Gateway and Email server!

My company's current layout.

Internet-----ISP router-----WinGate box (also gateway, mail server)-----internal clients (35 clients)

The Wingate box is running on XP Pro sp2. It is a single point failure.

I want to have a linux box which act just like the Wingate box in case it crashed.

1) What distro and version should I choose (server or clients)? Where to download?
2) What option should I choose for email? Currently we have outllook as clients and Mdaemon as server from
3) For securiy purposes, what is the best way for this Linxu box to act as a gateway and wingate? IPTABLE?
4) How about proxy?
5) What is the best way to install this linux box so that it is hardend?

Please take it easy on me. I completely new in Linux. Thanks,

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1) I would choose Fedora, though there are many more (Suse / Debian / Mandrake etc etc)

2) My choice would be Exim with Courier, though again there are lots of options (Cyrus / Qmail / full Courier suite) - this is probably the most tricky part to set up.

3 & 4) You can set uo Linux as a NAT gateway and set up a basic firewall with IPTables. You can also install Squid as a proxy if you need that - can be handy if a lot of your users access similar sites.

5) Install as little as possible - this means no fancy applications, no GUI desktop and no C Compilers etc.

You may want to split out the tasks, and use one linux box as a gateway, and a second box as your email server
If you were seriously concerned with security, you wouldn't be using Wingate.  It has always been full of holes.  You should also not use the same box for both you mailserver, and your gateway.  Your gateway is going to take alot of abuse.  The internet is a harsh place to live.  You should keep you mailserver on a seperate box protected by your gateway.  I would recommend Debian, but most of EE are Redhat users.  There are distros taylored for gateway/firewall purposes that you may be interested in.
I always thought m0n0wall looked interesting.

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andytleAuthor Commented:
I don't have access to go two boxes. It would be nice though.
Of course I don't like wingate, that is why I want to take this route, Linux.
What else you could give me?

As already stated, you could use Fedora/Debian etc and set it all up on a single box. It's not recommended this way, and it *will* be a lot of work for someone who is new to Linux.
andytleAuthor Commented:

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