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  • #2260628

    A challenge to the Linux Users of the World


    by xwindowsjunkie ·

    A recent posting by George Ou about Windows Home Server brought out a lot of responses from the Linux community. I think that Microsoft deserves to get some competition.

    Here’s the challenge:

    There are a lot of Linux experts on this site. I challenge them to come up with a list of applications that work the best for each of the given functions found in Windows Home Server. Show me a list of something that you guys think will beat or meet Windows Home Server, that will work for a lot of people and that you think can be easily reproduced. I will build it and give you an honest appraisal of my experiences while doing it. I will document it well enough that others less skilled will be able to do it. I’d like to be able to release it as a DIY compilation distro if possible.

    Now the kicker, on the EXACT same hardware I will install the WHS Beta or release RC1, assuming I can get it, and test it in comparison on the basis of a USER, not a technician or a systems engineer.

    There are a few restrictions I place on this challenge:
    1) Do not expect me to compile Gentoo or Debian. I want to get this all done within a few weeks, OK?
    2) The install packages must be applications that can be downloaded from the distro’s website or mirror. I will not start with somebody’s forked code.
    3) The applications need to be compatible with the Linux distro and the desktop. I am partial to Gnome but I’m willing to use KDE.
    4) If you expect me to script something or run a script, show me an example or give me the script. (This runs counter to item 2 above but I realize Linux runs on scripts). It would be nice if the script has enough commentary to let me know what was going on in it. I reserve the right to dump something I’m suspicious of.
    5) If the application mix doesn’t work, be prepared to get bad Linux PR from the blog. I will not attack or flame anybody personally as a part of this challenge but the distributions and/or applications are fair game. If they’re bad they need to be flamed.

    I will take a complete list of Linux applications from an individual or a committee of no more than 3 people and a suggested Linux distro to put it on. I will build it on a 2.6 Ghz Celeron system with 512 MB Ram on a stock DELL with a CDRW or a DVD +/- RW drive. Since this system will NOT be playing the DVD or video, we’ll live with the on-board SVGA chip and the optical drive is there for software install only. (Its a server remember?) I have my choice of hard drives.

    Then I will report back blog style what it took me to do it. I’ll keep track of the hours and what and where I had to find my manuals/documentation to make it work. The idea is to develop a “distro” that can duplicate the published capabilities of the WHS minus the bare metal recovery. I can use Ghost as well as anybody.

    My credentials:
    I’m not a Linux expert but I have messed with it a little. I have 2 SUSE 10.1 Linux boxes and 2 XP Pro boxes running at home. One of the SUSE boxes will be used for the challenge with a blank drive. (I’ll save my current drive for later.) I have Ubuntu 6.1 and 6 or 7 Windows CPU’s in my cubicle at work. I have run various Linux distros on desktops since Red Hat 6.4. I’ve tried Mandrake, Knoppix, Storm, Yellow Dog, Red Flag and others I’ve forgotten about.

    I design Windows XP Embedded systems for a living. I’ve been doing that for over 6 years. I started with Windows NT 4.0 Embedded for 2 years before that. My system designs run in mission critical environments in the oilfield every day all around the world on over 300 systems. My first programming language was Fortran on punch cards. My first personal computer had a S100 bus. I’ve run C/PM, VMX, LDOS, MSDOS, Windows 3.0 through Windows XP. I’ve programmed in Z80 and x86 assembler, Forth, about 15 Basic variations, Algol, C, VB Script and lately I’m learning some of the Visual Studio 2005 languages.

    Do I like Linux? I like the idea of Linux. I like the idea that there is some competition for Microsoft. I haven’t found a distro I like enough to hunker down and spend a lot of quality time with it. I do plan to have a full suite of auxiliary servers running on the SUSE box that’s not involved with the test for DNS and DHCP. I also will be running network sniffers to track what traffic is traveling on the subnet to and from the client and the server. Microsoft is notorious for using a lot of ?silent? traffic to and from un-documented ports.

    Remember we’re looking at a Home Server as an appliance not a high performance server. Installing it on the exact same hardware mostly removes the hardware performance issues from the comparison. Obviously how well device drivers were written for the two operating systems is not removed from the test but at the level I’ll be testing, device drivers will just be lumped in with the OS issues.
    So the test criteria, in no particular priority, are:
    1) Does the software adequately support the feature set?
    2) Does it work well and reliably enough that home users can operate it successfully?
    3) Can repetitive maintenance functions be automated?
    4) After running it for awhile, are there obvious gaping holes in the features offered that need to be filled?
    5) How easy is it to install? Can it be customized as it is installed?
    6) Can you add features to it after installation? How easy is it?
    7) The question of updates, ease and availability.
    8) Discern the need for additional services that aren’t a part of the system.

    The following added 6-03-2007

    These are the specific features I was able to discern from the advertising on the URL citation listed above. There is also a mechanism that allows 3rd party applications to operate within the server framework, I’m going to assume plug-ins.

    Digital Media Shares
    media and other files served throughout your home and through a website IP
    Remote Access to Your PCs
    WHS lets you access your PCs and media from a Web-connected PC
    Protect Your Data
    automatic backups and full system restore. Smaller restores of individual files and folders (incremental daily backup) of accidentally deleted material.
    PC Health Monitoring
    Manage a family of PCs with WHS monitoring. Make sure virus definitions are up-to-date and each PC is running the latest updates.
    Users rights and access management
    Users can be grouped and allowed specific access to shares and PC access
    Firewall (assumed)
    Microsoft can be so stupid as to not to build in a stout 2 way, state-full watching firewall. I will not be that stupid in any case with the Linux contender I build.
    Web-Browser management and access
    This is also an implied feature.

    I’ve decided to run Ubuntu desktop 7.04 to do further testing of Linux applications, because its currently loaded on my test machine. I’m not convinced it makes a hill of beans difference what I run at this point. I plan to at least attempt to pick matching applications for use on a Linux Server based on what services have been publicized as on the Windows Home Server. I don’t have a Beta of the WHServer to test unfortunately so I am going to have to go by what Microsoft decides to release. Actually the feature set is amazingly sparse once you get past the fact that they touted the same damn things 2 or 3 different ways. An excellent example of advertising fluff, say a lot about practically nothing at all.

    Once I’ve gotten my feature set Linux replacement applications chosen, I’m planning on using a mostly non-scientific method by selecting particular applications for each feature item purely by the unique number of positive hits they get when typed into a Google search window for 100 responses on one page.

    Another un-scientific decision point, if I find too many negative issues based on the hit count, that application, or at the very least, that version of it gets dumped. Once all the feature points are covered, a test of the applications one by one will be made.

    Once I learn how to manage them properly, a set of feature covering applications will then be installed on the no-head version of Ubuntu Server 7.04. The entire set of applications and the operating system will be configured and tested.

