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Old 12-09-2014, 08:45 AM   #1
nuttyteacher
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Setting up a linux server


I want to set up one linux server to replace my win98 "pseudo server" (called MAIN). It is using network neighborhood, windows client, microsoft family login, tcp/ip, IPX/spx, netbui, file and print sharing. I have one partitioned drive that is being shared with the other 29 win98 computers. For the last 16 years, I have been using 30 win98 computers in an intranet environment. They are all networked but none are connected to the internet. One of the win98 computers is acting as my server or "pseudo-server" I know its not a real server, but all the other computers read files from it and then write files back to it at the same time. I have been using this setup for 16 years and its worked flawlessly for the most part. None of the computers are connected to the internet. My "pseudoserver" is going to need to be replaced very soon because the resistors on the motherboard are starting to bulge. I have a new computer to replace my old pseudoserver. I would just replace the old hardware with new hardware and reinstall win98 and keep using it as my server, but win98 will not support new hardware (motherboard, harddrives, network adapters etc . I have tried using winxp, but its limited to only 5 connections at a time. I have tried installing microsoft 2008server exactly like the win98 setup but it is acting buggy and inconsistent. I have attempted several distros of linux (ubuntu, ubuntu server, and linux mint) with no success at all. I need to have 30 computers hooked to my server and reading files like my win98 "pseudoserver" I have read several online post about shares and have created folders with share setings but my win98 computers dont see it on the network and my linux server doesnt see any of my win98 computers.
 
Old 12-09-2014, 01:36 PM   #2
rtmistler
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Depends what you mean by "see". I bet you can ping system to system. The question is what do you intend to do? Sounds like you wish to exchange files, therefore NFS is a good choice, or SAMBA.
 
Old 12-09-2014, 02:33 PM   #3
nuttyteacher
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The way my network is currently set up I can go to any computer in the room and open network neighborhood and see the drive f on main and copy, delete or add files to that drive. I would like to have a linux server that could do the same thing. I have given my self a headache for the last 2 weeks typing in everything I have found to try to get linux to communicate with my other computers but no success. I am currently playing with linux mint but I don't really care what distro I have to use. I just can't "see" linux and linux cant see the win98 computers (at least not in network neighborhood or any other way I can think of) It doesnt even seem if i am connecting the linux server to the network. The connection icon for network in mint appears to be continually trying to connect to something. I can plug that same computer into my schools internet and see all kinds of stuff. Printers in the school, other resources etc. When I try to connect this computer to my classroom intranet (non-internet network)it doesn't seem to be connected at all. However, when I connect my win98 server it connects fine. So, theres nothing broken in the hardware of the linux machine and there is nothing broken in my intranet network. I just need help configuring linux to connect to network neighborhood.
Thanks for any comments or help.
 
Old 12-09-2014, 02:37 PM   #4
nuttyteacher
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I have samba on my linux mint computer but I still can not communicate with the win98 machines.

---------- Post added 12-09-14 at 02:38 PM ----------

I have installed ubuntu but failed to connect to my network
 
Old 12-09-2014, 02:41 PM   #5
nuttyteacher
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I tried ubuntu server, xandros, kanotix and gnome. I have downloaded all of these and installed them on my server but none seem to work as easily as win98 server. I know win98 is not really a server, but anyways....
 
Old 12-09-2014, 02:44 PM   #6
nuttyteacher
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I can connect any of these distros to the internet and surf the internet just fine but none seem to work with my intranet network so I must have something goofy set up.

I have no firewall, no virus protection, no internet, just 30 old win98 computers all connected by network switches.
 
Old 12-09-2014, 02:59 PM   #7
rtmistler
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It's not going to be as simple as My Network because that's Microsoft. Or at least I don't know if that's a configurable service which you can set up to have the Linux station appear like a Windows system. Instead either SAMBA or NFS you have either hostname if you use those or IP address and then the share resource name, be that SAMBA or NFS and the name is not "samba" or "nfs" but whatever you named the directory to be when you configured those services.

For instance if I have a directory named /home/fred and my IP address is 192.168.1.100 (always by the way, no DHCP where addresses can be reassigned) and if I named the share resource from SAMBA to be FRED, then I'd access it by \\192.168.1.100\FRED and also have to enter credentials unless I made it so that guests could attach without logging in. You might want to see about guests since your network is private, I'm thinking classroom?

Rather than me search and offer some links for how to configure SAMBA, you probably should search since I have no favorites, just on occasion I forget something and do a quick search to clarify what I should do when I configure. Meaning I don't do this so often. I'm also more of a SAMBA user versus NFS, however those who use NFS will tell you it's way better, easier, etc. I've just managed to get SAMBA running and tend to use that when file sharing needs to be done.

Last edited by rtmistler; 12-09-2014 at 03:03 PM.
 
Old 12-09-2014, 03:20 PM   #8
nuttyteacher
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My intranet that is not connected to the WWW connects to my win98 server by using

\\\\Main\\f\\

It does this through network neighborhood.

Main is the computer name and f is the drive letter.

I do not use any IP addresses

Can a linux server have a machine name of Main and a drive letter of f
that will allow win98 computers to read, write and delete documents from it.

