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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 07-23-2006, 02:51 PM   #1
flycast
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Setting up an old Windows box


Hello all.
I have an old Windows (sorry for cussing) box that has an 800Mhz processor and 128M memory. I do web development and currently run an Apache server on a Windows XP machine for testing. The production host I typicality use (as does most the production web serving world) is a Linux host and am thinking of converting my old machine into a Linux machine outfitted as close as possible to the production environment. The problem is I don't know Linux.

Here are the machine specs:
Quote:
System Type: Dimension L___cxe
Ship Date: 5/30/2001
Dell IBU: Americas
Quantity Parts # Part Description
1 2E086 CARD (CIRCUIT), PLANAR (MOTHERBOARD), VIDEO, DIMENSION, LXXXCXE, 810
1 935UJ PROCESSOR, 80526, 800, 128, 100FSB, FIBER CHANNEL, C0
1 84191 MOUSE, PERSONAL SYSTEM 2, 6P, 2BTN, LOGITECH
1 35KKW KEYBOARD, 104, 6P, UNITED STATES, SILITEK, RUBBERDOME, SMALL BOX
1 554WF DUAL IN-LINE MEMORY MODULE, 128, 133M, 16X64, 4K, 168
1 1G163 MODEM, V.90, INTERNAL, DATA FAX, SOFT, IRON
1 200DF KIT, SPEAKER, 120V/60H, NMB605
1 2709D ASSEMBLY, CABLE, IDE-2, 2DROP, DAVINCI
1 286DE COMPACT DISK DRIVE, 128K, I, 5.25" FORM FACTOR, 20/48X, LTN-486
1 088GF CARD (CIRCUIT), MULTI-MEDIA, AUDIO, CT5807, PCI64, FRONT AUDIO JACK
1 57589 CABLE, AUDIO, MOLEX TO MOLEX
1 2010V DISPLAY, MULTISCAN, COLOR, 17, DUAL, E770S, DAOGSA
1 3828D ASSEMBLY, CABLE, ATA66, 1DROP, DAVINCI
1 4D885 HARD DRIVE, 20G, I, 3.5" FORM FACTOR, 1IN, NO CONTROLLER/NO CABLES, SGT-U5
1 6709D ASSEMBLY, CABLE, FLOPPY DRIVE, 1DROP, DAVINCI
1 7020T FLOPPY DRIVE, 1.44M, 3.5" FORM FACTOR, NO BEZEL, SONY, F/EJ3
1 10RDC KIT, SOFTWARE, WKS-STE2K1, 5.25" FORM FACTOR, ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MFGR., ENGLAND/ENGLISH
My questions:
1) I have DSL with a wireless router that also has ethernet ports on the back. How can I get the machine connected to my intranet? What solution would some of you linux gurus suggest? Remember that while I can usually program my way out of a wet paper bag, I just want to get a box running a test environment as quickly as possible and not become a linux expert.

2) My thought is to stick the box in a back room and let it just serve web files and run and FTP server for uploading web files to the test Apache server. What type of linux installation and other software (other than Apache) would you recommend? Hopefully it could be open source freeware to keep me on the cheap.

3) Would it be possible to add an additional drive to this linux box and share the drive it with the 2 XP machines and one Mac OSX machine we already have? I'm thinking here of a file backup store.

4) Fill in here any question I didn't think to ask because of my ignorance of linux.



Thanks,
flycast - woefully lacking linux skills

Last edited by flycast; 07-23-2006 at 02:52 PM.
 
Old 07-23-2006, 03:52 PM   #2
svaucher
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Try out a distribution with a live cd (I'm on ubuntu right now). Just download the image and burn it.

Booting from the cd will validate your hardware setup without wasting your time.

1/ Most distros will enable dhcp by default, so you should be able to get it onto your network pretty easily.

2/ That's what I do. Some distros (like Fedora) will install apache and ftp out-of-the-box. With Ubuntu (and other debian-based distros??), you can install them with one liners from a command prompt. I personally use ssh and sftp (secure) which works well with Filezilla.

For ubuntu:

% sudo apt-get install Apache
% sudo apt-get install ftpd
% sudo apt-get install ssh

3/ Install samba, it's a bit more complex, you'll need to google a tutorial. That will give you a network drive.
4/ Installing linux is really easy, and it has really improved its desktop usability since I've started using it 8 years ago. The only relatively confusing thing would be partitioning disks for dual boots, but if you are using a free hd, it will be much simpler.

Good luck,
Stephane
 
Old 07-23-2006, 04:40 PM   #3
Gethyn
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With only 128MB of RAM, most window managers will run quite slowly, particularly from a liveCD. You might want to consider running it in text mode (it's also more secure that way), but it will be slightly more difficult to get to grips with at the beginning.
 
Old 07-23-2006, 06:00 PM   #4
flycast
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Thanks to both of you for the advice. I am doing a downlaod now for Fedora disk 1 to try as a CD boot. Good advice.

I think I forgot to mention that we will be adding a Mac with OS 10.3 soon. Will I be able to use Samba with this as well?
 
Old 07-24-2006, 04:07 AM   #5
Gethyn
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I think so, but my experience with Macs is very limited.

Not sure that you'll be able to use the Fedora CD as a live CD.
 
Old 07-24-2006, 03:20 PM   #6
zytsef
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I do believe they added samba into Mac OS at 10.3. I've had trouble connecting to the occational share on a windows machine, but since it actaully uses samba it shouldn't have trouble at all accessing another samaba server.

Sounds like you're on the right track, flycast. It's really not too hard to get up and running. I will suggest MySQL if you need any database functionality with your site, though.
 
  


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