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  1. #1

    Linux machine for serveral tasks

    Hi Guys,

    I'm going to be re-vamping my server and was hoping someone could take a few minutes of their time, read over what I'd like to do and give me their thoughts and if possible some links to good tutorials.

    All I ask is that if you reply read through my whole post here (yes I realize it's long and I thank you now) and try to reply in as much detail as possible. I'm going to post this in a couple of the forums here, hopefully that is not against the rules.

    Here is what I'm working with first off:

    AMD 450
    Asus Mobo (sorry don't have the model #)
    128 MB
    40 GB HD
    TNT2 Video
    A3D Sound (not likely to be used)
    3com NIC
    Logitech Quickcam Web (USB)
    System will run headless in a back corner of the room

    Below are some of the things I want it to do:

    - Run Clean!
    ---- Very easy to do updates
    ---- No un-needed software
    ---- Easy to see what is running on boot

    - Webserver (going to be hosting several sites)
    ---- PHP
    ---- MySQL
    ---- ASP
    ---- Perl

    - SMTP Server (no need for POP3)
    ---- Auto PGP Sign all outgoing?

    - SSH and FTP over SSH2

    - Regular FTP
    ---- Most Secure
    ---- Easiest to configure
    ---- Easily configured to work through LinkSys Router

    - Samba
    ---- Authenticate via Windows XP users if possible

    - MP3 Streaming
    ---- planning on using slimp3[dot]com server (sorry couldn't post url)

    - Webcam Streaming
    ---- Goal here is since the machine will be headless and I can place it in the corner I can run a webcam easily to my window and have a nice webcam view out over downtown Toronto

    - phpMyAdmin

    - Nano Text Editor

    - Lynx Browser

    - XMLTV (and all required Perl Modules)

    - Server Management Software
    ---- What I mean by this is for the webserver I'm likely going to host several relatives sites. I'd like an easy way of quickly jumping in (web based being the best) getting their home directory created, mysql database created, new virtual host in apache, FTP account, and added to the SMTP server.

    - Optimized Boot.
    ---- What I mean by this is I want to know what's starting and why. The idea is to have this machine run everything I want but do it lean and mean.

    What I'd like to know is:

    1)- Is it possible to do everything I want?

    2) Suggestions on how to partition the 40 gb drive

    3) What software (if I haven't specified) should I use?

    4) Best Distro to use for this purpose (I'm fairly use to Debian)
    ---- If answer is debian can anyone make a software list that I can just import into dpkg and have it grab everything for me. I want to keep the system as clean as possible but install all that is necessary.

    5) Links
    ----If your really in a good mood I'd really appreciate some "exceptional" links on samba and apache configuration for the tasks I've listed above. I've found some online and kind of know what I'm doing but if you know of any really great ones I'd be happy to hear them.

    The purpose of this little project is I want to make this unix machine actually do something. I want to have a feeling that I understand what's going on and know that its not just a dumb box in the corner serving a couple of websites like it is now.

    I work in a windows company and am experienced with rolling out windows servers and maintaining them in our company... at home I want to go Linux and have the same sense of control I have at work.

    I thank anyone who answers this post, and I await your opinions.

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Queens, NY
    If you want to update software the easiest way, I'm sure that Debian is the right one for you. As for installing only software you absolutely need, you have to realize that packages depend on other packages. You no doubt have already seen the power of Debian's apt. It takes care of all the package depedencies for you unlike RPM (which is changing since apt-rpm) so this would be what you are looking for.

    Debian has three different releases; stable, testing and unstable. Each offer it's own benefit.
    The best things in life are free.

  3. #3
    Linux User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I'll go ahead and offer Gentoo as an alternative to Debian. The Portage system will allow you to keep packages up to date as often as you like. You'll be able to do most everything you've listed (not sure about the webcame and mp3streaming stuff), and there's a nice web based admin called webmin that should help you keep all that under control. If you really want to get to know the inner workings of a Linux system and are willing to put forth a little time I think Gentoo would be right up your ally. has everything you need, install docs, very active forums, lots of stuff.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Queens, NY
    Yes, I'd consider installing gentoo on my next machine. I've heard loads of good stuff about it.
    The best things in life are free.

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