What version of Linux should I use and other advice?

Discussion in 'HOWTO-Related Questions' started by johntp, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. johntp

    johntp New Member

    Hi all, first post and I admit I'm a Linux noob, so if I ask dumb questions that's why.

    I figure I'll set up the network like this...

    DSL MODEM ----- LINUX BOX ----- Routers ----- Clients

    I want to set it up this way because I want to use the server as a network firewall.

    I'm considering using a Linux server in my office. The office is really small (6 or 7 employees) so as far as server load and network load is concerned there shouldn't (hopefully) be in issue. I need some advice as to what version of Linux I should use. I'd prefer to use somethign free (Fedora or something) but I need it to run a few services. Also, all the other computers on the networks (clients) are running WindowsXP pro.

    Act as network firewall
    File sharing services
    Printer sharing services (network attached printer if it matters)
    Run automated backups (just of the server and files on it)
    NAT services (maybe, definately not a big deal)

    I'd also like the server to maybe distribute software to my windows machines. I don't know if this is possible (I doubt it) but maybe if it is you could enlighten me.

    I guess all pretty basic server stuff. I don't' know, like I said I'm a noob. Anyway, if you could recommend a version of Linux (I've used Fedora 5 a bit and like it but I don't' know if it'll work as well as something else but it's pretty noob friendly). Also if there are any guilds you know of to help me. I use Google but I can't find to much help.

    Thank you guys so much,

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2006
  2. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    Its not a good idea to use the same server as firewall and file sharing, printer, etc. server. I recommend this setup:

    DSL Modem -- Router -- Server + Clients behind the router.

    Almost all current routers have a firewall onboard, so its not nescessary to run a firewall on your linux box.

    Fedora5 or 6 is a good basis for your setup, as you worked with this linux distribution already.
  3. johntp

    johntp New Member

    Thanks for the suggestion man! Should it be:

    DSL MODEM ---- Router ---- Server ---- Switch ----Clients?

    I was going to use it as a DHCP server too, but maybe I shouldn't do that?

    And Fedora Core will do everything I need it to? Sweet!
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2006
  4. Svenna

    Svenna New Member

    No, it should be:
    DSL MODEM --->Router--->Switch--->Server/Clients (on different ports on the switch, or with the server on a designated DMZ).

    Also, remember that most routers can act as a DHCP server as well (most do as default)

    Personally, I haven't used Fedora since Core 3, but I fell in love with it back then. Nowadays I use Ubuntu, both on clients and servers. This is mainly because of hardware support (specially laptops, wireless, multimedia, and so on), and most important because of the apt package management system. It superseeds, in my opinion anyway, the RPM (yum) system that fedora uses.
  5. johntp

    johntp New Member

    Thanks for the advice! I guess Ubuntu sounds better. I thought I heard somewhere it's more noob friendly, would you agree with that? Anyway, what router would you suggest I use?
  6. falko

    falko Super Moderator ISPConfig Developer

    I'd use Ubuntu or Debian. Anyway, this tutorial might be very interesting for you: http://www.howtoforge.com/debian_ebox

    Any router should work. I suggest you buy one from Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, ...
  7. johntp

    johntp New Member

    Ubuntu or Debian. Ok! Which do you think is easier to work with? And thanks so much for that tutorial. I've been looking all over for tutorials on this stuff :)
  8. Hans

    Hans Moderator ISPConfig Developer

    I think Ubuntu is not a bad choice but it is based on Debian unstable.
    Personally, i prefer Debian 3.1 (Sarge) with kernel series 2.6 for a server.

    On the moment Ubuntu has better hardware recognition.
    The new and upcoming Debian 4 (Etch) will be the new Stable version, which is going to replace Sarge soon. Etch makes use of newer software packages and probably it has a good harware recognition as well.

    At the other hand, i think you should choose that Distrubution where you have the best knowledge. (For you the most easy one to work with).

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