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I've finally acquired myself a very nice laptop and would like to convert my gaming desktop into a part-time gaming desktop, part-time server. I plan on using the CentOS; I'm ...
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  1. #1
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    First time Linux home server


    I've finally acquired myself a very nice laptop and would like to convert my gaming desktop into a part-time gaming desktop, part-time server.

    I plan on using the CentOS; I'm entering a career of networking so I feel like it would be wise to learn to use the RedHat OS.

    What I'm looking for in my Server, and let me know what is and isn't possible, and what I may need opposite of the OS:
    I want full access to my server from anywhere in the world.
    My work, school, and public Wi-Fi zones are too restricted for what I would like to do. Can I create a VPN in order to tunnel through firewall/DNS/Proxy settings? I want to be able to browse, load/play my online multiplayer games, and download files like I'm at my home network; from anywhere that I can find internet access.

    That's mainly it. I can set the server up as my home server easily enough. I would like to know if what I want outside of my own home network is possible. (IE: Using someone else's network, just like my home network, without the restrictions of proxies/firewalls/DNS restrictions.)

    Thanks and can't wait to start my first journey into Linux.

  2. #2
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    Yes, you can do that. Provided you have access to the router that your home machine is behind. You can setup port forwarding on your router.

    Your local ISP will change your router's public IP from time to time. You might want to setup a cron job to email you once a day with your machine's public IP, that way you know what IP to access.

    The easiest way to do this is with an ssh tunnel. Consider setting up multiple ports on your router to forward to your desktop. Some schools will block certain ports. It may be against work/school rules to setup and ssh tunnel on their network; most networks don't have any such restrictions against ssh tunnels and have no way of detecting them, despite the fact they are huge security holes (the tunnels, not ssh itself).

    That should be enough information to get you started. Just google some of the things I told you to do and you'll be good to go. Come back with specific questions.

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    Do you think that setting up a my own DNS would be a more efficient way of keeping an IP address; or would the e-mail cron job be sufficient enough? I would regret using the cron job route if I ever hit a point of not being able to access my network when I would like/need to.

    Thanks for the answer. That's exactly the kind of information that I was looking for.

  4. #4
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zgould7 View Post
    Do you think that setting up a my own DNS would be a more efficient way of keeping an IP address;
    There's no way for you to keep your own IP address, unless your internet service provider provides you a static IP address (typically a service you have to pay extra for).

    Mizzle's suggestion is to set up a job that regularly e-mails you the machine's IP address so you will know what IP address to use in case it changes. This cron job needs to first determine the machine's public IP address, perhaps by polling whatismyip.com or simulating a Google query of "what is my ip".

    This assumes that you have an e-mail account that you can access from anywhere.

    Personally, I use the free service of noip to bind my home ip address to isaackuo.no-ip.org. I'm lucky that my ISP hardly ever changes my IP address. When it does, I have to update my service at noip.com to point isaackuo.no-ip.org to the new address. I do not have a cron job to automatically e-mail me the public ip address, so I have to wait until the next time I'm physically home to figure out what the new IP address is.

    It's ugly and kludgy, because COX Communications blocks incoming requests to port 80 (the default http port) and most work filters block the IP addresses COX Communications assigns to home users. It basically does not work very well. But it's free.

    (The free service noip.com provides requires me to periodically go to their web site to answer a captcha to keep my free account, and it only allows free DNS names that end in no-ip.org, rather than .com. You can pay to eliminate the nagging and get various better services.)
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    There's no way for you to keep your own IP address, unless your internet service provider provides you a static IP address (typically a service you have to pay extra for).
    Isaac is right - you normally have to pay for an IPv4 address. I'm in the UK and I bought a business grade connection that came with static IPs, but its a more expensive service. I could have added an address to a residential service for a little bit more a month.

    If you're going to run services then having a static IP address is quite important, but it only really applies to IPv4. It all depends, I suppose, on what your definition of 'anywhere in the world' is - if you're connecting from China or anywhere in the far east you -might- need IPv6 support. If you're doing this only inside USA, then IPv4 is fine.

    I run a static IPv4 address (actually a small block) for services in my home, so I can access them from out and about. I run email, DNS and websites natively, and everything else I forward over SSH tunnels secured with private keys. I use a small block of IPs so I can do SSL over some of my websites without having to buy an expensive *.domain certificate.
    Linux user #126863 - see http://linuxcounter.net/

  6. #6
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    I'm in the UK also and got my static IP for a one-off 5 fee. We seem to have the most competition in the ISP market.

    Sadly, I don't make proper use of it yet although I have plans...
    What do we want?
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    When do we want 'em?
    Doesn't really matter does it!?


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    This is all great info guys. I'm loving it. I'm onto the point of actually dual-booting CentOS to me windows 8 drive. Partitioning comes up and I wonder what should I partition the rest of the HDD to? I plan on just using Linux as the server part, and windows as the gaming part of the CPU. It's a 1TB HDD. Any suggestions?

  8. #8
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    Just to be clear, dual booting doesn't mean you can boot both OS at the same time. It's installing more than one OS on the same hard drive and having the option at boot time to pick the one you use to wish.

    Is Windows 8 using secure boot? That complicates matters a good bit.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizzle View Post
    Just to be clear, dual booting doesn't mean you can boot both OS at the same time. It's installing more than one OS on the same hard drive and having the option at boot time to pick the one you use to wish.

    Is Windows 8 using secure boot? That complicates matters a good bit.
    Right, I understand that I won't be using both OS at the same time. Disregard this question. I ended up finding an old 350gb HDD. Decided to go ahead and dedicate this old HDD to Linux and keep my 1TB HDD as my Windows 8.

    I'll be having more questions coming up soon. Going to start loading up either OpenVPN or SSH. Maybe both? With what I want to do; I'm not particularly should which would be the best option.

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