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  1. #1

    Server Setup ... Can I do this in Linux?

    Hello everyone,

    Question one: I setting up a server for a non-profit group and would like to do the following on one Linux box:
    Router: Provide internet sharing and firewall (it has two NIC's)
    File server:
    Email server:
    hMailserver or ?
    and/or Groupware server
    VPN Server:
    DHCP server:
    Domain controller: (Samba or LDAP or ? Which is better?)
    The client computers (less than 20) are all WinXP Pro boxes.

    They have a large change over of users so I would like to make the user management as simple as possible.

    Can I set this up so that when a user account is created or deleted the email, VPN and Domain accounts are all automatically created or deleted too rather than create accounts for each application separately? At the moment they do not need user groups to control these functions but this might be useful too in the future.

    Question two: For the groupware they only need email (can be separate), contact and calendar functions (sharing). Webmail was requested but they webmail client must cache the data. The user may not be online when an alarm goes off or the user may want to read email or the calendar off line. Does any one have any recommendations for groupware?

    Thanks in advance for your help!


  2. #2
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Nottingham, England
    Yes. You can do most of this. I have an arrangement similar to this, but here's my take on the solution:

    - Router. I use a seperate Smoothwall firewall here, so I dont have to muck about with IPtables myself. You can do it yourself on your main server if you like.
    - File Server. Serve files to Linux with NFS and to Windows with Samba. I wouldn't dream of suggesting any alternative to these.
    - Email, I use sendmail, there are others. Use whatever you feel comfortable with. Stricly speaking this is just a mail transport agent, it dumps local mail in local mailboxes, which is what you want if you're going to put some kind of groupware over the top.
    - hMailserver? Dunno what this is...
    - Groupware. You have several choices here. Suse have a package called OpenExchange that runs somewhat like Exchange server. You might also try Dovecot (for pop3 and IMAP access to email) alongside squirrelmail for http-based email reading (I used these last two together, and it's quite nice).
    - VPN - all depends on what kind of networking service you're trying to provide; there are vpn clients around, but you might get away with using ssh to give access externally to your network, as it's both a reliable and easy to maintain service.
    - DHCP - it pretty much built-in to most distros these days, and is not complicated to configure.
    - Domain controller. Must be Samba if you're using a Unix/Linux computer to do this; dont even think about doing anything else. I control my domain with Samba, but use LDAP for the backend, handling the accounts and authentication for both unix (via regular mechanisms) and windows (through the domain controlled by Samba). You can use OpenLdap to do similar, although I use Fedora Directory Server, 'cos it comes with a nice admin user interface.

    As far as question two goes... You can share contacts with your LDAP server, no problem (I do this - it's not even remotely difficult). Email is already covered. Calendaring may be your only downfall. I'm not aware of anything that supports group calendaring, although I'm not sure about the capabilities of Suse OpenExchange. There was a thread in the CoffeeLounge on this site recently that discussed calendaring, you might want to refer there. If you find anything that does the job well, maybe you could post back here and let us all know?
    Linux user #126863 - see

  3. #3
    Linux User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Have you thought about looking at a product such as ClarkConnect ?

    There are other similar options out there as well..

    SME Server

    Naslite, FreeNAS, OpenFiler

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