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Old 03-17-2009, 01:24 AM   #16
AndyXS
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Does it not matter this server is for a LAN and would be sitting behind a firewall blocking almost all ports except HTTP and SSL ?
 
Old 03-17-2009, 01:29 AM   #17
ceantuco
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linuxlover.chaitanya , I downloaded SME server and after I finished the installation I couldn't do much because there was no GUI. I will take your advice and I will try to set up a NON-GUI server.
thanks for the advice!
 
Old 03-17-2009, 01:32 AM   #18
linuxlover.chaitanya
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Yes it is a good idea to put it behind a firewall but why do you want to risk your system and put unnecessary load on hardware by installing GUI? You would not anyhow need it unless you are using the system for other purposes too. Webmin will do the job for you for everything in administration. And you will find that manually editing the files is faster and economical option than using GUI.
 
Old 03-17-2009, 06:05 AM   #19
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyXS View Post
I come seeking you advice on a Linux Server to replace Windows. Although we do not actually run a windows server we were looking at installing one for a small office network until the idea of linux came along. We only run a network of 5 PCs and con't see why we should folk out almost $800 for a WinServer licence.
This is an attractive line of thought, but I need to warn you about the disadvantages. I'm not actually trying to put you off, just trying to ensure that you have a realistic idea of the hurdles you have to overcome so that you have a better chance of being succesful at the end...

Linux (or anything Unix-y) is different from Windows and if your only experience is with Windows, the learning curve will be quite steep. This is another country and things are done differently here.

Compare the costs of the time that you will use; in configuring the server yourself, you will use more time than you anticpate, whether you use Linux or Windows; if you are learning a new OS at the same time....And if you combine this with learning networking (learning more about networking...maybe advanced networking, if you already have some of the basics) and learning the basics of security, you can see that this is something you should think about in advance.

The cost of a licence is not the biggest issue.

Quote:
Windows logins for each user, private folders (such as my documents) but to be stored on the server, shared folders again stored on the server, printer sharing, internet sharing, file backup (maybe over the internet)... through Samba.
Samba is a pretty neat bit of kit, and what you want should be easy enough, provided that you are not explicitly trying to emulate the more advanced features of Windows AD. In this sense, not having an existing Windows server is an advantage.

Quote:
The internet access requires a proxy server, which we have looked at Squid.
You need squid if you want to do caching or site blocking or access controls. Otherwise you don't need it, but it still may be advisable.

The config file for squid is quite long, but it is well commented and its just a matter of going through it line-by-line and changing the options. Its not actually that difficult, but you don't get it done in five minutes. It helps if you understand what you are trying to achieve with your network, of course...

Quick note about Unix-style apps: it is normal for them to be configured by a human-readable config file, and when you get used to this, you'll wonder why you would do anything else. Until then, you'll wonder where the GUI to configure it has gone.

Quote:
I like the idea of online backup because idrive keep several copies of your files incase your need to go back a version (maybe a virus or becoming corupt).
Quote:
I didn't really ask which OS to use, I just went with Ubuntu Server. Was this a good idea? Ubuntu has a wicked community for support. Their server edition doesn't come with a GUI so should I maybe choose a different distro with a GUI (maybe CentOS), install Gnome, or not use one at all. I just don't want to come unstuck with technical problems and no command/shell experience.
There are many distros which will work for you; Ubuntu Server is not a bad choice, by any means.

No gui is good; consider, as suggested earlier, webmin to give a 'mini-gui' on your administrating computer and no gui on the target server computer.

And I just want to add whatever weight I could to the 'raid is not a backup' mentioned by AsusDave; raid replaces failure modes that you understand with ones that you don't (even if they may be less common or less disasterous); make sure that you do back up.

Note also he comment by linuxlover.chaitanya about webmin installation; this is a general point about Linux apps; you install them with an app installer, rather than finding some misc piece of code somewhere on the internet from someone that you don't know whether you can trust. This makes your life easier, but you have to learn the installer with your distro of choice.
 
Old 03-17-2009, 12:50 PM   #20
ceantuco
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hey guys! I got really curious about this Ubuntu server. There are two versions:

1) 8.10 (Latest Version)
2) 8.04 LTS

which one would you recommend?
 
Old 03-17-2009, 01:12 PM   #21
SlowCoder
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LTS=Long Term Support. This means they will continue support for this version for a couple of years (2011) 8.10 will be supported for a shorter amount of time, and is more pass-by for the next LTS version.
 
Old 03-17-2009, 01:27 PM   #22
ceantuco
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thanks! I will go for LTS. Thx!
 
Old 03-17-2009, 03:04 PM   #23
AndyXS
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I'm going to setup an Ubuntu Server on a virtual mode to have a practice.
I'll let you know how I get on.
 
Old 03-17-2009, 03:26 PM   #24
Tinkster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceantuco View Post
Tinkser why do you go against GUI servers?
Because it's
a) wasteful on resources (X and Gnome will gobble up RAM
that is more sensibly used for iptables rules, caching (both
file-system and web-pages via squid) and buffers.
b) from a best practice perspective it makes no sense to
have a convenience layer that introduces potential security
risks and ups maintenance requirements, regardless of whether
the box is firewalled or not.

Last edited by Tinkster; 03-17-2009 at 03:53 PM. Reason: typo
 
Old 03-17-2009, 03:40 PM   #25
ceantuco
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Thanks!!! I will try intalling Ubuntu server. NO GUI! good luck AndyXS
 
Old 03-17-2009, 07:25 PM   #26
sircharles4848
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Why No GUI?

Why not install the GUI, use it configure the server, then, when the server is ready to run, shutdown X-Windows?...this way, you get the RAM space back to use for the function of actually serving.
 
Old 03-17-2009, 07:30 PM   #27
Tinkster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sircharles4848 View Post
Why not install the GUI, use it configure the server, then, when the server is ready to run, shutdown X-Windows?...this way, you get the RAM space back to use for the function of actually serving.
Quote:
b) from a best practice perspective it makes no sense to
have a convenience layer that introduces potential security
risks and ups maintenance requirements, regardless of whether
the box is firewalled or not.
Best practice is to not have stuff installed you don't
need. Need, of course, is a very flexible term. I don't
need a gui to configure apache, samba or squid.

Speaking of which - what Gooey front-end tools (with decent
option sets) for those serivces (better than webmin) are there?
 
Old 03-17-2009, 08:52 PM   #28
ceantuco
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Tinkser made a very good point. I will install it without gui.
 
Old 03-18-2009, 02:19 AM   #29
linuxlover.chaitanya
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And if you still think you need some front end for administration then as suggested before you can install webmin. That will not eat your ram as much as gnome or kde would and will still allow you administration of services and server graphically through your web browser. But once you know how to configure your server by manually editing the files and you are used to it, you will find it more convenient, flexible and time saving.
I tried webimin for my squid server but it was up in less than half time with manual editing of files.
 
Old 03-18-2009, 04:27 AM   #30
theYinYeti
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I use a Mandriva (Free) server at work. I installed webmin, and I used it sometimes (especially the Samba part), but I found I used it less and less over time.

Now I just connect using SSH with X forwarding enabled. Thus, I mostly use command line, but even though X is not running on the server, if I need a GUI tool, I can launch it remotely (using the SSH prompt), and work with the GUI tool locally on my own workstation. One such tool I often use is the invaluable “filelight”.

Yves.
 
  


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