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I need advice on how to go about running Linux within a predominantly Windows environment

I really, really want to start running Linux within my network because, well, I just want to. I love Linux (and Unix, Solaris to be exact) the few times I've had a chance to work with it. So, what would be the best way to go about introducing a Linux server within an Active Directory network? We do not host our own web server so running an Apache on a Fedora system or something wouldn't be an option. I work for a not for profit organization that has limited funds and I would like to get a dedicated hardware firewall on the network. So, I was thinking about perhaps setting up a Dell Poweredge box we have that is not being used, installing Linux on it and using that as our dedicated firewall which would be much cheaper than purchasing some brand name appliance like SonicWall or something. How does that sound? Thanks everyone.
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kulisncc
Asked:
kulisncc
4 Solutions
 
jgiordanoCommented:
to integrate into AD there are tools like centrify and likewise that both have free versions, or you could connect to AD alone, bit those tools expand functionality.  

Redhat (or free centOS)  is pretty good from a enterprise standpoint. Good firewall and easy to install.
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ThorinOCommented:
If you can get the money I would suggest getting a SonicWALL TZ 100, they are relatively cheap. If you can't and want to use the Linux system as a firewall you could try pfSense or m0n0wall

http://www.pfsense.org/

http://m0n0.ch/wall/
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farzanjCommented:
Get CentOS.  Use iptables firewall.  You can certainly make it a multipurpose server unless you are planning to make it some mission critical server.

You can also integrate it with AD.  Redhat/CentOS has its own solutions to do so.
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mccrackyCommented:
Depends what you want to do.

as a firewall appliance-like solution, pfsense and monowall (both bsd-based, I think) are good.  For a more all purpose firewall, you can try Endian, unTangle, Vyatta, etc.  On a firewall,  unless you really know what you are doing, I'd probably go with a firewall based distro.  It is your first line of defense and you don't want it to be porous.

For more of an SMB server, you can try out one of:

Zentyal:
http://www.zentyal.com/

ClearOS:
http://www.clearfoundation.com/Software/overview.html

SME Server:
http://wiki.contribs.org/Main_Page


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