LinuxQuestions.org
Latest LQ Deal: Complete CCNA, CCNP & Red Hat Certification Training Bundle
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 03-06-2004, 07:53 AM   #1
Stimz
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Bournemouth, England!
Distribution: Debian Etch (XFCE4), Ubuntu
Posts: 42

Rep: Reputation: 15
Question Help with Linux distributions and LANS


Hello, Well first post on LQ, and straight in at the deep end.

I'm just been volunteered to be the technician at a charity, they have 7 computers between P200 and P3 600's, and a small file server..... remember it's a charity.

They've got me doing the process of converting the whole lot over to Debian Linux, and I'm pretty much doing it on my own.... I've never used linux before, however I've learnt a great deal in the last few days, but I do feel this is a bit beyond me.

If you could answer and suggest some solutions to the problems below.

- I need a simple, easy to use distribution, with a windows manager (KDE 3.2?) setup for people who are used to MS wi**ows (it's a swear word now...) I know that personal dist's is preferable, but this is for a LAN environment, and I'm not sure how long I'm going to be around for.

- This distribution system needs to be Wi**ows-user friendly, it needs good Web editing, Multimedia editing, Publication, Accounting, and General Office (I'll use open office unless anyone has a better suggestion) software, any suggestions on what and where would be very helpful.

- It also needs to have a larger and new server which will have several tasks, provide Internet access, communal E-mail, File, printer and scanner service, suggestions on how to do this would be really great!

How, where and what I need would be very helpful and no-doubt plenty of "your mad"s.

Once again, I am very grateful for all your assistance and suggestions.
Yours gratefully,
A somewhat laid back guy in computer mayhem.

Last edited by Stimz; 03-06-2004 at 08:33 AM.
 
Old 03-06-2004, 10:51 AM   #2
Oliv'
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Montpellier (France)
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 1,014

Rep: Reputation: 36
Hello Stimz

So it's sure that's KDE3.2 is very nice... But a X-server + Qt3 + KDE3 + other applications... your RAM will explode and moreover your disks will be quickly full because I suppose that if you have P3 600's for the best, your harddrives must be few Go and your RAM is 128Mo maybe 256Mo ???
So KDE2 may be sufficient... and if you really want a good window manager, try XFCE4... That's the one I use: it's light and easily configurable. Of course, you have other like blackbox, icewm, fluxbox (never try it, but it seems good) which can fit your requirements.
If you want to do "a lot" of multimedia, don't forget to patch your kernel with the low latency patch... because I suppose that you will use a 2.4kernel.
About Web editing, publication... I'm not a master so I won't give you advice (maybe I can tell you that Gimp is great for graphical purpose ) but what I can tell you is not to forget to install tools like ghoscript and his ps2pdf utility... because Open Office format is not very spread, so print the doc in a file (you obtain a .ps document) and then transform it into PDF.
For your server, as it seems to be the main element of your network... don't forget security with iptables, snort... For printer and scanner services, the best projects are CUPS (for printer) and SANE (for scanner). Concerning mails, the best project are Postfix (to be short, it's a mail transport agent), sendmail (also a MTA) and Exim. If you want a "real" POP server, have a look at Qpopper (require a MTA like sendmail). If you do web editing, I think you'll need Apache, PHP and MySQL to put your work online.
And if you want more info on how to do such or such thing, consult this site

Hope this help you
 
Old 03-06-2004, 11:19 AM   #3
Stimz
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Bournemouth, England!
Distribution: Debian Etch (XFCE4), Ubuntu
Posts: 42

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thumbs up disty

Thanks oliv,
Bearing in mind that this network will be used by veteran (brainwashed ) windoze users, do you recommend a disty, or is debian good?
We're on KDE 2.2.2 at the moment, it works on all the computers but on the low spec ones it's a little slow, we're using 2.4.18-bf2.4 kernal, (I have our far more informed techie, however still newbie friend next to me working on cloning Debian to a p3 500 .), but some information on how to patch the kernal would be really helpful.

Is XFCE4 windoze-user friendly?

You were right about the RAM, the HDD's are all pritty large between 6 and 40 gb mainly. I want to keep the options for windowmanagers low, I don't want the sheep, I mean the users, to be stuck on a manager that they have no idea how to use.....