    The step after that will be to add what applications and services that should be added to make the Linux Server a much more attractive system based solely on the feature set and we’re now quickly beyond Windows Home Server. In the mean time I’ll be updating in a random event basis on the blogs but certainly on average once a day. After I feel like there is a reasonable coherency to the ?mashup?, I’ll put it together in a secondary distro and probably hand it off to the Ubuntu group assuming its still running on Ubuntu at that point.

    As far as programming, I hope to do as little as possible. I will however write/build/test scripts to automatic the entire installation process to the maximum point I can. Until I can talk to the box and make it do what I want it to in a human language, its something I have to do but I’d really rather not!

All Comments

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    • #2594574

      this is an interesting experiment

      by neon samurai ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      My first reponse would be; try FreeNAS.

      This bares more consideration though and I’ll have to reread the function specs for WHS. I’ll post back with my limited experience sudgesion once I’ve had time to give your initial a proper read over unless someone beats me too it.

    • #2594503

      I was just discussing this with

      by 1bn0 ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      my brother-in-law. He has a RC copy of WHS and has been trying it out at home. He is employed as as “Systems Analyst” at a local governement office. We were discussing weither this product would draw any real interest from the average home user.

      We had previously looked at SMESERVER (formerly called eSmith server).
      At the time we tried it it had a customised web based front end for administration and wasn’t too bad althoug a little incomplete at that time. Mitel took over development and tried to market as a small business server with a subscription support server including email and domain management.

      I’m not sure what the current incarnation really looks like.

      We were just interested in something that would provide the basic benefits of windows server for the home market without the windows price.

      I look forward to the progress of this project.

    • #2594482

      Thanks guys

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      I’ll be posting my work and results here.

      • #2583560

        Problems with the Experiment

        by jhilgeman2 ·

        In reply to Thanks guys

        It’s interesting in concept, but I have a suspicion that WHS will come out on top because the experiment isn’t exactly “fair and balanced.”

        1. By virtue of being MORE familiar with the Window environments, you’re going to encounter SOME frustration with the Linux environment, and that frustration will come off against Linux. Some things are just sub-conscious.

        2. Whether you’re trying to or not, you’re holding Windows up as the gold standard for Linux to meet. Whenever Linux doesn’t do something Windows does, it’ll be “bad Linux PR”. I didn’t see you make the same comment vice-versa. You should also recognize things that Linux does that Windows DOESN’T do and that should count as bad PR against Windows.

        I won’t say either one is better than the other for everything. You’re comparing green apples to red apples. They’re still apples, but they have a major taste difference. You might as well be comparing MS SQL Enterprise Manager to phpMyAdmin. Yes, they’re both mainstream db admin tools, and can do some of the same tasks, but they do mostly vastly different jobs on different platforms because some needs are better served by different platforms.

        Personally, I run Windows desktops (mostly XP) and servers (different editions of 2000 AND 2003), and I also have run FreeBSD servers, Red Hat servers, Mandrake, and Fedora Core servers. I still use a console-only Fedora Core server as our company mail gateway. I’m still hooked on XP as my favorite desktop, even though I’m very comfortable in KDE and Gnome.

        People need to stop trying to make one side be the “end-all.” There’ll never be one end-all operating system – not from Microsoft, not from Apple, and not from open-source development. Each serves a different need, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, those different systems inspire new and better things for the other systems. Without Windows, there’d be a lot less apps for Linux, and without Linux, Microsoft would become lazier and less competitive.

        • #2583347

          Actually what I will tell you about the experiment so far

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Problems with the Experiment

          is that so far I’m very impressed with the amount and spread of Linux aplication support there is for devices only rarely seen in the Windows world.

          The other thing I will tell you is that there is a lot of bad software out there for Linux. I’ve run into applications that I would consider unruly and unusable simply because there is no way to bail out of some Linux applications. That said, there is a tremendous amount of very good software I’ve already encountered that beats Microsoft offerings simply because there is no financial reason to support some of the devices and codecs and so forth out there.

          What I will tell you also is that I am very intent on making a Linux media /home server simply because I want to support both Linux and Windows clients.

          I also do not want to get caught up in the DMRA crap that seems to be completely burying anything new in the way of media hardware design. I will not pay a license fee to some “digital rights mugger” just so I can store and playback video or stills I’ve taken of my family and friends. The day is coming when Windows Media Player will no longer be free or you’ll have to pay with a credit card to look at news clips even from “free” services.

    • #2594463

      Note asymmetrical requirements.

      by absolutely ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      “4) If you expect me to script something or run a script, show me an example or give me the script. (This runs counter to item 2 above but I realize Linux runs on scripts). It would be nice if the script has enough commentary to let me know what was going on in it. I reserve the right to dump something I’m suspicious of.”

      Try imposing that requirement on Microsoft!

      I don’t mean to say that this isn’t a reasonable requirement. In fact, if home users will be persuaded to adopt Linux for the function set you describe, I’m sure many will do so only with clearly [u]commented[/u] code. They want equivalent functionality, with only slightly greater technical requirements, if any at all. In other words, the target audience is users who are [u]not[/u] willing to acquire the skill set of IT pros to acquire the level of functionality of a home server. This will be a very intriguing blog to follow!

      • #2594454

        Windows “IS” Point and Click

        by 1bn0 ·

        In reply to Note asymmetrical requirements.

        Home users shouldn’t need any scripting abilities. WHS is not intended to replace Windows Business servers administrative control features. It is intended to:

        Store files: Pictures, Video and Music.
        Allow or prohibit other users to access those files.
        Provide the abiltiy to back up the desktop to the server and restore the desktop from the server.

        Windows Vista requires more “Point and Click” and provides even less keyboard equivalents(?) than its predecessors. This is the way Microsoft sees the user interface going.

        The “requirement” to minimise scripting under a Linux solution is simply to try to provide the same level of access control as Windows uses.

        • #2595805

          Only partially applicable.

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Windows “IS” Point and Click

          [i]The “requirement” to minimise scripting under a Linux solution is simply to try to provide the same level of access control as Windows uses.[/i]

          My comment was intended to be about the part of the requirement to see the code responsible for the server functionality and reject any that looks untrustworthy, not that the script be “minimal”. Actually, a “minimal” script is simply good programming, under any circumstances, although I’m sure that all the IT pros here know that. I’m equally sure that none of us expect to see source code for home user products from Microsoft any time soon.

          “It would be nice if the script has enough commentary to [b]let me know what was going on in it. I reserve the right to dump something I’m suspicious of[/b].”

          Microsoft [b]will not[/b] provide that feature!

        • #2595641

          Lots of ways to skin the cat

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Only partially applicable.

          Windows can be managed via scripting as can Linux. I don’t expect to get out of running a linux distro or for that matter any Windows setup script free.

          In many ways the large piles of scripts Linux uses are relatively similar to the registry, especially HiveKey_Local_Machine in Windows, where all the settings pertaining to the machine or computer setup is stored.

          In any case, I hope to preserve all of the scripts and settings I create using SVN, Subversion on both machines and if I can get Samba to co-operate maybe I can do it with both platforms running as inputs to the SVN database on a Linux box. I wonder if anybody has done that? Probably, that’s a project in itself. I use SVN at work and I like it, very easy to use.

