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Old 08-27-2003, 01:23 PM   #1
-G-
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: North West USA
Distribution: Redhat 8.0 & 9.0, Mandrake 9.0 & 9.2, Fedora Core 1, Knoppix
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Should I set up a "rogue" Linux Machine at Work?


Hello All

Don't know if this is the right forum for this, but here it goes...

In light of the latest worm and virus outbreaks, I've come to a point at work where I wish I was no longer using that other OS. I'm thinking of setting up my machine to dual boot. I'd put on Red Hat 8.0 and that other OS. When I'm working away, I'd run RH. My email, web browsing, and what ever else would be on the Linux boot. If needed, or when I'm away, I'd boot the computer into that other OS.

My questions are thus.

1) Is this "practical" (in a very loose definition of the word) since the LAN here is NT based? Will I have significant problems printing the network printers, accessing networked drives etc... I know I can probably use cups (?) and Samba to accomplish this, but will it be transparent to the other worker bees here when they are looking at my machine over the LAN?

2) Can I still produce *.doc and *.xls files with Open Office? I searched on the site and it _seems_ like I can(?) This is a must. I have to be able to work with spreadsheets and documents and then email them to peeps running the other OS. There can't be formatting glitches or problems viewing the files. Again, transparent.

3) Ethically, should I do this? I really, really want to make a point here. I want to show the guys here in the office that Linux is a viable alternative. I'd never get an official OK from them, but I imagine I would get a nod and a wink. But is it worth it? What if someone finds out that has a real problem with me doing this? I can probably divert any trouble that would come my way, but ultimately I want to be able to say, see, I've done it for a year, it works fine, you never knew, it can, and should be done. We'd save money and time.

4) If I go through with this, what software should I use? Is Red Hat really the best distro (now, let's not get into the ageless argument of which distro is best, but rather, which tool is appropriate for this transparent application).

Basically, I hate the other OS and want to run something that won't crash every 2 hours (I know, wow, only every 2 hours, lucky me) and won't throw up every time cyber flue comes across the wire because some yay-hoo opens up an email attachment that says "I love you".

Any thoughts, suggestions, warnings, etc... would be greatly appreciated!

-G-
 
Old 08-27-2003, 01:45 PM   #2
m_yates
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My suggestion is to get approval from whoever administers your network to allow you to run a different operating system. Most administrators appreciate your plight and will be willing to work with you. However unlikely it may be, you may be held responsible for any network problems you cause. It is better to be safe I think and get approval first. It isn't worth losing your job to make a point.

I use linux daily (Mandrake 9.1) and it is configured to print to a network printer without a problem. Sharing files isn't too difficult either. I transfer things to a from a windows laptop frequently. After using Windows Me as my primary operating system for 8 months, I was fed up. After discussing things with my network admin, he agreed to set me up behind a SOHO firewall that he administers. I am now free to use whatever operating system I wish with the understanding that I have to fix any software problems on my machine myself. It is a fair trade off and I'm a lot happier with my setup.
 
Old 08-27-2003, 01:52 PM   #3
-G-
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: North West USA
Distribution: Redhat 8.0 & 9.0, Mandrake 9.0 & 9.2, Fedora Core 1, Knoppix
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Original Poster
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Thanks m-yates....

My problem with getting permission first is, I'm not sure who will be able to give it to me. The two fellas here that do the admin are a geologist and a CAD guy, not exactly IT. They have to admin in thier spare time, and basically consists of setting up new computers for new hires, trouble shooting the file server, and calling the ISP when service is down.

The "real" IT guys are up north. They would:

1. Never know
2. Never allow it (probably, but I wonder if you advice would be good in that a quick email can clear that up).

I think they have the typical IT mentality in that all the clients are peons and they don't like surporsies.

Can't blame them.

I'm still leaning towards getting the ok from the local guys and not bothering the IT guys up north.

-G-
 
Old 08-27-2003, 02:23 PM   #4
MasterC
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Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Distribution: Gentoo ; LFS ; Kubuntu
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Bring in your own equipment?

Would your work allow you to bring onboard your own box, on which I'd assume you can run whatever you'd like...

That might be the easiest "OK'd" solution. Other than that, yeah, ask the local IT guys, if they say it's ok, at least you got approval and don't appear to be hiding anything should anyone find out.

Cool
 
Old 08-27-2003, 02:33 PM   #5
Cooner
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Go for it! What's the worse that could happen?
They do have a McDonalds in town don't they.
 