We need a central e-mail inbox that everyone can access and look at e-mails from any computer, I just assume I could do that by locating it on the server and making links on each of the satellites to access it.... anyway any input is well apprieciated

Once again many thanks, the info on software was particually helpful

Thanks,
George.
 
Old 03-06-2004, 01:33 PM   #4
Oliv'
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Montpellier (France)
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 1,014

Rep: Reputation: 36
According to me, for windows user distro is not important... the most important is how you configure the window manager... Of course some people will tell you that lindows is the best... maybe it's true, I never test it
For window manager, I really love XFCE4... and I think windows user can easily manage themselves with it In fact you have a taskbar with 6-7 main icons. For example a multimedia which can launch mplayer, a menu can appear with other multimedia icon (if you know a bit window manager... it's a bit like CDE taskbar). And the strongest point: it's very easy to configure this menu (add/remove applications)... So the taskbar exactly fits your requirements So for users, it's a "click and play" interface. Of course a bit different from windows, but maybe simpler
To speed up your machines, I have a solution but it's a lot of work... LFS (Linux From Scratch) is the solution which gives me best performances... But it's very long to install and setup
In fact, you don't really need Mail server or something like that... you just want that user access his mails one day from A, the other one from B but that mails downloaded from A are still visible from B. I think that mozilla can do that but I don't know how (I've never thought about such issues ). There's a "complex" solution: to manage users profiles thanks to LDAP and a NFS server.
And Sorry for the previous link, I make a mistake the correct link is the following
And you will find howto patch a kernel in the kernel HOWTO section 5 if I'm correct

Oliv'
 
Old 03-08-2004, 07:16 AM   #5
Stimz
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Bournemouth, England!
Distribution: Debian Etch (XFCE4), Ubuntu
Posts: 42

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
XFCE4 - from where and how....

Hey Oliv'.
We've had a look around for XFCe4 and we've found it only on Debian unstable, is this a good idea for a network which will be run by people who don't have a clue?? and if so, its not on dselect, how do I download it through dselect, including all the little bits and bobs it needs.....
Very grateful for your help.

Hehe things aren't too great on the computer i'm installing debian on just got a Kernal Panic: I have no root and I want to scream
---
Highpoint HPT370 Softwareraid driver for linux version 0.01
No raid array found
SCSI subsystem driver Revision: 1.00
Red Hat/Adaptec aacraid driver, Apr 14 2002
DC390: 0 Adapters found
3ware Storage Controller device driver for Linux v1.02.00.016.
3w-xxxx: No cards with valid units found.
request_module[scsi_hostadapter]: Root fs not mounted
request_module[scsi_hostadapter]: Root fs not mounted
i20_scsi.c: Version 0.0.1
chain_pool: 0 bytes @ c1207da0
(512 byte buffers X 4 cab_queue X 0 i20 controllers)
Net4: Linux TCP/IP ..... damned screen cut off mid-type
etc etc

just started up again without boot disk in and its working..... even though I still saw the error messages, plus the same old error that the server file isn't mounted..... which I don't understand as the file has been created, how one goes about mounting it however is beyond me. But now everything seems to be working fine....... I think I have a possessed computer
but any feedback would be welcome.

George@youth2000

Last edited by Stimz; 03-08-2004 at 07:22 AM.
 
Old 03-08-2004, 08:58 AM   #6
Oliv'
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Montpellier (France)
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 1,014

Rep: Reputation: 36
Hello Stimz,

To install XFCE4 with Debian, you have two solutions:
-either you install it from packages found on debian.org (http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/xfce4.html )... So you will have .deb packages and to install them, you just have to do: dpkg -install package.deb
-or you compile them from sources... You can download them on XFCE site: http://www.xfce.org/index.php
In fact I can't tell you how to do that with dselect... I never use it maybe dselect database doesn't allow you unstable packages and you have to enable them, but how? I don't know.
About unstable, don't worry... that's only a desktop manager and it won't mess up your system. I think that XFCE is unstable because it's not fully tested and there are still bugs. For example, before I've patched my kernel with low latency patch, when I was playing music and trying to switch windows (with alt-TAB), musics suddenly stops and plays back when operation was finished
About your possessed computer, I don't really understand what the exact problem is... So I can't help you. But you can always try to contact an exorcist
 
Old 03-08-2004, 09:17 AM   #7
Stimz
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Bournemouth, England!
Distribution: Debian Etch (XFCE4), Ubuntu
Posts: 42

