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Old 07-01-2003, 03:37 PM   #1
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Question Setting up learning network --help

I am in the process of learning as much about Linux as I can and have decided to use primarily Linux in my business endeavor set to launch in about 5 months or so. Here is my problem, I have installed RH 9 on my laptop dula booting it with Win XP. I am looking to set up the laptop so I can read/write from one partition to the other. I am currently setup on the XP side as NTFS, which I understand from RH won't ever be fully supported for write access, so I will be converting that partion to FAT 32.

I assume that I will need to mount the XP partion in Linux in order to access it. Is this correct? Also will I need to setup a virtual directory for windows in Linux?

Problem 2: I want to build a Linux based network here at my home before implementing it at my business site in 5 or 6 months and use it to learn as much as I can. My set up is this:
  • I currently connect to the net via ADSL and have a router which hands out up to 4 dynamic internal ips (although they rarely change).
  • I have the router connected to the phone jack and then to a hub, in which I have 3 other machines (2 Windows XP and my RH9/XP laptop)
  • All the machines can see and exchange files with each other when all running XP

I would like to set up a Linux box that will:
  • Act as a firewall and provide me with logs and easily managed interface
  • Perform duties of a DHCP server and hand out internal IP's that I can manage
  • Act as a print server for at least one and possibly 5 different printers
  • Perform user authentication and manage user accounts
  • Perform internet content filtering
  • Act as a web server for internal access (Intranet)
  • I would also like to be able to admister this network from my laptop
As I learn more about this great System I may be incorporating a wireless hub into the mix for the laptop.

So, if anyone has anything I should know or know of some great tutorials for a real I would greatly appreciate it.
Old 07-02-2003, 08:09 PM   #2
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what i remember from my NT days , i think you have to format first to convert back to vfat, in any case if you succeed with that, boot to linux, check
/etc/fstab to see if your windos partition is there, it's usually mounted under /mnt/windows,(cfdisk will tell you the partition name) if its listed in /etc/mtab its already mounted and just 'cd' into
/mnt/windows, do 'ls' and your just a 'cp' away form sharing
Old 07-02-2003, 09:08 PM   #3
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Check out They provide a configuration of linux that boots from a floppy disk (Although to add more services a harddisk is preferable) that will provide routing, DHCP, print, web and firewall services!

Buggered if I know about content filtering though!

Old 07-03-2003, 12:28 AM   #4
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First, change your expectations right now. Don't try to make a firewall run services that should never be run on a bastion host.

These services should be on the firewall:
Port filtering/blocking/forwarding
DHCP daemon
Filtering proxy (when you say "content filtering" I'm assuming you mean blocking HTTP access to sites with questionable content)

You should have a separate, internal server for:
Intranet server
Print server
User authentication & accounting

You can configure both to be administered in various ways, depending on the software you install. Many have web administration clients that you can use in a browser. For anything that doesn't have a thin client, you can use Command Line Interface access with ssh.

You can build a Linux-based firewall extremely cheaply. I just built one with $200 worth of new hardware (and a spare HDD). The other server might need a little bit more horsepower depending on what you want to run on it, but it doesn't sound like you're really going to be loading it down.

The reason why the filtering services and the content services should be on two different hosts is for security. Every extra service you add to your firewall is another application which can potentially be comprimised, and another layer of complexity which has a chance to be misunderstood and therefore misconfigured. A firewall should never run more than it absolutely has to for filtering traffic. A firewall should not provide interactive services of any kind.

Internal hosts behind your firewall are slightly less likely to be accessed by malicious users (although you can never trust your own users). It's far less likely that a misconfiguration or flaw on your internal server will result in your network being comprimised by outside attackers.
Old 07-03-2003, 11:11 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your valued input and direction.

I came to the same conclusion after sitting down and going over exactly what I wanted to do. I am now in the process of trying to learn how to recompile my kernel (currently 2.4.20-8) to become compatible with the reading of my Win XP partition (NTFS).

Thanks for the linki. I took a look and will read up on it some more to see if it will be a a viable option for me.

Very good points. Once I sat down and started laying out the network on paper I had some of the same thoughts, although not as detailed. Thank you for your advice and insight. I am going to take my time on this project and try to learn much as possible.

Any advice or links regarding recompiling and/or updating the kernel for this purpose?

Last edited by jonnieo; 07-03-2003 at 11:15 AM.


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