        • #2595516

          Samba should be easy

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Lots of ways to skin the cat

          I’ve set it up many times and am in the process of configing it after an OS update from clean install (I learn something new every time). Last setup was dead simple to config and I have no reason to believe my current config will be any more difficult though I do have the advantage of graphic admin tools. I use a GUI tool for fine tuning after adding remote shares to my fstab. My local machine’s shares are all configed through the samba configs in /ets/samba or similar.

        • #2595513

          Using Swat Neon?

          by danlm ·

          In reply to Samba should be easy

          I wrote the original config for my home samba in vi. But now I just maintain it through swat. Only allow access via the lan, but it really does make things a lot simpler.


        • #2595506

          I should get back into using SWAT more often

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Using Swat Neon?

          I was starting to use it alot during the Mandrakes but found little need with the Mandrivas since it’s my local workstation anyhow and using the GUI tools localy or by ssh works. Monitorix is a standard on my personal machines though.

          For a server, I’d definately consider SWAT even if X was installed. X being more likely so I could ssh in and pull any graphic utilities to my local display or for the very rare times I had to log in locally *and* work through an X desktop (re-attaching keyboard and monitor.. bah, why are good kvm so expensive).

          Also, for my limited needs at home I’m sharing my USB drive to my network and connecting to the share on my NAS. It’s easy to maintain the samba.conf for one share through text (Joe for me rather than VI but I’m working on learning vim). I’ve found Mandriva’s remote share mounter setup a bit flakey; I have to add the share to fstab by hand then the GUI tool sees it and allows me to change attributes like username and password.

          I’d actually forgotten about SWAT. I faintly remembered having the browser interface but not the name. Cheers for the reminder.

        • #2595497

          My home server is remote and has about 8 shares

          by danlm ·

          In reply to Using Swat Neon?

          So I have no x windows running. I ssh from accross the room to it for everything.

          And if I’m being lazy, or just want a gui. I use either webmin or swat. On the server I own, I control my dns through webmin.

          If I used the IPFILTER firewall, I would probably use webmin alot more. Very nice tool for remote admin.


        • #2578456

          re: subversion

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Lots of ways to skin the cat

          I’ve actually written a couple of articles for TR about using Subversion — one for free unices, the other for MS Windows:

          1. [url=][b]Use open source Subversion for personal document management[/b][/url]

          2. [url=][b]Take a tangible step toward sustainable software development with TortoiseSVN[/b][/url]

          Those may or may not prove useful to you. I’m not entirely sure what your needs are, for figuring out how to do things with Subversion, based on what you said. Let me know if you need to know more.

        • #2595518

          another point to consider

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Windows “IS” Point and Click

          The challenge should be limited to the final build rather than include the steps of WHS and Linux distrobution installation.

          WHS is a hardware/software packaged product that arrives to the end user with software installed; presumably, booting to a short initial setup wizard. To compare the two on level ground, the Linux build should be considered with the same presumption that it would (theoreticly) arrive to the customer preconfiged with a brief setup process like any other router, NAS or similar commodity item.

          Just a thought that occured to me on the experiment’s scope. I didn’t go back to confirm if your intending to compare the final system or steps you go through during the initial setup.

        • #2583449

          Windows “IS” Point and Click?

          by ralphclark ·

          In reply to Windows “IS” Point and Click

          [Windows Vista requires more “Point and Click” and provides even less keyboard equivalents(?) than its predecessors. This is the way Microsoft sees the user interface going.]

          *cough* Powershell 1.0 *cough*

      • #2585452

        Funny How Great Minds Think alike…

        by 845 ·

        In reply to Note asymmetrical requirements.

        This is a great idea, I’m looking forward to seeing it though.

    • #2594428

      Scripting is every where

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      Actually I do a lot of scripting for Windows XP Embedded. Up until recently I had to scrip the entire networking applet functionality since the tool MS provides wiped the network settings out every time you “sealed” an image. I still script the startup of a new image simply because we now use the serial number as part of the name of the computer. Makes the IT remote admins happier.

      Yes there is some asymmetry about the comparison between Linux and Windows and I do hope to minimizse it.

    • #2595797

      Linux Home Server

      by j-mart ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      I am employed in CAD and have over the years gained some IT knowledge as needed to enhance my productivty and to keep the equipment I use in good order. Because my son has an interest in technology I have gained som more knowlege from his interest.

      In order to play games he has gone from a cross over cable to a reasonably complex home network, which in setting this network up we both have picked up a few skills, but we are not network engineers

      For a server we have used an old PII with Linux OS. We have used Red hat 7.2 and now Mandrake 9.2.

      With a home network part of the fun is learning new things. Our network runs Samba Server and is a gateway for our networked cable internet. Getting all this working looks daunting when you have no trainng or experience in networking.

      The Windows Home Server at first look would probably be simpler to get up and running. The Linux setup requires you to be willing to learn new things. I purchased a book on basic networking to get an idea what was required and found all the rest of the information required was available in the How To documentation that comes with Linux Distro’s

      There were well documented config files For Samba which I pasted into my own config file and edited as per advice in documentaion. For firewall and NAT setup followed How To documetation again, set up 2 network cards as per instructions, created scripts again by pasting to my own script file from documentation and altering as per documentation to suit my set up.

      The Linux option has some advantages

      1. Cheap – Server performs OK even though is just junk runs in text mode but set up so by typing startx will start GUI for easy navigation when making changes. Software also cheap I have only used packages that came with Distro, nothing downloaded.

      2. As networks are not my job has been fun and has been something my son and I have been able to do together. He was even keen to do the cabling which is run under floor with skirting mounted plug boxes.

      It will be interesting to see how your experiment pans out. I’m sure I will learn some usefull stuff from your trials

      For my son and I on our do next list is to upgrade our server, and as our ISP allows us to, make our own Apache Web Server. Along the way my son is learning many things that will help him into a technolgy career.

      This will certainly be much more informative and productive than the usual Windows verses Linux flame wars.

      • #2595644

        Wow I’m impressed!

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to Linux Home Server

        I taught my son to do installs of Windows apps when he was eight but he seems stuck in the “IM and YouTube mode” He’s a teenager now and texting, yakking on the phone and talking about cars and chop-socky movies seems to be it. Congrats on managing to steer your son into some productive!
        Yes I intend to document as fully as possible what I did and if it results in something I can put together into a “plug and play” package (that kind of tasted bad, since its a MS phrase!) then great!

        • #2595501

          that’s fantastic

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Wow I’m impressed!

          I’ve a little one who’s still banging on the keys and being impressed that the screen lights up (thank baud for owning a toughbook that will take the abuse). That’s at 13 months but if she takes after daddy she’ll be teaching the “computers teacher” at school by the time she gets there. I’m expecting some form of “IM and YouTube mode” eventually also so she’ll at least have to know enough to be smart about it.

