is linux the answer?
rasjidw at openminddev.net
Mon Sep 9 21:54:37 EST 2002
On Mon, 9 Sep 2002 6:18 pm, Norvan Vogt wrote:
> Hello Linux'ites
> You'll have to excuse me as I am new to the open source Game but I would
> really appreciate some help with a problem that I have.
> 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)
> I have decided that Linux is probably the best answer for this.(yeah!!!)
> 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
> Here are the problems
> 1. Is this the right kind of thinking or have I just lost it, is there
> better software out there?
Pick the right tool for the job. I use Esmith (Mitel SME) both at home and at
work, and I think it is a great product, but unless you are planning to use
its mail server and at least one of it file-serving or web-serving
capabilities, it is the wrong tool for the job. If all you want is a
firewall / gateway to share the connection, then don't use E-Smith. Instead,
consider a dedicated firewall / gateway product.
Ones I have used or at least played with include:
Smoothwall (http://smoothwall.org), IPCop (http://www.ipcop.org), Gibraltar
(http://www.gibraltar.at) and Astaro (http://www.astaro.com).
Of these, Astaro is by far the best and most sophisticated, but it is not free
for commercial use (although it is free for personal use - provided that
there is less than 10 machines behind it), although they may be willing to
negotiate with non-profits - worth at try. It also takes a bit more work to
set up (but worth the effort).
Gibraltar runs off a CD rom, and so does not need a hard-drive at all. The
command-line version is free in both senses of the word, but is probably for
more experienced users.
Smoothwall is probably the original 'plug-and-play GUI Linux firewall' (plug
and pray??), and IPCop is a fork of it. Unless you want the
mail/web/fileserver features of E-Smith, I would suggest one of these.
A note: ISA network cards are definitely out with Astaro, and with Smoothwall
and IPCop it is a bit of the luck of the draw. E-Smith also does not support
ISA network cards, although I believe there is a HOWTO if you must.
> 2. Redhat 7.1 (seawolf) with KDE takes around the 700mb space which makes
> it too large for the HDDs that I am using
I agree with the previous post. Don't even try and run a recent KDE on a
machine with only 32MB ram. Perhaps install RedHat 5.2 instead (several
years old now, but it has some much more light-weight window managers). Or
give Debian a go - I'm sure it has a number of light-weight windows managers
that you can just apt-get. Or install RedHat 7.x without either KDE or
GNOME, and then install a light-weight manager.
> 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
E-Smith is really not hard to set up. However, the other issue with E-Smith
on dial-up is that E-Smith is really designed for a permanent or
semi-permanent connection. There was a big discussion on the E-Smith
developers list recently about some clients that ended up with *very* large
phone bills due to its dial-on-demand setup. You have not really described
your proposed setup in detail, but I'm making the assumption that it is not a
permanent or semi-permanent connection - in which case I add another reason
to use something other than E-Smith.
My 4 cents.
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