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Old 01-13-2007, 04:46 AM   #1
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Question Suggestions about DNS, webserver, and email server


I have ubuntu 6 and knoppix

Im planning to have my own DNS,webserver, and email server @ home.

1.Im asking what are the softwares that I need.

2.Need suggestions....which of the two UBUNTU or KNOPPIX is the best for DNS,webserver and email server.

3.And PLS tell me WHY?

Old 01-13-2007, 06:28 AM   #2
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You forgot the "earthling" part.

I have ubuntu 6 and knoppix
Lucky you. Some people have mental floss.

Im planning to have my own DNS,webserver, and email server @ home.
Ask yourself about the purpose. If it's a testbed for websites that are going to be uploaded elsewhere or if it's just for the LAN, then you don't need to make it publicly accessable, which in turn means you have less to worry about in terms of time preparing (hardening) and maintaining it (updating, auditing, adjusting).
If it needs to be publicly accessable then you should separate the server from the rest of your network using the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) features of your (GNU/Linux or hardware) router, harden it properly before making it accessable and watch closely for problems. Time maintaining it also goes up since you can not afford to run experimental software (XAMPP) or stale versions of software (think PHP-based applications) w/o an increased risk of breakage. Knowing the purpose you know what you have to watch out for.

1.Im asking what are the softwares that I need.
As far as actual tools are concerned, most of the time a caching DNS server would be enough unless you would need to deal with weird DNS setups necessary for testing. Your choice of DNS, web and mailserver depend on what you need it for and what you're familiar with administrating. If you have no experience at all I strongly suggest you "play with it" for a while before making it publicly accessable. That gives you ample time to find enough docs to help you make (and keep) your setup safe.

2.Need suggestions....which of the two UBUNTU or KNOPPIX is the best for DNS,webserver and email server.
So wrt the above, Live CD's have the advantage of being read-only. So if you SNAFU or if something goes bonkers then reloading the machine is like a full reinstallation. If the Live CD allows you to reread your configs from fd or hd then it's not that much of a waste of time. Trade off of a Live CD are their relatively slow access speed (CDROM), read-only filesystem, amount of tools installed (too much) and it consuming much of the available RAM. All in all a Live CD would be a good choice if you want to (temporarily) convert a box for serving purposes w/o installing another O.S. or distro on it, or if you have no experience with running a server or if the read-only state of the filesystem is an advantage (router, honeypot and like that).

In closing there is AFAIK no rule of thumb for what is "the best". What is "the best" depends on what you *need* it for and if you can manage to use it properly. It having more features than a Swiss armyknife does not automagically mean it will be "better", more secure, performant or easier managable.
Actually in your case less would be more.

Last edited by unSpawn; 01-13-2007 at 06:32 AM. Reason: //less *is* more.
Old 01-13-2007, 12:36 PM   #3
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Everything UnSpawn said is true. As you have told us nothing about what you plan to do with this, we can't do any better than give you shot in the dark guesses about what to run and how to run it.

I'll quickly answer your questions:

1) DNS - Bind, the industry standard
Web - apache2, again the industry standard
email - I suggest qmail, as configured by

All of those can be changed, and aren't the best for everything, but an awful lot of people run those services.

2) Assuming you mean a knoppix install and not running knoppix live off the CD, there will be no difference between it and ubuntu. I don't suggest you use either of those for servers, those are more "desktoppy" distros. You can install ubuntu without graphics, that makes an ok server. I suggest debian (stable) or slack for servers. No GUI, all CLI, live and learn.

Both knoppix and ubuntu are debian children, built off debian unstable. They are by and large debian. There is no functional difference between them. 1 is not any safer or better than another. Why did you think there is a difference?

3) All covered above.



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