          For me, installing software was what broke me through from enthusastic computer user to obsessive prisoner of geekdom. Being able to install and config his own software at eight is a huge step that, at minimum, will mean he doesn’t have to ask for computer help once he get’s over IM and YouTube.

        • #2595488

          Kids can do more than you would think

          by j-mart ·

          In reply to that’s fantastic

          My son when he was small would always pull all his toys apart. I have found If he is busy then he does not fight with is brother. The price you pay for his activity is he can greate a fair amount of mess with his projects, which does wind up his mother at times

        • #2595442

          I don’t doubt it

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Kids can do more than you would think

          I was a take things apart kid myself and would giggle with glee to watch my little one muck with a computer moving easily from platform to platform while bewildered adults looked on. If she takes interest in the machine then I know she’ll pull of some stuff that will make me scratch my head but in this case daddy is also a computer type so it should be interesting when she mouths of in some obscure texting shorthand and I reply fluently back.

          On important tip I’ve picked up from other TR fathers; hide the original music and movie disks and work off legal copies. I’ve already lost one DVD to her little hands so I took note of that tip right quick.

      • #2595510

        some ideas that may add fun to your hobby

        by neon samurai ·

        In reply to Linux Home Server

        I’m not sure if these ideas add more to your ongoing learning or if it would actually improve your home setup but some things to consider:

        – Have a look at Mandriva 2007.1 (Spring) as an update to your Mandrake 9.2. I think it was a legal thing that forced the companies name change but the 2007.1 distrobution is a very nice update and may provide a few things your older version did not include.

        – If you can move to a Wifi router you can then bring your live server inside your network rather than using it as the gateway with all your other things on it. This also seporates your inernet bandwidth and home server provided resources (ie. fast gaming over internet while transfering large files to the server). I ran for years on a home build gateway server and wouldn’t go back without good reason now after having a proper router. If you don’t have an wifi workstations, a linksys wrt54gs router should only be 70$ or so and you can turn off the wifi radio so it’s just using the wired plugs in the back of it.

        – More on the Router, if you specifically get a router supported by OpenWRT or Tomato then you can actually replace the vendors minimal router OS with either of those two Linux based OS resulting in home priced hardware with enterprise class functions.

        – “I’ve only used the software that came with the distrobution”. If that doesn’t include “plus online provided software updates” then you may want to look into that fairly quickly. It’s probably not a security issue for use as much as needed newer software versions. Since your on Mandrake 9.2, you may be limited to updates added to the online repository previous to the end of 9.2’s life span. (they’ve been through 10s and now it’s 2007.1 so again, consider a complete OS upgrade on that machine at least)

        For your network layout think:

        [Cable feed]=>-[Home Router]
        / | \
        [server][boy’s rig][dad’s rig]

        If you have more than four wired machines, a hub or router will split your wired feed into more ports for end nodes.

        Hopefully that gives you some ideas to consider. I’d be curious to hear how the fiddling goes so please post back with questions, comments and rants if you can avoid taking the BS flamewar stuff personally.

        (edit): that diagram was supposed to show the three end node computers coming off the router not the cable modem.

        • #2595490

          Mandriva 2007

          by j-mart ·

          In reply to some ideas that may add fun to your hobby

          My son recently installed Mandriva 2007 on his machine he was using SuSE 10.1 but never liked it. His freinds come round and are entertained by the 3D descktop for hours. The main reason still Mandrake 9.2 on server is machine is a bit marginal but we are gathering parts for a big upgrade soon. I have SuSE 9.3 which I wave updated though SuSE server. I don’t realy like SuSE so upgrade to Mandriva 2007 is tempting

        • #2595439

          2007.1 is going well, 2007 prerelease treated me well since november

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Mandriva 2007

          I suspect it would take to your current hardware without much issue since your building terminal managed server. It should all be the same software but with newer versions and current development updates available. Off hand, what’s the video card in your boys machine?

        • #2595340

          Radeon 9200

          by j-mart ·

          In reply to 2007.1 is going well, 2007 prerelease treated me well since november

          Has 128 meg ram. Additional to this I can take manriva 2007 one boot and run from CD in a 800MHz Duron with 384MB ram and a Nvidia 32MB video card and have the 3D desktop working prefectly

        • #2595230

          lucky lad

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Radeon 9200

          My AIW Radeon (first generation) worked great in X and got tuner support from the driver project at the time.

          I’ve yet to get anything beyond the limited functions provided by the community driver for the 9600 though.’s included tuner support doesn’t recognize it and the ATI binary blob just does not like me at all it seems. I hear the 9600s are flakey though for support, you where right to go with the 9200 gpu.

          I hear rumours that ATI/AMD is planning to release the drivers source code. Anyone else hear such things? It may be enough to keep me as a customer if they can put out an 8800 contender with the AIW chip included.

        • #2583567

          I avoid

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to lucky lad

          the AIW cards as much as possible for the same reason I dont buy a tv witha built in dvd. If one part goes out, the whole thing goes out. Also, I tend to prefer the image quality from the Hauppauge cards (which have great linux support btw). ATI has only recently (past 2 years) released TV cards worth attempting to use to record. Playback was great, and I still have an old tvwonder pro for use with TVTime (works flawlessly, better in tvtime and linux then under windows and ati mmc). But for recording, hauppage wins in my experience.

        • #2583344

          Thanks Dumphrey

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to lucky lad

          I’ve been reading a lot about Myth TV and it looks like Hauppage cards seem to be the ones to use. Most of the other Linux video applications that need a tuner input seem to have Hauppage drivers and installs set as the defaults.

          I think that after looking at MythTV I may put that off a while due to the apparent complexity of the project. It might also be easier to operate that on a separate computer in any case. I have a Intel P4 423 pin 1.8 GHz CPU board with 1GB RAM that might be a good “TV/DVR”. We’ll see.

          In any case I know that I’m still fairly far back on the Linux learning curve and I’ll look at the MythTV project as “dessert”, ha!

        • #2584357


          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to lucky lad

          Mythtv can be a bear from scratch, but head over to

          and download the latest cd. It installs everything in like 20 min as long as its a single OS set up. There are also some good guids out there for Fedora 4-7, and I would imaging a Ubuntu and a Debian guid could be found pretty easy. The official page is way way to confusing, the distro specific pages are easier to follow.

    • #2595505

      Hmmmm, home requirements of a server

      by danlm ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      What I would require of a server.

      1). Ability to support the following services.
      a. shared file systems from multiple machines.
      b. ability to access from remote sites either via ssh or ftp. Preferably ssh(use wscftp).
      c. ability to run web services.

      With that said, I have a few questions.
      1). Do you wish to control this server remotely or not? Ie, will you sit at the console to perform any system changes. Or will you sit at another machine to perform all these tasks.
      a). non remote control will require a desk top.
      b). remote control will only require secure access to the machine in a super user access role.
      2). Do you expect to run a firewall on this server?
      3). Ok, I think you said yes to this. But, you want this server to be a gateway for the rest of your machines????
      4). Do you want your server to be a domain controller?

      Dumb questions, and I apologize for them.

