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Old 07-15-2004, 09:38 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Windows XP. I gave up with Linux & I left LQ.
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Home Network set up and another related question

I am pretty new to setting up a home network. What I want to do is connect about four computers together. They will all be running Linux(more then likely it will be SuSE) and out of those four two computers will have a Micro$oft XP/98SE partition on them. What I was wondering is if I can do all this with just the ethernet cards and a hub. Or would I need a router or something else. Any links and personal experiences would be appreciated. Also I want to set up a couple of older computers on this network. I read someplace, and I can't remember where, that I could hook up older computers without needing a harddrive, etc. That they can run off of the main computer. I have no knowledge about this. Could anyone give me experiences and links about this?


Old 07-15-2004, 10:07 AM   #2
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, North America, World, Milky Way
Distribution: Gentoo
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Using a hub in a network is never recommended, as it causes a LOT of packet collision. You're always better off using a switch.

Now.. if you want to actually share your internet connection you will need a broadband router.

Most broadband routers are easy to use: they have a dhcp server, firewall rules and forwarding.

As for those old computers, you'll have to look into networking booting. Alas, I have never used it for such purpose and can't really help you.

Good luck!
Old 07-15-2004, 09:21 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Distribution: Conectiva 10 - Conectiva 8 - Slackware 9 - starting with LFS
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Hi Mr.
It's relatively easy to setup all your requests to a linux box. The machine you determine as a server can provide all the services for the rest of the network. I agree with "netmask" about the performance penalties of a hub, however, if you already have one, use it! I suggest you to use your server as the main gateway for your network, instead of to use a broadband router. Mainly because the firewall rules, the underlying sotware will be in your hands. I often install that kind of boxes and it work great. If you use adsl as the broadband internet connection, you need to install and configure pppoe. It has a configuration script which asks you some questions and produces the file "/etc/ppp/pppoe.conf". For this machine, you will need 2 ethernet cards, 1 for talk to your network and the other for the connection to the adsl modem.
To ease the configuration and administration of the rest of your network, I suggest you install and configure "dhcpd". This is the "boot" and "internet address" server. The rest of the machines, all you have to do is configure it to obtain its address from the network.
In this dhcpd configuration, you will also specify the "gateway" and the dns servers which will be inherited by the other machines, linux and windows.
To setup that disk less machines, look for and These are two versions of several disk less projects. I used both and it works. To use disk less machines you may have to buy the switch.
Old 07-15-2004, 09:47 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Lawrence, KS
Distribution: Slackware
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using older machines

This network plan sounds like fun.

You may want to consider using the older units as terminals. Although not diskless, I have even used an old Toshiba T1200 as a text terminal connected with a null modem cable to a free serial port on a Linux unit.

All things you mentioned are possible with Linux. Your server could also run iptables or ipchains and protect all the windows box's from the evil hackers out there.

What you are thinking about is pretty much what I have around me here.
Old 07-15-2004, 11:33 PM   #5
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Windows XP. I gave up with Linux & I left LQ.
Posts: 502

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Thanks. The replies here give me a good starting point. Over the next week or so I will be setting this up. I will no doubtedly be back with more questions, lol. I am pretty much doing this just to do it, for the fun of it and the knowledge.



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