Old 10-15-2003, 01:22 PM   #6
-G-
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: North West USA
Distribution: Redhat 8.0 & 9.0, Mandrake 9.0 & 9.2, Fedora Core 1, Knoppix
Posts: 28

Original Poster
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UPDATE on rogue Linux box

UPDATE:

Rather than start a new thread referencing this one, I thought I would just add a bit:

I'm now one of the two dudes in this office responsible for the computers. So in a way, setting up a linux box is not a problem going forward.

I also learned, and witnessed first hand, that they are TOTALLY uncomfortable with WinXP. They ship new XP boxes with a Win2000 theme. Why? "So when they talk to someone over the phone with problems, they now what it looks like and where everything is". At any rate, the only reason I bring this up is that they don't seem the type to let *nix in the door.

I've also d/l most of the pertinent software that I would be using in an office environment on my Win98 (I know, who uses Win98 anymore...I do, so that's who) machine and have used them as much as I can to learn and get a feel for them. I like OpenOffice, I like Mozilla (a ton) and the various other progs.

There doesn't seem to be much of a software issue going forward either.

My main concern is connectivity. Do any of you have specific instances of setting up a Linux box on a Win LAN. We have a HUGE mix of Win OS machines here, the domain server runs on NT4, Plenty of XP Pro, Win2000 and yes, some Win98 boxes. We have networked printers (not through a print server which is one thing I really want to change) that I have to be able to reach (about 6 in all).

Anyway, any specific advice or war stories or "avoid this pitfall" would be huge...tnx a ton in advance

-G-

Last edited by -G-; 10-15-2003 at 01:26 PM.
 
Old 10-15-2003, 02:28 PM   #7
m_yates
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To network with Windows machines, you should read up on Samba. It is possible for a Linux machine to log onto a windows network and be part of a workgroup, share files, etc. You should look into buying Xandros for a dead simple way to do it.

Printing to a network printer is no problem. Just use KDE control center and select peripherals>printers and enter an IP address for your printer along with the type of printer to select a driver.
 
Old 10-15-2003, 08:06 PM   #8
tychovi
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Location: Virgin Islands
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Fedora
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-G-,

I've been using Linux (RH 7.x) as a domain controller for Windows/OSX networks for a couple of years now and like it much better than M$. I have OS X clients and all flavors of Windoze as clients also.

It's been about 8 months since I last had to really dig into Samba (my favorite) but I know you can grab shares from Windows boxes using something along the lines of the "net use" command from M$, the Samba version though "smbclient" or something like that depending on the flavor of Linux/Unix that you use and the version of Samba.

As far as people connecting to your machine Linux makes a MUCH more stable server than even NT 4.0 (the last good, stable, domain server from M$ IMHO). Once you work out your desktop apps the network end of it is not bad.

**BEWARE** XP has some "issues" connecting to Samba servers. You need to make some registry hacks to disable some encrypted cert. connections and a few other tweeks (I had to do this for one of my networks that uses Linux as the domain controller, I'm not sure what gives if you're using NT 4.0 to admin the domain). 2000 isn't much better but it is a little more close to the smb spec's.

MasterC is on the right track and m_yates is already there. If I have someone that wants to work on a "non-standard OS" (boy there's a subjective statement) I'll gladly give you your own connection through a firewall that only lets what I want in and out of the rest of "my" network, but if your guys wig about making XP look like 2000 configuring a firewall may really pop their corks.. =)

I've been doing this for 18 years and found that asking nicely gets you a lot further than sticking it in and saying 'I told you so..' ( which just tends to put you at odds with your upstream provider (the IT guys up north). Without knowing to much about your setup ie. how the ?peer? shares work on the particular way that your lan/wan is setup it seems to me that it should work.

tycho

Last edited by tychovi; 10-15-2003 at 08:12 PM.
 
Old 10-15-2003, 09:00 PM   #9
Lost Penguin
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Re: Should I set up a "rogue" Linux Machine at Work?

[QUOTE]Originally posted by -G-
[B]Hello All

Don't know if this is the right forum for this, but here it goes...

In light of the latest worm and virus outbreaks, I've come to a point at work where I wish I was no longer using that other OS. I'm thinking of setting up my machine to dual boot. I'd put on Red Hat 8.0 and that other OS. When I'm working away, I'd run RH. My email, web browsing, and what ever else would be on the Linux boot. If needed, or when I'm away, I'd boot the computer into that other OS.

Try Knoppix, Here is a link:
ftp://ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/knoppix/

You do not have to "touch" the Windows installed on the machine.
Boot the Knoppix CD to KDE, rock out in Linux shutdown and the CD will eject.
Keep some copies handy for the next Windows virus outbreak and be a hero.
(and probably a future network admin)
 
  


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