      Just so you know, I will most definitely not be suggesting to you a Linux server. I am a believer in true Unix when it comes to servers.


      • #2595500

        I believe he’s after a Windows Home Server contender

        by neon samurai ·

        In reply to Hmmmm, home requirements of a server

        I read the experiment as an attempt to duplicate the the function set of WHS using FOSS software. It’s like my ongoing wish to have work pay me to build a workstation duplicate based on FOSS to trully see how feasible it is.

        Mind you, I suspect your and my own server needs are far past what MS thinks the home user should only be interested in. I think the biggest challenge is going to be the remote access though that may be as much as DynIP and a forwarding port on the router with a web interface on the WHS/LHS box to function the same way as WHS through MS dynamic IP portal.

        :)) Hey, wait a minute! Is this system development for a comercial product? Oh I better be seeing UPS at my door with a test rig once you get them up and in production. ;))

        • #2595484

          webmin, what can I say

          by danlm ·

          In reply to I believe he’s after a Windows Home Server contender

          There is your samba, apache, backups, controlling the installation of other packages, bind(dns) if he wants, firewall, user accounts… hmmmm, can’t remember what else that does. Its a web interface for most everything written in perl.

          Hell, have him use pc-bsd, and there is his gui interface for doing the initial setup.

          Actually, I think the biggest problem would be backups and how he wants to do them.


        • #2595438

          my knee-jerk response was FreeNAS

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to webmin, what can I say

          I believe that’s a BSD based build.

          Seems like webmin should be his main interface though and supporting deamons can be based around that with httpd, samba and the backup management covering most all of WHS functions.

        • #2583581


          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to my knee-jerk response was FreeNAS

          mixed with some NuOnce BlueQuartz, add in the vpn component and done.

        • #2595384

          I agree Dan

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to webmin, what can I say

          Doing the backups is going to be an interesting exercise in scripting is my guess.

          The Windows Home Server is supposed to be able to do journaling and maintain a database of some sort to keep track of files such that there is only one copy of everything recorded and other “record instances” are just bookmarked or a file link is created.

          That sounds a lot like Subversion, an open source application that is used mostly for software revision control. There are versions of the software for Win32 and Linux. Actually thinking about the way it works, it probably could be used but it might require some scripts to make the file-links/bookmarks and it might require a different way of dealing with what would amount to “pseudo-revisions”. Maybe a user would only want a chunk of a movie or a piece of music, maybe just one cut from an album say.

          A long time ago in a galaxy pretty damn closeby, there were computers called VAX and an OS called VMS. It would automatically keep up however many copies of a program that you created and would compile and run the last version UNLESS you told it to go back to an earlier version. I wonder how they did that since I know that the word GigaBytes of drive space did not yet exist!

        • #2585428

          VAX w/VMS

          by jeneral22 ·

          In reply to I agree Dan

          Still using it daily to run our Manufacturing software. Granted it takes three times the space but the darn thing is the least offensive to maintain!

          I am following this post with great interest good topic and project! Wish I could help but being as new to Linux and not computer expert it would be a waste of our time.

        • #2577645

          Bacula, a backup port

          by danlm ·

          In reply to webmin, what can I say

          Its been around for a long time for multiple flavors of Linux. But, it has been ported to FreeBSD which means the installation should be much easier.

          Even if you don’t chose FreeBSD as your os, you might want to look at this from the developers page as a possibility for your backup solution.

          Here is a BSD write up on it where the guy goes through his experience with it.


        • #2577453

          Thanks Dan

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Bacula, a backup port

          I looked at that URL and its going to be a big chunk of the MS Home Server formula. Some of the attached URLs are dead so its either an archived page or just neglected.

          Its a part of a couple distros so I’ll look a lot more closely at it.

        • #2577416

          Sorry about that

          by danlm ·

          In reply to Thanks Dan

          I was looking around as I was watching the NBA playoff game last night. I live in Cleveland Ohio now, and the Cleveland NBA team was in the division finals. Sooooooooo, this was being done as an afterthought. They won by the way. ;o)

          I understand you might not follow basketball, but I’m sure you understand my distraction. Lol.

          The FreeBSD diaries is actually pretty good, I check it out for a lot of different ports I’m thinking of installing. It might be old in some case’s, but the guy does a personal experience write up on every port he tries. I appreciate that type of perceptive.


        • #2577390

          I’d call it Jne Fever but that catch line has already been grabbed!

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Sorry about that

          My 11 year old daughter is the BBall fan and she thinks LeBron James is cute and has a poster of him on the wall. Other than that no I don’t follow BBall!

          On the FreeBSDiaries, no sweat, he summarized the capabilities nicely, certainly enough to let me know it will do the trick needed.

        • #2595388

          No not a commericial product

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to I believe he’s after a Windows Home Server contender

          My interest is mostly in building a DIY media server based on Open Source, obviously mostly Linux. I’m trying to at least match the Windows product in feature set but the real emphasis is on a system that can be easily reproduced with a CD install. I’m not sure if I’m up to making a “live CD” but I’m fairly certain I can cobble together an install disk.

          My suspicion looking at the few companies I have seen that have announced their intentions, it looks like two major classes of product will come out. A top of the line server based on a high speed P4 maybe even a dual P4 with lots of RAM etc. The other with much more modest equipment like a AMD C3 or Duran maybe on a mini-ITX form-factor CPU in a small box. The software from MS will likely scale either way fairly easily.

          So Neon when the UPS man delivers that Alienware media server let me know ok? (I wouldn’t hold my breath!) I’ll be happy if it runs smoothly on a Celeron I already have!

        • #2595219

          I think I’ve seen two FOSS based prepackaged servers

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to No not a commericial product

          I was kidding about the comercial product bit though I’d not have complained a bit if UPS had shown up in six months. 😉

          Both the prepackages I saw where rather nice little boxes with the smaller being a fanless chassis you can stick on your shelf beside the router. Of course the names escape me now that they actually come up in conversation.

          You may want to consider BSD since it’s more solid and your sticking primarily to the server functions but a Linux will do just as well. As for rebuilding from a single disk; Ghost it. You can fiddle with buildnig your own liveCD after but Ghost should be an easy way to build a restore disk image.

          Also, consider splitting your partitions up. For a workstation I go with the following:

          / = 4 or 5 gig for the root system, server should be more than happy with 1 gig

          /home = 4 gig for user home folders and a bit of temporary working space since it’s only a one user machine in my case

          /var = big.. big as you can make it; huge even. This is where httpd will keep websites, ftpd will keep ftp sites, samba shares should be located and if you get really crazy, VMware Server keeps it’s VM files here. This is hte variable space partition for mass storage (like D: on a two drive windows box).

        • #2578808

          There are a couple of others

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to I think I’ve seen two FOSS based prepackaged servers

          There is a fellow named Craig Claiborne (I think) with Linux Beach that offers 2 “home Servers” with Ubuntu desktop installed and applications pre-configured, Cheap one starts at $895. The other one was way too rich for me!

