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Setting up a Linux file server with VPN

Posted on 2004-04-26
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I am trying to set up a file server for our company so that we have shared and private folders/files that we can access from our Windows XP machines.  I would like to set the file server up on a hosted Linux server (dedicated Linux server with root access provided by hosting company).  I would like the client and server software to be free or very cheap.

Based on what I have read so far, I believe:

A)  To securely access the server over the Internet, we need to set up a VPN.  For example, we can use Poptop on the server and WinXP's built-in VPN support

B)  For the Linux server to communicate with Windows machines and act as a file server we can set up Samba and connect to the server as a network drive from the WinXP machines (no special client software).

Questions:

1) Are both A) and B) above correct?

2) Are there better alternatives?

3) Do I need Samba *and* a VPN setup or is just establishing the VPN connection enough for me to use the Linux server as a file server?  I think I need both because the VPN just establishes the secure connections, while Samba is needed for file serving, but I'm not sure.

4) Once it is set up, is there an easier (e.g., point and click) way to manage users and access rights instead of editing the Samba config file?

Anything else you would recommend?
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Question by:timwhunt
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da99rmd earned 250 total points
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1) Are both A) and B) above correct?
POPTOP is a good choise its cheap and have nice preformace.
Yes through the VPN you can connect to the samba server and mount some remote dir.

2) Are there better alternatives?
Samba are the thing to use when working between windows clients and linux servers.
You can add a virus scan to samba like OpenAntiVirus samba-vscan to protect you win clients.

3) Do I need Samba *and* a VPN setup or is just establishing the VPN connection enough for me to use the Linux server as a file server?  I think I need both because the VPN just establishes the secure connections, while Samba is needed for file serving, but I'm not sure.
Yes, you need f.ex. POPTOP for making the VPN and then samba, ftp or any thing else to access the files on the server.

4) Once it is set up, is there an easier (e.g., point and click) way to manage users and access rights instead of editing the Samba config file?
There is som GUI frontend (KSambaPlugin, Samba Login Script Management Module for Webmin ) to samba but i dont think, they work for win but you can download a x-server f.ex. (winaxe) for windows and do a remote login and handle the samba conf files trough the VPN.

/Rob
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