is linux the answer?

Brad Hards bhards at
Mon Sep 9 19:23:31 EST 2002

Hash: SHA1

On Mon, 9 Sep 2002 18:18, Norvan Vogt wrote:
> I am currently configuring 6 client machines and a Gateway server so that I
> may put together a number of Computers that will all be able to access the
> same ISP 56kbs Dialup Account  so that they might be able to browse the Web
> and use IRC. This will be done as part of the Scout Activity JOTI and
> therefore it must be robust (ie the little kiddies can't get in and play
> with the OS) and 2 done for $0 (I have been collecting all sorts of old
> Computers for this task)
These requirements basically drive you to some kind of free Unix.

> I have decided that Linux is probably the best answer for this.(yeah!!!)
The underlying kernel won't likely matter _that_ much.

> The Client Machines are all basically P1 100mhz-133mhz with 32Mb RAM and a
> 500Mb (or so) HDD.
> The Gateway Server is a P1 166Mhz 64Mb RAM and a 4Gb HDD.
> After consulting a number of friends I have been advised to use Redhat 7.1
> (seawolf) with KDE as the OS should allow me to have all of the functions
> that I need and that Esmith 5.5 Gatway server should be the best answer for
> the Gateway server
KDE is almost certainly too hungry for the memory you have available. 
Processing power will be a hassle too.

> Here are the problems
> 1. Is this the right kind of thinking or have I just lost it, is there
> better software out there?
There are gazillions of web browsers and IRC clients. You probably want 
something really simple (as opposed to the normal CLUGer type requirements - 
powerful and extensible).

I haven't run a recent e-smith as a gateway for dialup, but it is my ADSL 

> 2. Redhat 7.1 (seawolf) with KDE takes around the 700mb space which makes
> it too large for the HDDs that I am using
Try looking for a more basic window manager (maybe even something like twm) 
that dates from the early days of X. Window manager features expand to absorb 
the available processing power as computers get faster.

> 3. How the Smeg do you configure the esmith server to a gateway --- Is
> there any good step by step help doco (other than all the stuff on
I don't understand your problem. If you assign the internal network interface 
to something like, then just point the default gateway address on 
each client machine to Or better still, just use the DHCP 
server, and set up each client to DHCP its network configuration.

> 4. Are there any better ways of doing this ?
Better hardware. Gnome and KDE are nice, but KDE+Konqi+Kmail was enough to 
turn my P3-450 laptop (with 64M RAM) into a swap-monster, and I wasn't doing 
anything fancy. You seriously need 256M RAM to get decent performance out of 

Another approach (if you could get a decent server) would be a LTSP setup. and

> 5. What is a good IRC client of linux?
This bit I can't provide any info, except that a lot of people seem to use 

Are you in Canberra? When you need this done by? If you can bring at least the 
server to the next CLUG meeting, people will help you.

- -- 22-25Jan2003. Perth, Australia. Birds in Black.
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