          I build most of my home stuff from cast-off boxes. So actually buying something completely new is hard to justify. My two DELLs are refurbs from 2 years ago and those are the fastest and newest boxes I have. Of course now I can get dual processors for same price!
          My son found an HP P4 with a trashed install of XP on it with the hidden install partition at a swap shop. Just took me about an hour to fix it. It even has the CDROM Key sticker still on it so its legit. Ran Windows Update on it and it came back as legit there too, so I updated to SP2+.

        • #2584670


          by grax ·

          In reply to No not a commericial product

          Brilliant idea and I’ll settle for the “live CD”. Once you’ve done all the “easy” work of creating it, then comes the hard part – you’ll have to convince Joe Public (the people I work for) to take it up.

          I checked out the specs. for WHS and it doesn’t seem to do much that cannot be done with XP – just less hassle. That’s what you need from your finished product.

          I watch with great interest.

        • #2583584


          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to I believe he’s after a Windows Home Server contender

          may have to be a requirement if the user does not have a staic ip in order to have “access” to your computers from “across the internet.” AKA a vpn connection to the local network, probably tunnelled through port 80, with a log-in based web client hosted by MS (this could be the dyndns component). Yeah, thats what I want..seems safe enough…

          The big thing WHS was trying to offer was configure free access through your router. I realllllly hope this is not managed through UUpnP, as that service is broken beyond belief for security. This is why I see a tunnell over 80 approach working. But, to prevent people from having to know their own ip, or register a dyndns name, I think MS will host their own dyndns site, based off of the WHS install code. A typical MS “Click Here to set up remote access for your server.” A pretty good idea really, and it gives them another chance to “validate” your install code.

          It seems to me, that this project could be built on a debian system, striped of any un necessary code, and running XFCE. A live cd could be made from the finished product, scripts and all.

        • #2583341

          Yes When I read the MS feature set such as it was!

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to DynDNS

          DDNS looked to be the only way they could possibly hope to make remote access to work for either the server or desktop access. There will be a hook into Remote Terminal services but I consider that broken as well since it seems to not be able to run with multiple user logons on a single XP Pro workstation.

          I can practically guarantee that will be a monthly support fee service from MSN or Windows DeadorAlive.

          Having to suffer through Net Passport, MSN logon, and now Windows Live logon password crap (for technet and tech support for XP Embedded), they can shove it.

          If I wanted to have to screw around with a branded, no-warranty, not guaranteed to work, with no liabilities for service interruptions on their part, on-line password server that sometimes works but quite often doesn’t with the browser of their choice and certainly not my choice of browser, I would have gone with AOL 20 years ago.

      • #2595409

        Not Dumb questions at all

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to Hmmmm, home requirements of a server

        I’m a stickler when it comes to what server functions I’ll allow on a particular piece of hardware. (The guys at work would say stinker, but that’s their problem. ha!)

        1a) Yes remote control through a web browser is the best option. Anybody can run a web browser and making selections on a web page is an easy thing for Users to comprehend. (Yes I know that web pages might require some scripting!) I know there are a number of web/remote control applications out there. The Linux firewall I use has no video interface besides a web server. Logon is through https.

        1b) Remote control comes in 2 varieties, playback and as you call it super-user (Windows calls it Administrator) which can do everything else. I might let the users program timers for time-shifting or record through a timer function. I’m planning on setting various functions to be accessible by groups then put the users into the appropriate organizational groups for the level or types of access I’m willing to let them have. I believe Linux and Unix share this trait fairly closely and Active Directory from Windows mimics that behaviour. (Might have to set another timer allowing only one hour of Sponge-Bob a day, less if I can get away with it! The 11-year old might have something to say about that!)

        2) No. I’m a true believer in only allowing primary firewall software to operate on primary firewall hardware. Also no DMZ can be isolated enough. Finally the Internet is no place for a server, web or otherwise without being firewalled. The best firewall is a piece of Cat5 disconnected on one end! The word wireless does not exist in this house! Paranoid, yes, but maybe not enough!

        3) Gateways only exist on firewalls, period. IPTables are read only and are not “automatically” generated. Only root can write them. No Netbios in or out ever. Netbios over TCP/IP, never. ICMP drops into the bit bucket at the NIC. NNTP only through a proxy. IM only gets used in the DMZ, malware scanning is constant on those boxes. Skype likewise (you can force Skype to use http and I do).

        4) Domain server, no. Domain servers exist to serve to authenticate logins, to offer DHCP & DNS services, monitor users, computers and IP traffic, that’s it. Multi-media and Domain functions don’t co-exist. Besides I don’t think MS is offering anything close to a domain server built-into their Home Server. Other of their products do offer stacks of options including domain server with tons of protocol servers on multi-media capable platforms. (Small-Biz Server comes to mind)

        Only services I hope I’ll only have to allow will be http, ftp, & ssh. Depending on what functions and service types I end up with, I might have to put the server in the DMZ and do user access from inside the secondary firewall. Have the media server do a “proxy” for the user through the primary firewall out to the Internet. That would allow other protocols including streaming protocols that I DON’T want inside the home subnet.

        I’m thinking Apache (everybody uses it and that means there’s a lot of documentation) if necessary on the system in the DMZ. I’ve used Apache on Windows (which still sounds funny to me, Apache on Patches) a little bit. I could put IPtables on it easily enough to perform a secondary firewall if I can overcome some of my Web-induced paranoia!

        Currently I’m running a 3 port Linux firewall
        with the Internet on one NIC, a DMZ on another NIC and the final NIC is the local home subnet through a secondary firewall on another 2 port Linux box. NAT is running on all ports of both firewalls. Port filtering is heavy with only ssh, ftp client and http allowed into the primary firewall from the Internet. State monitoring is enabled on all outgoing and incoming connections.

        Before I had it going really well Windows Update managed to get out through the system and managed to do a download of updates. Luckily the XP SP2 box wasn’t on Automatic and I was able to delete the screwed up Microsoft WGA (Windows Guaranteed Aggravation) “fix” that got 2 of my 4 systems at work.

        The two pieces of Linux software I’ve had the most experience with are various firewall implementations and Samba which is worth paying for (and I have!). So I’m not totally a Linux newbie besides trying a lot of distros.

        Another thing I do like about Linux is the scripting. Simply because it is so freaking easy. Its just a bunch of batch files! The problem for me is figuring out where they need to go and the discipline required to put them in the properly “permissioned” directory.

        User rights is not an alien concept to me but trying to determine exactly the consequences of what happens when you fiddle with the permissions is fairly difficult in many cases (just like in Windows).

        I’ve gotten more enthusiastic for this project the more I’ve been reading and downloading of applications.

        • #2595204

          damn man.

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Not Dumb questions at all

          You open with “my son and I setup a small network at home as something to do together but we’re not really network engineers” then drop a post like this; Well Done Sir.

          For a hobby, you’ve done a heck of a bit of reading. I gotta go back and finish reading the post once my workday ends.

