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Old 12-13-2005, 02:26 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: US
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 30

Rep: Reputation: 15
Need advice to set up computer for a few simple tasks.

I'm planning on setting up a computer at my parent's house to do a few simple things . . .

Primarily, it needs to function as a print server for the windows based computers in the house.
Ideally I would like it to boot up, establish the necessary connections, automatically log in as a user, and automatically open a tabbed web browser to their email web sites, and google. As well as be able to word process.

I'm torn, I don't know whether to throw an old pentium II that's been sitting in the closet at the task, or sacrifice my spare 1.8ghz box.
The pentium II has 64 mb ram, but I think only ~2gb hdd space.

I was wondering what advice does everyone have distro/desktop manager/etc wise. I use slackware myself, and am probably most comfortable with it, but maybe another distro could be configured more easily for my less tech savvy parents.

I've never actually configured a printer in linux, so a link to a good howto would be helpful. Also, what software would I use for print sharing over a windows network?

If I do choose to use the older machine, I need to choose a distro/desktop manager combination that would be easier on the hardware. Any suggestions?

Also, I have no idea how to configure a machine to automatically log in as a user, without prompting for login or password, any suggestions on how to do this?

Also, any suggestions on how to automatically open a tabbed web-browser to multiple web sites upon startup of x? I know I should probably RTFM, but any help advice/help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance everyone,
Old 12-13-2005, 07:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian, Various using VMWare
Posts: 2,088

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Print Server: CUPS supports IPP. I think that Windows machines should be able to print to an IPP print queue. Simply configure the printer using CUPS, there is a wizard on http://localhost:631.

Web browser: Use Firefox. You can set a group of tabs to open as your home page. Open the web pages you want in Firefox, in tabs, and goto Edit / Preferences, and click "Use Current Pages" for your home page.

I would suggest using the better machine, because the old one will be very slow (Even unusable with a window manager). Also, Ubuntu or Kubuntu is a good distro for newbies. You can set Firefox and Thunderbird to open as Startup apps. This will depend on which desktop environment you choose. You can also set the login manager to login automatically to a specific user. Depending on the distro, it will be GDM or KDM.

Post back if you have any problems.

I hope this helps


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