LinuxQuestions.org
Latest LQ Deal: Latest LQ Deals
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Server
User Name
Password
Linux - Server This forum is for the discussion of Linux Software used in a server related context.

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 01-02-2008, 11:05 AM   #1
Scorpion_Linux
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: Sweden
Distribution: Slackware 12
Posts: 19

Rep: Reputation: 0
Smile Specific tips for old server


Hi, I recently got an old pentium II computer from a company that was going to throw it away... My thought about it's purpose were that I should set up a linuxserver on it. =)

And therefor I have some questions about picking dist for it...
Here is some information from Bios -> System Information

System Information

Product Name Compaq Deskpro EN Series SFF
Processor Type Pentium(R) II processor 400 Mhz
Processor Speed 400/100 Mhz
Processor Stepping 652
Cache Size 256 MB
System ROM Date 02/08/99
System ROM Family 686T5
System Board Revision 01
Chassis Serial Number 8908CBP50356
Asset Tracking Number 8908CBP50356


1. Is a "server-dedicated" dist better than a "normal" dist like slackware for serving as a server?

2. Anything special to think about when picking dist? (according to the age of the computer...) and on this computer is the architecture i386?

3. Wich dist do You have on your linux server and why?

4. Does a desktop-environment take down any resources before "startx"? or is it just god to have it on a server, even if you for the most uses remote ssh connections...

And the main question for me... What are you going to use the server to/for?

I want to have a webb and ftp server, for a start... But it is most for fun and for learning! And a want to be available to have a wide selection of stuff than my server should be available to do... meaning maybe not only http and ftp in the future. =)

Today I'm using Slackware on my desktop and my laptop... But the only negative thing I can think of with Slack, or the better thing with debian-distros is apt-get... It is just so easy if you are using ssh I can assume... I dont know how Gentoo could be on a server? But I guess that the first thing to think about then picking the distro is than the computer is old... And what is the best dist for a computer like mine?

Hmhmhm... Any tips?? =D
(Sorry about my english-spelling + I'm totaly new on servers if I have written anything strange about it =P )

Best regards,
Robert
 
Old 01-02-2008, 11:28 AM   #2
Hangdog42
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Maryland
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 7,803
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 420Reputation: 420Reputation: 420Reputation: 420Reputation: 420
1) Pretty much distros are distros. I think the differences between a "server-dedicated" and a "normal" distro are likely to be very small. I would think the best approach would be to use a distro you're comfortable with and can modify to your tastes.

2)For a computer of that age, X is going to be a struggle. If you run X at all, you'll want to use a lightweight desktop like Fluxbox. To be honest, a console-only approach may be the best way to go.

3) Slackware. Since I'm familiar with Slackware already, using it on my server makes sense.

4)Startx doesn't affect running programs other than to consume memory they may be using. As I said, with a machine of that vintage, going console only would be a good approach.

Oh, and if you're going to expose this to the Internet, be sure to have decent security measures in place. At very least I would install a file integrity system like Aide. If you're running it as a web server, mod_security is worth a look. Also be sure to lock down SSH if that is going to be your main access point.

Last edited by Hangdog42; 01-02-2008 at 11:31 AM.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 12:03 PM   #3
trickykid
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,149

Rep: Reputation: 256Reputation: 256Reputation: 256
I run Slackware on two IBM xSeries servers without problems. It's a great stable/secure distro to use. Servers aren't really meant to be the latest and greatest but rather secure and stable. I still run Apache 1.3.x on mine and kernel 2.4.x. Only upgrade a server when you need to apply security upgrades or if some specific application that's running needs the updates.

So to answer your questions, any distro will work. It's a server, no need to run X so performance shouldn't really be an issue, unless you are anticipating serving thousands of users on it..
 
Old 01-02-2008, 03:56 PM   #4
Scorpion_Linux
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: Sweden
Distribution: Slackware 12
Posts: 19

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Hi and thanks for the answers!
I have now installed Slackware 12 on the server, with no X... =P =D

About what you said Hangdog42, it sound very good. But now I have a installation on the server with the A, AP, L, N and TCL packages installed. I have looked around a little on the homepage about Aide, (a little) but havent really figured out "what i does"? Just looked on the homepage of mod_security and it looks like their is a lots of information there. =) And by locking down SSH I think that you mean have a good password? or maybe not?