I want to do this without configuring the 30 classroom computers.

I want to replace the one win98 computer I am using as the server.
 
Old 12-09-2014, 03:39 PM   #9
rtmistler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuttyteacher View Post
My intranet that is not connected to the WWW connects to my win98 server by using

\\\\Main\\f\\

It does this through network neighborhood.

Main is the computer name and f is the drive letter.

I do not use any IP addresses

Can a linux server have a machine name of Main and a drive letter of f
that will allow win98 computers to read, write and delete documents from it.

I want to do this without configuring the 30 classroom computers.

I want to replace the one win98 computer I am using as the server.
You can set it up to have a hostname of Main and a shared resource of F, be that NFS or SAMBA.

First get your Linux hostname set up to be Main. Then concentrate on setting up a share name F.
 
Old 12-09-2014, 03:39 PM   #10
szboardstretcher
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Main is a netbios/dns name that resolves to an IP address no? Ie:

Code:
ping main
To get the IP...
 
Old 12-09-2014, 07:51 PM   #11
michaelk
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Yes, linux and samba can be configured to meet your requirements.
What distribution is currently installed?

Samba is the service that provides file and print sharing. You need to configure it to have the same workgroup name as your w98 PCs and set netbios name = main. Make sure it is running and then either make sure the firewall is off or allow samba traffic. Once this is done you should be able to see the server in network neighborhood.

Once you have this working we will help with a share to connect as your f: drive.
 
Old 12-09-2014, 08:32 PM   #12
Soapm
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You can make a file server to do what you want, I don't think you need to make the hostname "main" and make the share F since you can name the share "main" in windows and map the network drive to letter F. What you have to remember is that security has gone leaps and bounds since Win98, as you're seeing, any recent OS is more secure so will take extra steps to connect to them.

If you're like me, I'm a visual learner and here's a guy that can help you install a basic Debian file server. If done right, you should be able to see the share from Win98. If not, post back and we'll help get your samba configured right...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7AHu0rax_4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nntl23uLDrI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCqK47QSRAA

ps... You can get old hardware at the goodwill that should work with Win98 if you can find the drivers. But a linux server for what you're doing will be set it and forget it... You'll have to remember where you put it the next time you need to reboot it...

Last edited by Soapm; 12-09-2014 at 08:35 PM.
 
Old 12-09-2014, 08:46 PM   #13
evo2
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuttyteacher View Post
I can connect any of these distros to the internet and surf the internet just fine but none seem to work with my intranet network so I must have something goofy set up.

I have no firewall, no virus protection, no internet, just 30 old win98 computers all connected by network switches.
I think this is the key. What is your intranet setup like? Do you have a DHCP server? How did you do to attempt to configure the network on the linux machine?

Evo2.
 
Old 12-09-2014, 09:40 PM   #14
frankbell
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If the other computers in your network are Windows computers, then Samba would be the choice; NFS is a Linux thing. Note that Windows stupid Homegroup "networking" works only with other Windows devices; it will not work with Linux.

You need to have both Samba server and Samba client installed on your server. Many distros come with Samba client, but not with Samba server out-of-the-box. Then you have to configure Samba server to allow connections, as well as set the directories to be shared in the directory permission (those are two separate operations). (It's a good idea to run a firewall--you can poke holes in it for TCP/IP and UDP connections after you get everything.)

Samba users (those wishing to connect to the Samba shares on your server) must have usernames and passwords entered on the Linux server and be entered in the smbpasswd (Samba password) file. Once that's done successfully, a Windows user in your network should be able to connect to a share via Windows Explorer or another Windows file manager, such as FreeCommander (the one I use).

How to do all this on your distro of choice is beyond the scope of a single forum thread, but Samba by Example is a great reference. It's the document that walked me through getting my own Samba server working. You can get the PDF here. It starts with simple examples and moves to complex ones, with sample configuration files; I found the answers I needed for my simple home server by page 20.

As for a distro, I recommend Slackware or Debian or possibly Mageia for stability, as this is a server, but any mainstream distro should work just fine. If you choose to use Ubuntu or a Ubuntu derivative (Mint, for example), I'd recommend an LTS (long-term support) version, so you don't have to do a version-update every six months or so.

If you encounter specific issues along the way, we will certainly be more than happy to help.

About firewalls: Linux comes with built-in firewall capability called iptables; it's part of the kernel. Linux "firewall" programs are generally front-ends for configuring iptables.

Last edited by frankbell; 12-09-2014 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Clarity
 
Old 12-09-2014, 10:16 PM   #15
propofol
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I have been running a samba file server for a few years for file sharing with a dwindling number of Windows PCs, Android tablets & linux computers. Initially I found it a headache to get it up and running - particularly to get permissions sorted out since I did not want some users (ie my kids) to be able to alter/delete files. As Soapm mentioned though, once you have it up and running, you do not need to do anything more. At least until the drive fails!

Quite a few people are using Raspberry Pi's as a cheap file sharing device and there are a variety of fairly good step by step tutorials on getting it up and running. For example, look at this one: http://elinux.org/R-Pi_NAS. These steps should work on most distros.

Regards,
Stefan
 
  


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