        • #2577414

          Can I make a suggestion

          by danlm ·

          In reply to Not Dumb questions at all

          In that this is a home server that you are thinking of building. Don’t install ftp. Use ssh only. If you are transferring files from windows to the server, use Winscp. Here is a link to an open source windows client that will connect and transfer files for you.

          Real nice gui, drag and drop type of deal.

          I hate ftp. Everyone talks about how insecure talent is, well. FTP is just as insecure. Your bloody password is still open text just like telnet. ugggg

          On my home server, I have specific groups set up for the people that don’t listen to me. They are ftp only accounts, meaning that you can not ssh into those accounts. If I’m going to have a password sniffed, then that bloody account is not going to have the ability to run any type of commands from if I can control it.

          While I’m at it, lol. Use public/private key for all ssh log ins. My home server is open to the Internet, and I am constantly pounded by brute force kiddies. I have turned off the ability to ssh into that machine via passwords and only allow public/private key log ins. Idiots, ticks me right the heck off. Both putty and wisnscp have the ability to use public/private key authentication . So, that’s not even an issue. Hell, if you go to the putty download site, they have a gui that will generate the keys for you. And all you do is place them in the correct files.

          This is from someone that has been burned before, that blocks full nations via cidr lists that are downloaded every night and loaded to the firewall. I personally think there is no reason to use an insecure sign on method. Either for ftp(don’t need it) or ssh. The gui’s are out there via open source. They are well known and respected names, so you will not be using something that was hacked together.

          Just a couple suggestions.

          Here is the putty download page.


        • #2577397

          I love it! Group policy set by User Attitudes!

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Can I make a suggestion

          That’s why I use 2 firewalls, one inside the other. Even a sniffer application that has managed to get inside can’t report out except of course through an email vector, so forth and so on.

          You did remind me of one thing I will have to eventually do, pick client applications for Win32 as well as the Linux clients & servers.

          At this point Winscp gets bookmarked.

          Secure ftp and SSH will be an absolute necessity. I suspect that Kerberos and LDAP will become the standard I will install since its really the only authentication technique that is secure on both Linux and Windows. That in turn dictates a SMB(Samba) domain with users, groups etc.

          Log on to the domain takes care of the security issues and simplifies user group policy. Kerberos takes care of the sniffing issue.

    • #2595362

      Extensions to the idea of the “Home Server”

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      One of the applications I do want to add to the basic media server is Myth TV with a couple of tuner boards. The idea is that time-shifting broadcast and satellite TV will let all 4 members of the family share 2 satellite set-top boxes and access the local Broadcast HD channels in some fashion so that everybody gets most of what they want.

      My son is also “main-lining” streaming audio from some Internet sites. I’m sure when he hears about being able to tune-in 4 channels of TV at once, multi-channel radio will seem to be even easier.

      Obviously the Celeron will get maxed out pretty quick! But at least for testing it will give me an idea of what can be done with a little more CPU cycles than can be made with a Geode!

      Obviously this is outside the boundaries of the test for the Home Server functions.

      • #2595196

        That may work better as a standalone

        by neon samurai ·

        In reply to Extensions to the idea of the “Home Server”

        You could put your big box server in the basement or closet (ventelated of course) and have your MythTV media server beside the TV.

        The Myth rig could do all your tv tuning and media management (I hear it’s good stuff, a MythTV Knoppix liveCD was recommended to me). This also limits the hardware in your Myth box and minimize the installed software since it’s a specialty box.

        The Big Box rig then goes in the basement or wherever convenient and cool with it’s specialty hardware and software stack minimized for what it’s going to do. Once media is recorded on the Myth box, it’s moved to the this machine for general storage. For viewing, the Myth box pulls your music or video from the Big Box Samba or NFS shares (I like Samba more than NFS due to mixed OS networking).

        I’m not sure if that setup would be of benifit but it would be worth considering. The one hickup I’ve had with storing media on one machine then feeding it to the TV through another is choppy video. I’ve had to copy the video file to the local machine then run it directly into the tv rather than pull from the network share directly. This is due to using an older notebook on slow wifi as the TV’s feed bag though so it’s not likely to effect you but something to keep in mind.

        • #2577050

          Basic System First

          by j-mart ·

          In reply to That may work better as a standalone

          What I would like to see is to set up a basic system first that will handle basic tasks as proposed WHS with step by step instructions to get a solid secure system up and running. After that go for all the bells and whistles that can be had only using FOSS, which may or may not be posible with WHS

        • #2578801

          First things first

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Basic System First

          Yes you’re right but I letting my growing enthusiasm get a-hold of me!
          The basic system will be the root of the whole project and it does need to be a solid installation.

          One of the criteria I use at work is if I can’t document it well enough that somebody can’t do it again, somethings wrong with the project. So don’t worry about it, it will be documented!

        • #2578803

          Good Idea

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to That may work better as a standalone

          Splitting the TV-Computer from the Server computer makes sense. If I can do it I might add a direct connection (cross-over cable) using a second NIC in the 2 machines to keep the TV video traffic off the main network.

          I use that trick a t work between the SQL Server and my design computer to prevent traffic from interfering with the other computers.

      • #2583579

        Start with

        by dumphrey ·

        In reply to Extensions to the idea of the “Home Server”

        KnoppMyth, modify your partitions manualy, then add the standard Debian repos, and go from there. You may have to disable Myth frontend form loading by default on boot, but thats a matter of moving one tiny script. But, Myth has a nice feature that plays in to this whole home server buisness. A mythtv box is by default a backend server, and can stream any of its content, including live tv, across the network to any myth tv frontend.

    • #2590480

      This May Be of Assistance

      by j-mart ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      Today when I was looking for something else I came upon a Linux Distro “Clark Connect” which is for a Linux server / gateway from which is a company in New Zealand who seem to be at the sharp end of Linux developement. You can purchase a copy for NZ $5.50. I have ordered a copy so I will give it a try when it arrives. Go to their site and check it out.

      • #2577664

        X-proxy, hmmmmm

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to This May Be of Assistance

        I looked at their website and many of the pages did not come up. Additionally it would have been nice if the descriptions thy had for all of their distros was not identical. No search options either, not attractive, makes it look like a garage operation.

        I do not know if NZ $5.50 is what you should expect to pay for the “price of copying and shipping” or whatever the GPL language says or not. I do know that if you charge more than $2.50 US for a single CD to copy and mail it, you’re ripping somebody off.

        I wish them luck but they really need to work on the website. I never could find the Clark Connect distro.

        • #2577595

          NZ $5.60 Relatively

          by j-mart ·

          In reply to X-proxy, hmmmmm

          is not expensive in this part of the world with exchange rate converted back to US$ cost of downloading, sales tax of 12.5% etc. is average cost in this part of the world. The best deal is the 3 Distro’s for NZ$10.00. I agree the web site is rubbish but the point is could “Clark Connect” be an easy setup for home server with easy set up comparable with WHS. An interesting side to this is under section for Future OS they had an Amiga OS open source and an open source Windows OS that are at the experimental stage with copies avalable though not recomended for any serious work.

