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Linux Box: How To and Benefits Of?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Stephen, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. Stephen

    Stephen Hola! Millennium Member

    Aug 24, 1999
    Dallas, Texas
    Hey all,

    What is/are the benefit(s)of running a Linux box at home as a mail/file server?

    Also - what's the process for building one? What software? Other goodies needed?

  2. grantglock

    grantglock /dev/null

    Feb 20, 2004
    dont know much about the file server part but the mail program (sendmail) on my redhat linux box has not crashed in 3 years. Has been restarted a few times for kernel upgrades and a switch from redhat 9 to the latest fedoras but other than that it NEVER crashes, Ever.

  3. hwyhobo


    Jun 3, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    The main benefit of Linux server is stability. I used to run a Win2K server in a classroom environment (heavy network access - up to 20Mbps continuous access), plus httpd, ftp, RADIUS, various data collectors, logs, etc. Since I do onsites, portability is important, so you load as much stuff on one machine as possible. Well, Win2K was a nightmare. At some point I switched to RedHat. It has not crashed once yet. That pretty much summarizes my experience.

    Oh, btw, some years ago I used to use FreeBSD in a similar environment (with a different company). It was also bulletproof.
  4. bobby_w

    bobby_w Alienigena Platinum Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    South of Houston
    I run SME-Server 6.01 (formerly known as E-Smith) on a server at my home. It is based on Red Hat Linux 7.3. It has been running for a least 4 years and just keep chugging away. I have about 75 email accounts running on it. Mine and friends.

    SME-Server is very easy to set up. Download the ISO CD, burn it and boot from it. Answer a few questions and it is up and running. It provides:

    Web Server
    FTP Server
    Mail Server with Webmail interface or use Outlook, T-Bird...
    File Server via Samba
    Fire Wall
    DHCP Server
    Spam filtering

    Best of all its free at .
  5. NetNinja

    NetNinja Always Faithful

    Oct 23, 2001
    HotLanta, GA
    The benefits of running a Linux server at home?

    I know the benefits it has provided my company.

    I have a RedHat 7.2 server that has been running for 3 years now without a hiccup. I think it's been rebooted maybe three times.

    I don't have to worry about end of life support because I can always upgrade to the latest kernal wihtout having to pay for a license.

    I don't have to worry about Client licenses.

    I have just deployed a server using Fedora Core 3 and it's running FTP.

    The stability and performance that Linux has given my company has been well worth it's weight in gold.

    Quite simply Linux rocks.
  6. eljefe6


    Jun 8, 2004
    I recently converted my last Windows machne to Linux (<a href="">Ubuntu</a>). Its incredibly stable and uses its resources well.

    For a file server you will see benefits from the ext3 file system (<a href="">Link</a>). If you have the means, go for gigabit.
  7. Weaps

    Weaps Drives A Jeep

    Aug 25, 2000
    Downingtown, PA, USA
    I have found that the benefits of using Linux as a workstation are stability, the ability to laugh at people who get viruses, and can customize my environment to my liking. I 'grew' up, however, on Sun UNIX workstations and just work better with Linux and X, so you might be different.

    There are a few other benefits, such as using the four virtual desktops to keep things organized, and the ability to batch up things with little shell programs I wrote myself (renaming digital pictures and transforming mp3's to audio CDs that play in consumer grade players come to mind) but that's pretty much it. Oh, and I can use a computer that doesn't have to be the latest blazing CPU and huge quantity of RAM that the latest windows requires.
  8. srhoades


    Jul 14, 2000
    Althoug I never ran linux as a file server, I did have it running as my main home computer. I honestly tried to find a way to NOT to use it. For example. I would say, I need a mail client that will do this. Or I need a console based mp3 player. Whatever it was that I wanted, I found, and best of all it was free. The number and variety of open source apps out there is astounding. Linux can do anything. And it does it faster, cheaper, and with less resources that windows.
  9. nhglocker


    Dec 14, 2003
    New Hampshire
    According to Bill Gates you guys are all a bunch of commies. Of course this is the same guy who said noone will ever need more then 640K of memory and was a johnny-come-lately to the internet scene.

    Well I guess if believing in free as in speech and open standards makes me a commie guess I better go buy me a bottle of Vodka and one of them furry hats. :cool:

    BTW have run Debian, Redhat, FreeBSD, and currently Mandrake but now playing with Knoppix on my systems. I only suffer with MS products as a requirement for work.

    Stephen - best way to learn Linux is get a liveCD like knoppix a good book for reference and just hack away. The beauty of a live CD is you don't have to worry about breaking your computer, simply remove CD and reboot.
  10. eljefe6


    Jun 8, 2004
    I agree. Most of the major distributions have a live CD. This include Mandrake, Ubuntu, Knoppix.
  11. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

    Apr 14, 2004
    Mucus City, USA
    As a file server, it offers a more robust file system.

    As a mail server, the plus is it isn't Exchange or Outlook (which means fewer script kiddies are hacking it). The downside is it takes more technical expertise to set up than Microsloth's counterparts, and not everyone at your local cybercafe has done it and can help you if there's a problem.
  12. Stephen

    Stephen Hola! Millennium Member

    Aug 24, 1999
    Dallas, Texas
    Thanks for the input guys.

    I may be getting an older machine that I was thinking of using - it's a 8xx PIII with 256 RAM. Will that serve me or is that just too slow? The machine will be free and I could spend a little on RAM or whatever.

    Also - if I do this how will the system/DSL configure? I mean how will things link together and in what order?

    Thanks again.
  13. Weaps

    Weaps Drives A Jeep

    Aug 25, 2000
    Downingtown, PA, USA
    That should be fine. For reference I'm using a 1.0Ghz PIII with 512M RAM. When you install it will ask you if you want to assign an IP or get one from a server. It'll configure for DHCP and your router will happily assign it. Assuming you have a router, that is. If not you should get a router ;).
  14. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

    Jan 9, 2002
    Outside the perimeter
    I installed Mepis on a PII-400/256 in my guest room last night. Works fine.
  15. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

    Dec 28, 2000
    I use a Pentium 100 for a samba server, PDC for about 20 people in the office. Mine's a touch slow but it works well.

    More RAM is always better.
  16. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

    Oct 7, 2002
    PDC? what's a PDC?
  17. bobby_w

    bobby_w Alienigena Platinum Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    South of Houston
    PDC = Primary Domain Controller