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Old 07-10-2006, 01:18 PM   #1
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Unhappy linux configuration, stand alone desktop

I have been working with various flavors of linux and am slowly learning. I am very confused about the server, client relationship. I am a stand alone desktop, only 1 computer.
What services do I need to configure as a server?
What services do I need to configure as a client?
And what services can be eliminated?

My computer is an intel pentium 4 (686), single monitor, motherboard intel d865gbf, video,sound, ethernet card all on board. Envision monitor, flat screen, but not flat panel lcd. Usb wireless mouse and keyboard.
Periperals include HP laserjet printer, 250 mb thumb drive, hp digital camera.

I have no scanner, no isdn, no modem, no phone. I do not want any remote connections. No telnet. I do not wish to act as ftp server, but do use ftp as client. I an not sure if i need ssh running? Portmap? How can I ensure all my ports are shut down? Do I need to act as a mail server for myself? File server? What ports must I keep open? 80 http, 88 https, 21 ftp, 25 smmp?

Am I even asking the right questions? I get very lost trying to understand where I fit in. Everything seems to be about networking. FTP, remote conections.

thx in advance for any help in understanding what kind of configuration I am shooting for?

Dave W
a newbie who's trying to get it.

Last edited by davwal; 07-10-2006 at 01:30 PM.
Old 07-10-2006, 01:25 PM   #2
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You'll learn with can quite safely just play around as long as you don't use root account (that's where you don't get asked when you're about to do damage). You can disable most of the services you're running; in my own desktop installation I had to disable the vast majority of all the services there were running by default. If you want to know what you need..well you just said it. You need camera, printer, thumbdrive, ethernet interface; hotplug is quite nice for thumbdrives, though not necessary; for camera you don't need any specific service. For your printer...maybe cups, not necessarily. can set it to be online all the time or just use a simple script to run the connection up or down, or use graphical tools. For your configuration you can switch off quite many of the services. If you're unsure, read about the service from the net (google, for example) to get to know what it's doing there.

The best way to learn is do, try and fail - retry, fail, do again and succeed.
Old 07-10-2006, 02:52 PM   #3
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If you don't think you will need a service I would recommend reading the doc on the service. If you need to shutdown a service I normally run pkgtool. It allows me to rerun some of the setup scripts. That is if you are running slackware. What distro are you running?
Old 07-10-2006, 03:56 PM   #4
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i just check the list of services etc. that are running, then start googling them, soon work out what is needed and what isn't.
Old 07-11-2006, 02:49 AM   #5
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Thx for replies. I guess I am on the right track. Basically I have been doing as you all suggest and slowly, carefully eliminating. In past I act too quickly and break system. Currently I am running Centos. I got cd from linux mag. I have had best luck with it so far, although I have worked with Suse, gentoo, ubuntu, and a few others, my fall back always knoppix. As I clean up services, I guess I can remove users and groups from passwd, and group files.



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