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Old 10-04-2004, 08:32 PM   #1
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picking linux distro for samba

I've been out of the linux server game for a couple years, and they have a new version of samba I really want to try, so I have a couple questions.

I want to pick a linux distro that is a bare minimum size. All I want to run on it is SAMBA as a windows domain controller, file server, DNS server perhaps, kerio mail server 6, and webmin. I don't think I want any kind of GUI on it, I don't ever plan on sitting in front of it with a monitor/keyboard, just webmin and ssh or telnet or whatever. Kerio mail server says it's tested with redhat 9 and suse 9.x but I'm pretty sure it will run on pretty much anything.

Also, here's a question for the linux masses: last time I had worked with samba, I came across a limitation of linux. When duplicating files between servers (offsite backups) between windows and linux, the file permissions became a problem. But I started thinking: I read that linux can support NTFS now. Is that true? If so could I run my samba shares off of an NTFS drive and not have to worry about permissions?

I'm really ignorant in general on this stuff because I haven't done it in so long, but I will probably be getting back up to speed quick, even quicker with good forum help. Thanks.
Old 10-04-2004, 10:03 PM   #2
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Location: Surprise, AZ
Distribution: Debian | CentOS | Arch
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Samba 3 is great... Linux has great support for reading from NTFS drives, but writing is still very riskae at best...

I would recommend Slackware for a bare minumum Samba server... I know everyone says slackware is uber difficult and blah blah blah... but...

Slackware 10 is the first distro I've ever gotten Samba working on the way I wanted... and it was quite easy at that.. I dunno what the issues with the others were.. INCLUDING RED HAT 9 AND SUSE 9.0/9.1

So there's a thought... and Slackware is about THE MOST stable distro out there... good luck
Old 10-04-2004, 10:10 PM   #3
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Actually I just started downloading slackware.

I had just installed mandrake but for some reason it would not boot in anything but failsafe mode.

I didn't really want to use suse because it's a personal edition meant for desktops, looking at the packages in the installer made me nervous.

I'm tempted by fedora but isn't it basically a beta system now? Is it ever finished? Does anyone think that fedora would make a good samba/mail server where security and stability is a priority?

I think eventually I will do Linux From Scratch (LFS) but that day is in the distant future.
Old 10-07-2004, 08:30 PM   #4
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Good good... You'll like slack once you get the hang of it...

Suse is good if you use Professiona edition... I always buy SuSE... Professional Edition at Best Buy is like $90... It's a great OS but if you don't want to runa gui you won't notice much difference at all...

Fedora is okay... i liked it when i used it.. and I didn't really have any problems with it... I just kind of grew away from it... I don't really know why...

Good luck though..
Old 10-12-2004, 08:12 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: San Francisco, California
Distribution: Slackware
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Slackware 10 is great, its what i'm on right now. Once you can fine tune your Slackware distro you:
1) Become a true linux geek, "everyone asks Slackware users for help"
2) Realize how easy it is to configure a linux system exactly how you want it

Last edited by karlan; 10-12-2004 at 08:13 PM.
Old 10-17-2004, 09:11 AM   #6
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e-Smith SME Server

I am fairly new to *nix systmes apart from using an IP-COP machine and playing with that abit and doing a little programming on Sun Systems when doing It at unit however recently have been employed in property and can't believe what people pay for windows file servers /PDC that don't work and need a good reboot every few days. At home(parents small business) a PDC was never needed, but seeing the situation at work i went searching and had the same problems as everyone else with the major distros ie. redhat/suse/ the list goes on in the past, so i thought about the novel approach of turning my ipcop box into a file server/pdc by loading smaba. When doing a little research and deciding it would not be a secure thing to do given my experience, i was about to give up again when ....

I found "SME server" by E-smith. (

The are up to version 6.0.1 and is 5 year + tested distro (light weight 345mb iso) and out of box supports software raid mirror with pretty much any two harddrives, or you can use hardware raid.

Features: - https admin and text based console admin + ssh (light weight no x system) but only installed with samba 2.2.8a. However, out of box however worked fine for me as PDC/file/Print server with xp pro clients and roaming profiles but only found it a couple of days ago still giving it a good bashing.

Best of all, I just poped the cd in, and without any problems i had it working on my AMD XP2000+ 512MB file server (just put in a new hdd for the install) and BOOM!. No probs no fuss. It will run on min requiremetns and acts as full firewall gateway/routher/dhcp/dns/file server with ftps remote access/full mail server with Basic user managment but very customizable and scaleable.

I think for a single "Server" system for 3 - 100+ systems, SME server is most certinally worth a try in my opinion but out of the box aimed at SOHO users with some mods, could do what ever you want as based on RedHat 7.

Thats my 2 cents.
Peter Britten.


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