Lee and Ware, and for my job I ought to learn RHEL, so I think that's what I'll be trying at home (though I've read I should try CentOS?) I'd like to set up a dual-purpose home and media server so I can run something like XBMC on it and plug it into my TV but I don't mean to put the cart before the horse.
First step is to backup everything I've got on my old Windows Machine on DVDs which hopefully I'll accomplish tonight--maybe a backup hard drive if I can find a good price at the store, and I'm too impatient to order one online and wait.
This post obviously isn't so much a question or an introduction as a declaration--hopefully with some support and advice from the community I won't let this drag on forever . Feel free to drop any tips for a rook, even if they're plastered all the wall. Sometimes I can be a little thick.
Posting my progress will likely come in the form of questions I bother people with, but in time I'll hopefully learn enough to answer other people's questions they're bothering me with--that's how Open Source works, right? I don't have an education in programming/CS, (Economics) but consider myself to be technically literate so hopefully I'll be able to figure things out.
Kind of a small point here. Centos is much of red hat minus the big iron stuff. I might not suggest it for multimedia work. There may be better choices to run xbmc on.
Dual boot to learn and play maybe or start on virtual machines if your system is good enough. A virtual appliance or pre-made virtual machine gets you off to a fast start. A virtual machine is really safe to use if you need your windows working.
Aye aye aye...so much info! Backing up is taking far longer than I was expecting (saved $$$ by just burning to DVDs rather than buying an HD for backup), so at least it'll give me time to read through all this.
I think I'm going to take your advice and go with Centos, since it's free and uses rpm. in the meantime I'll just have to read and practice a lot...
While we're at it, any other bottom-to-top guides for IT and architecture you can recommend? I was thinking about purchasing one of though proprietary bourgeoisie 'books,' but might as well ask first
Thanks for the advice! Now to dim the (monitor) lights down low, and get intimate (knowledge of some documentation and user guides).
go with CentOS it is free and the best choice for right now. If your looking for a book to get your feet wet with i would recommend http://www.amazon.com/Linux-Administ...helinactsho-20
also i would suggest you try a virtual box or vmware first before you go and decide to destroy your windows setup.
just my thoughts
I've got a 6-7 year old desktop that has components that are still completely fine, but is badly in need of a re-install, and I'm just ready for defenestration. I've also got this little netbook which will help me with the process as well, so if the desktop goes down entirely for a few days I'm really not going to fret.
If I were to go VM, what's the best freeware out there right now for XP? Thanks for the advice!
i believe that virtual box is free, and the free version of vmware is vmware player. Good luck. If you get stuck try to figure it out. Come here and ask questions. Search first though. it's a great community.
Centos box is up and running! Been chipping away at that huge oneandoneistwo manual, chrism01--it's great, thanks! Very complementary to the Developing in LAMP book I've got.
I decided I want to be able to SSH into my box from anywhere (because, why wouldn't you?) so I set that up, forwarded ports, and signed up for no-ips free DNS management with a free subdomain--why pay for things if they're free?
Right now I'm essentially relying on preconfigured Centos and router firewall settings and a little security through obscurity (NoIWon'tTellYouMyIPAddress!), so I should get that locked down soon. Just need to get my hands dirty now that I can access my box from places other than my couch!
I decided I want to be able to SSH into my box from anywhere (because, why wouldn't you?)
I'm going to take that literally as a question, rather than a rhetorical device. Probably not what you meant....
Everyone gets attacks on their ssh system. It's just a fact of life like income tax and reality TV shows. So, at least, I'd suggest being very careful with how/what you open up to the outside world until you have considered the problem and are sure that you are good and ready.
don't believe that just because ssh has 'secure' in the name that it is secure by default. Some configurations of a system involving ssh are more secure than others, and you can make ssh pretty insecure, if you try.
You'll get people 'trying the door handles'. This happens. Live with it.
A summary of various approaches to the problem(s) can be found here.
As you mentioned obscurity, do not just rely on 'security by obscurity'; so, for example, you could simnply move ssh to a non-standard port. This will cut down on 'script kiddie' attacks, and you'll probably feel pretty pleased with yourself until you find out that someone who knows a little more than your default script kiddie can scan your box and find the new ssh port in short order and really isn't slowed down by this sort of 'security measure' (unless it is combined with other measures).
For Linux networking type tuts, have a look at the Linux Home Networking website; essentially, the same material was (is?) also available as a book (The Linux Quick Fix Notebook; Harrison) and that has been available as a free download from various sites (eg, Distrowatch). A bit dated now, but most of the stuff there doesn't go out of date rapidly. I've no idea if there might be a new edition of the book available, or something, but they'll probably not sell many of the original edition when you can simply download the pdf with zero cost.
That's really helpful information salasi--thanks! I was planning on setting up RSA authentication soon, but that'll definitely get bumped up on the priority list now! In addition to sitting behind a router firewall, RSA and secure password and restrict multiple login attempts.
While I'm at it though: anybody have any advice on blacklisting in GRUB? I tried blacklisting nouveau, the default open-source graphics driver to replace it with the nvidia one but it keeps popping it's head up. This is the guide I've been using, but keep getting stuck at step 3 (I'm not using modlist per that author's suggestion). Any idea why nouveau keeps firing up after startup once I add the rfblacklist line to GRUB?
As I mentioned, I'm trying to get the nvidia drivers to install instead of the default freeware nouveau drivers. I wasn't getting any luck from just blacklisting nouveau in the main.lst file, so I added it to blacklist.conf as well---and saw that an nvidia item was on the list, so I removed that. When I restarted to let the changes take place, my screen looked like a Nintendo game that won't start up. My naive hope was that I could just mount the rescue image, and use that to edit the blacklist.conf which works, apparently! First successful recovery from critical system failure in the bin! Now I'm just waiting for a policy relabel of my entire drive--good thing it's an old 300gb ...
However, now I'm back to square one :/ Anybody help me with that nouveau driver issue?