Is there any other program I should look at if a want my server to safe? (at least as safe as I can make it...)
Should start configure the server more tomorrow... Thanks for all the help! =D
 
Old 01-02-2008, 05:09 PM   #5
pdavis68
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2007
Posts: 9

Rep: Reputation: 0
I'm not sure what the poster means by "locking down" SSH, but if it's exposed on the internet (in other words, directly plugged in to your internet connection and not going through some other router), then you want to be careful to close off unused ports. Setting up a firewall (I use iptables) isn't really trivial in Linux. WebMin has a decent interface for setting it up, but it still requires quite a bit of iptables knowledge.

Speaking of webmin, I highly recommend it. It makes maintenance of a lot of things a lot easier (translation, you don't have to look in 1000 places to find all the little config files and stuff you'd otherwise probably manage by hand).

I use a linux box as my firewall, file server, and web server, myself. I've found it excellent for all these things. I use Windows out of necessity (part of my job), but I would be very hesitant to plug a windows box straight into the internet, which is why I've been using the linux box for about 10 years now.

I basically have every port closed off to the outside except for a handful that I forward onto my desktop machines for apps that they use (chat, p2p, etc).
 
Old 01-03-2008, 07:53 AM   #6
Hangdog42
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Maryland
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 7,803
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 420Reputation: 420Reputation: 420Reputation: 420Reputation: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion_Linux View Post

About what you said Hangdog42, it sound very good. But now I have a installation on the server with the A, AP, L, N and TCL packages installed. I have looked around a little on the homepage about Aide, (a little) but havent really figured out "what i does"? Just looked on the homepage of mod_security and it looks like their is a lots of information there. =) And by locking down SSH I think that you mean have a good password? or maybe not?

Is there any other program I should look at if a want my server to safe? (at least as safe as I can make it...)
Should start configure the server more tomorrow... Thanks for all the help! =D
Aide basically scans your computer for changed files. You initialize it by running a setup routine that creates a database of fingerprints of the files on your computer. If those files are changed in any way, the fingerprint will change and Aide will notify you that the file has been changed. Aide won't stop any intrusion, but it will allow you to determine what has been changed if you do get compromised.

As for locking down SSH, there is a lot more than just the password. You need to disallow root logins, lock SSH down to using just Protocol 2 and seriously consider moving to a key-based authentication system.

Be sure to visit the Security forum here at LQ. There is a sticky at the top of links to all sorts of ways to secure your system. I highly recommend you spend some quality time there just reading. And while you're there, you can also check out the sticky thread on SSH attacks, which you will absolutely, positively be seeing.
 
Old 01-03-2008, 08:01 AM   #7
trickykid
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,149

Rep: Reputation: 256Reputation: 256Reputation: 256
Aide just sounds like tripwire really. You can also get this type of functionality out of cfengine, which will revert back any unauthorized changes as well that you have monitored. Very powerful tool but really only powerful when you have to manage more than one server.

Lockdown your server by setting up some good iptable rules for firewall. Disable root ssh login remotely, etc.
 
Old 01-03-2008, 08:13 AM   #8
Hangdog42
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Maryland
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 7,803
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 420Reputation: 420Reputation: 420Reputation: 420Reputation: 420
Yeah, tripwire and Aide perform similar jobs. Samhain also does this sort of thing, but I believe it also does significantly more in terms of intrusion detection.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Specific tips for old server Scorpion_Linux Linux - Server 1 01-03-2008 04:05 AM
Tips for beginner server admin jaristr Linux - Server 7 08-20-2006 10:53 AM
Need some help/tips with server setup zanor Slackware 1 07-26-2006 12:03 AM
Tips to buy a server xpucto Linux - Networking 3 11-25-2005 02:28 AM
Please post few tips for my server machine. zaoka Linux - Software 5 02-05-2005 11:11 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Server

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:28 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration