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Linux Newbie

FaffMan
FaffMan asked
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Last Modified: 2013-12-06
Ok I am a newbie to the UNIX/Linux world. The only experience of UNIX is that I've used System V at university to host my website and check my email. I've finally decided now to sit down and learn about Linux. What I would like to do is run a linux box on the end of a 3 PC network (perhaps as a file/print server). How powerful does the PC need to be to perform this task. I have several 486 spec machines (upto 66MHz DX2) available. Will these be enough? What will I need (apart from the OS itself) to run a linux fileserver?

Thanks for your help.

Dan
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Author

Commented:
Thanks for your suggestions.

What file system does Linux use, will I have to reformat my disks, and does it have any top limit for drive sizes, like the FAT 2GB limit?

Also, is it possible to set up a modem in the Linux box that will allow the Windows client to access the internet through the Linux server?

DanF

Author

Commented:
Is there anywhere I can get hold of an older version of Red Hat? My budget for setting this whole thing up is about zero, so paying the $50 that Red Hat want for v5.1 is not an option. Is it possible to get older versions for less (or better still, for free...)?

Dan

Commented:
You can download Linux, of course If your network connection is slow you will ending paying  as much as if you buy the CD.

There are some retailers that sell very cheap copies of yhe main implementations. One of them is Cheapbytes. Look frequently in the newsgroup comp.os.announce.linux , all the important distributors announce their products there and you can get reail bargains.

There is also a project called "Free Linux" or something like that, that puts in touch people that want to get rid of theri CD with people that need them. Sorry, I don't have the information of their web site, but browse around and I am sure you will find them.

Regards.

Author

Commented:
Download times are not a problem, I can use the office ISDN lines overnight.
What sites have downloads for Linux? If RedHat is the easiest to set up, I'll get that one.

In his answer above, richrussell said that most distributions include something called 'Samba' for file and print sharing. Does RedHat include that, or something similar?

Dan

Commented:
Get it from www.sunsite.unc.edu.  It has every distribution under
the sun.  I like Slackware, but Red Hat is out there too, as are
Debian, etc.

From sunsite's main page, you can look in /pub/linux/distributions, I believe.  They also have a site searcher too.

Welcome to the club, bro!  

Author

Commented:
OK, I went to the european sunsite, 'cos it's closer to my location, and had a look in /pub/linux/distributions/ and I found the RedHat distribution. Do I just download everything from the RedHat folder downwards? There doesn't seem to be any instructions about what to download.


Go into the RedHat-5.1 subdirectory, then to th i386 subdirectory.  From there, you will need to get everything under the RedHat directory.  What other things you will need are dependent on the type of installation you intend to do.  

If Linux will be the only OS on the machine, you will need to get the .img files from the images directory and create disks from them.  Use rawrite to make them using a DOS box or dd from a Unix box.  Rawrite is available under the dosutils directory.  If this will be a dual boot box (with DOS), you could get the stuff under dosutils and run autoboot.bat from DOS to start the install.

For RedHat 5.0 & later I have found that the fastest way to install (for me) is to put the RedHat directory structure on a local ftp server (though you can use one on the internet), make the boot and supp disks, and install via ftp.  To do this, you will need some information about your network, though.  You will need an IP address for the Linux box, netmask (usually 255.255.255.0 for class C), gateway IP, dns IP, and the IP for the ftp server.  You will also need to know the exact path to the RedHat directory.  You may also need an account and password for the ftp server (depending on its setup).  Also, this is probably self evident, but you have to have a supported ethernet card installed and connected to the network to use this method.
 

Author

Commented:
OK, I've got the ISO CD Image for the latest Debian distribution. I'll burn it onto a CD later today. I'm guessing I need a bootdisk of some sort to go with this. I couldn't find anything like that at ftp.debian.org, so could anyone point me in the right direction?

Dan
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