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Talking --OUT WITH THE HOLY WATER!--

Hey Oliv'
Thanks for that, you must be the only one on this forum who is helping people
I'll get onto downloading XFCE4 straight away, my co-techie downloaded an Xfce WM but I think it must be an old version either that or he just didn't d/l any of the other bits&bobs it needed lol.
As for the possessed computer, its a P3 450 with 128mb ram and 16 Gb HDD, it gets random error messages at start up like the kernel missing and yet still starts up, every time it starts up after being switched off for the night it starts with the screen COMPLETELY screwed, brown boxes all over it and when the WM or any graphics start then theres a huge green dot box overlaid but offset from a huge brown dot box...... then if you leave it until the screen goes black then press a key to reiniciate it's fine, perfectly normal, and remains so.....
I think it particularly hates my friend as when ever he uses it, the thing randomly restarts, although I've never witnessed or experienced this myself.... and also the screen parameters always change when you switch on which is a little annoying.........
But it works and thats the main thing.... if it works use it

A word on downloading XFCE4 when you said "dpkg -install package.deb" could you give me an actual example from the XFCE4 website, of what I would literally put into the command line. This would really help. Cheers.

Once again I can't express my delight and many thanks, Cheers

George ~ Youth 2000
 
Old 03-08-2004, 10:29 AM   #8
Oliv'
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Montpellier (France)
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 1,014

Rep: Reputation: 36
Quote:
you must be the only one on this forum who is helping people
No there's another one, but he's ill
About XFCE and dpkg... Go to the debian URL and download the appropriate packages. The problem is that you'll have more work then usual because it's up to you to check for dependencies Don't worry Debien pages give you all required depedencies. To check if you already have the good packages installed, it's:
Code:
dpkg -l xfce4-panel*
to see if xfce4-panel package is already installed (the * is a precaution). If The package is correctly installed, the output line should begin with ii. Now, to install your .deb package, run the following:
Code:
dpkg --install xfce4-panel_4.0.3-2_i386.deb
If you have to install other packages than xfce4 one for dependencies reasons, you can always try with dselect
About the possessed computer, I wonder wether it can be an hardware issue graphical problems would lead me to the video card corruption... But if you say that sometimes everything goes fine, I doubt. So first, be sure of your hardware (completly random errors... that's probably hardware issue). Then you can always check your partition integrity with e2fsck utility. If there's still no errors, you can format all, and re-install I know that's annoying, but sometimes that's the fastest way to solve problems.
 
Old 03-09-2004, 03:58 AM   #9
hyper guy
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: A State of Bliss (Ontario, Canada)
Distribution: Vector-Slackware + Dropline
Posts: 43

Rep: Reputation: 15
Xfce4 not for the ignorant

Stimz,

I'm a fellow noob and I can tell you that Xfce4 is def not easy-peasy stuff. I've tried literally for hours and hours on end to get Xfce4 to work (and, yeah, ver 3.x is way ugly). I used debian's synaptic (ok and Kpackage) to download and install all the pkgs, but I couldn't figure out how to get it all working. I finally bailed, but I think I was close. I think. You find the secret to installing that thing properly, you post it here toot sweet cuz it's a bear by many accounts. I did find a script or two on the web btw that claim to be able to do it all for you from source, but you need CVS and that was a whole other headache.

I am trying to work with Morphix LightGUI which has Xfce4 already as the default (man, it sho iz purdy). Works great, good apps, but after you install it to hd, you lose your net connection if you have a cable modem (which, of course, is the case for me. if it's not one thing...). The normal FAQ fixes suggested haven't worked for me, but I'm still hammering away. If I find a solution, I'll let you know, but in the meantime, if you can get your paws on a Knoppix CD, that should save a_lot_of hassles.

Best of luck!
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Linux router/firewall box for shared Internet access from 3 separate LANs? dan.patton Linux - Networking 4 04-15-2006 06:37 PM
Microsoft uses Linux powered wireless LANs barneyt Linux - News 2 11-04-2005 01:48 PM
Too many Linux distributions ? programmershous Linux - Distributions 74 06-25-2005 06:33 PM
Linux Distributions EvilAngel Linux - Distributions 7 02-03-2005 10:34 PM
What is the best Linux distributions? alexr186 Linux - General 4 12-04-2003 12:03 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:08 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration