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Old 03-17-2006, 03:03 AM   #1
Michigan Cat
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A Question for the Pro's

If in question; General always works, But feel free to boot it where it should be
First off, I know -0- about linux's OS's other than what I have been studing up on, for the last month 1/2 mainly R.H. 5.2 installation guide. I have been wanting to switch for the last 2 years, but have been chicken. But I am sick of windows's bugs.
I am in the process of getting ready to network my 2 laptops and 3 desktops as soon as I make the move from the stone age dial-up 15 to 26 bps to DSL.

What I have in mind is, to set one computer up as a server/buffer and would like to use Red Hat as the os. Hopefully lowering the time weekly required, to clean spy off of all units by using the first unit as a buffer. Hopefully limting the spy ware on the other units, plus is is my understanding, virus and spys don't seem to attack linux as bad.
So my first question is; Will this idea work? or am I running on the wrong side of the track?

In time I want to switch all but 2 units to Linux from M$. 1 that runs the company books, and 1 that my head Boss{thee wife} uses to play her games on will haft to stay with Bill's OS.
So question 2 is ; will all the units work together in a network if 2 or 3 are not linux OS??
Thanks MC.
Old 03-17-2006, 03:22 AM   #2
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1. Many forum posts already discuss how to use Linux machines for routing/firewalling a network.
So yes, it is possible to use a Linux machine that is connected (either via dial-up or DSL) to internet and
have all other boxes connect to it for network communication and internet access. This requires some
routing on the Linux box and if you want to have a "security buffer" some firewalling too. I suggest you do
some research on the "iptables" command and general Linux security.
It may require having 2 network cards on the Linux box (one for internet connectivity, one for your "local
network". If you don't want that, think about buying a small hardware router/firewall. They can often
simplify network configuration.
However, as far as RH 5 goes, that's a really ancient distro. You should switch to a more recent one if you
want to have decent security/performance. Since you know RH, I propose you take a look at Fedora Core (kind
of like the sequel of RH).
2. Mixing Linux and Window$ together is possible. It all depends on what you want to do on the machines.
ie if you want to make the Linux box's disks available on Windows, look at Samba. Mounting a shared Windows
folder or disk on a Linux system can be done via the "smbmount" command (or via /etc/fstab configuration,
filesystem type "smbfs").
So, answer is "yes, but it will require some configuration" (just like setting this up on Windows would).
Another example: if you want to be able to login on your Linux machines from a Win box, try
looking into SSH and PuTTY.

Last edited by timmeke; 03-17-2006 at 03:24 AM.
Old 03-17-2006, 04:21 AM   #3
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Welcome to LQ! Your project sounds pretty ambitious, and I'd recommend several things:

1. First, if you haven't used Linux yet and want to take it on a test drive before you plunge into it, check out a Linux Live CD, such as Knoppix A Live CD is a fully operational Linux system that runs off the CD. Just put it into the CD drive, reboot (make sure that in the BIOS boot sequence the CD-ROM is listed first) and you'll be using Linux. Live CD's do not write to the hard drive, so you won't risk modifying any of your existing files, and to return to your previous system, just remove the CD. What could be better.

2. Redhat v5.2 was released in the late 90's, Linux has come a very long way since then, and to be honest it's not a good choice here in 2006. The offshoot of Redhat's free Linux distro is Fedora Core which is available for free download. Additionally, other distros are available at distrowatch as well as LQ's own LQ ISO Given that you are interested in exploring what Linux has to offer, I would encourage you to take a look at several of the most popular distros, including Fedora, SuSE, Ubuntu, Slackware, and others.

Your goals are both realistic and attainable, but I would suggest taking a gradual approach towards shifting over to Linux rather than to try to convert all your machines at once. Good luck with it
Old 03-23-2006, 03:35 AM   #4
Michigan Cat
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Location: Michigan
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Thumbs up

I thank you, for all your help and input
I am going to do some more and learning on Linux systems.
This is not going to be as easy of a task as I had thought!
The main reason I was leaning to Red Hat was becouse of the customer support part, only a phone call away.
It has been 20 plus years since my days of peek and poke.
I'm sure once I get a tad smarter on this linux sys: I'll be back for some help. Thanks....Den...
Old 03-23-2006, 11:51 AM   #5
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No, it won't be "an easy task" and you probably shouldn't start out with such a misconception. But you can certainly do it. Study first, and study well. It doesn't matter in the slightest how long it's been since you did such a thing previously.

Also... give Windows a fair chance. Clean it off, clean it up, set yourself up with a limited (not Administrator!) account, and so on. Bring the Windows installation up to the most current patch-level, and if you haven't upgraded it in a long time, do so.

It's entirely up to you what system(s) you run, and I still encourage you to try Linux. Just make sure to approach the task realistically and with suitable advance preparation.

This web-site, its Wikis and so-on, are a great place to start. So are the O'Reilly books.


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