        • #2577458

          So they are a serious distributor

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to NZ $5.60 Relatively

          just lousy web programmers. I can understand that, being one myself, lousy web programmer I mean. Don’t have the patience to do it or time to work out either my bugs or the web’s bugs.

          In any case I still wasn’t able to find the “Clark Connect” distro on their website.

          Just Googled it and found the source site. Downloading the Community version as I type.

      • #2577432

        Clark Connect may not be totally open source.

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to This May Be of Assistance

        So I’m reluctant to use it. ( In another post here I report downloading it.)

        The nice thing about the GPL is that if it smells like there’s a limitation, it isn’t open-source.

        Actually they aren’t the only ones.

        I wouldn’t consider Red Hat Enterprise Open Source either. Fedora though is fully open sourced because of the way it was set up. Red Hat realized that to make things work better especially at building the business side, they needed to offer something that strictly speaking wasn’t going to be open source.

        So Fedora is Red Hat’s way of supporting the concepts of open source without mudding the waters. The Enterprise version is the Fedora code that works, that gets field-tested and remains disconnected from the Enterprise features Red Hat can use to keep its service customers. Red Hat supposedly erected a “Chinese Wall”. Fedora stays on one side, Red Hat Enterprise on the other. Presumably. Red Hat slaps the GPL on it, donates its newest code to the open source world, calls it Fedora and then goes on to further refine it as Red Hat Enterprise on their side of the wall.

        We are supposed to assume that the programming guys on the Fedora side of the wall (ie non-Red Hat employees) IP work does not travel back over the wall to Red Hat Enterprise unless it also gets GPL’ed. My guess is that the wall is see-through. There is no third party that I know of keeping an eye on that.

        Just as an interesting lesson in copyright and IP law, I’d like to see the employment contract Red Hat programmers have to sign. Remember that GPL doesn’t come into play until it is released to the public by the owner who is Red Hat, after the programmer gives up the code to his employer, who we assume is Red Hat.

        From what I can see of the Clark Connect Community distro, its been “busted” somewhat, whatever email application they use in their Enterprise and Office versions is also in the Community version but it doesn’t support more than 10 accounts. What or Why is that?

        Since that is a feature (much like a Microsoft feature ALSO set at 10 accounts ha!) I am very reluctant to use Clark Connect in something I plan on releasing as a open source distro. The number 10 was just a coincidence I’m sure. I am not accusing Clark Connect of distributing MS software. If humans had 12 fingers, it probably would have been 12 accounts.

        In any case I am NOT saying that it doesn’t work. It just might be perfect for all sorts of users. I just don’t want to be the target of a freaking idiot lawsuit. The Gorilla in Redmond already has many lawyers on his payroll and that’s how he keeps poachers off his turf. Lots of other’s have learned that “programming” technique.

        So if it smells bad I just don’t use it.

    • #2577658

      Would you like a splash of that “old-time religion” with that open source?

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      I’m not picking on anybody please understand me. If you are easily offended please turn the other cheek.

      When I looked at X-proxy’s web site cited below,

      they had something that caught my eye (and I included the URL here) and my nasty sense of humour kicked in.

      A “Christian Distribution” of Ubuntu! I suppose the Satanist version is located at! (No URL. You want to put that in your browser go ahead!) That leaves open the door for Buddhist versions, Hari-Krishna versions, Wika versions, etc etc. Then of course there has to to be the Roman Catholic Christian versions versus the King James Protestant Christian Versions. Don’t forget the Islamic versus the Jewish versions!

      Good grief Charlie Brown!

      They already had over 93 versions of some kind of open source or nearly open source software images. Is there any need to bring religion into a venue that already has a “religious” sized chasm in it?

      OK fine I could see that somebody might want to control what their kids can access on the Internet. Fine use some kind of filter software but why build a distribution around it? I’ll bet they they’ve sold less than a cults worth of that distribution!

      In any case I’m a bit dumbfounded that somebody smart enough to use and build an open source distribution, has got to know that Satan already knows about open source! If the FBI and the Treasury Department have figured it out, that nasty guy downstairs has already gotten the word.

      (I didn’t know Cisco had built a router that could handle that kind of heat! Wonder what protocol that is? hell:// Don’t see it in the RFC’s!)

      • #2577644

        I looked at Ubuntu Christian Edition for a short while

        by neon samurai ·

        In reply to Would you like a splash of that “old-time religion” with that open source?

        I’m not a very dedicated follower of the christianity brand I was raised in but I’m already toying with options for an OS for my daughter and UbuntuCE meant it had already been made “family friendly”. Edubuntu has succeeded that option though I’ve other contenders too.

        As I understand, UbuntuCE was created for catholic churches (though it could be just churches in general) to use so it’s nice and clean and includes all the topical content; Edubuntu for church if you will.

        And yes, there was a Ubuntu Satanic Edition released also. It came out at Christmas and was only an X theme; background, styles, boot and console background but little more than that. Some people lost there crap over it and got all god fearing bible thumping turbo christian over it but most saw the joke for what it was and had a bit of a laugh.

        UbuntuCE has it’s place and is a great distribution for those of the cloth though like any distribution, one shouldn’t consider it to apply as a one size fits all. I’m not sure why all the angst over a religion focused distribution which would be downloaded and installed free of charge rather than bought (good if your a church group).

        I love that there are so many different OS based on the Linux kernel and other Open Source cores. It’s the broad range of choice that makes it great. If you really want to spin in your chair, track down the website that lists liveCD; there’s a few hundred different liveCD specific to whatever need you can dream up. I don’t have the url handy but it should be an easy search.

        Don’t take the Satanic Edition seriously and you’ll be thinking of it in the way it was intended. It’s not a complete distribution, only a few backgrounds and style sheets.

        • #2577636

          I guess the idea seemed absurd,

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to I looked at Ubuntu Christian Edition for a short while

          I suppose the next thing out is a distro for dark beer brewers, yeah baby.

          As far as the that was a joke and I’m sorry you couldn’t hear me laughing all the way to NZ!

          I guess the issue was: “Why bother to spend the time on a distro that had such a tightly focused purpose and especially one that had the mode of operation to prevent you from discovering anything counter to your belief system?”

          Yes and before I get that logic slapped in my face….
          A Linux Home Server distro that does not require extensive input from the user and can offer an alternative to the MS product, is attractive to any ethnic, religios etc etc. group. I’m not interested in limiting the system functionality due to issues other than the inherent technical capabilities or limitations of the system. I could care less if the guy using it was Jewish, Muslim or Christian or what-have-you.

          Any user can build any distro and cause it to limit capability. I don’t find that to be any sort of accomplishment or in the right spirit of open source software.

          It also sounds like you don’t use that particular distro any more.

        • #2577370

          no worries, my intention was not at all hostile

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to I guess the idea seemed absurd,

          I wasn’t intending to sound as if I was jumping down anyone’s throat and I did get a giggle out of the bit though I felt no need to include it in the response. (If you find out what that Cisco router is, I could use something “rugged” just encase.)

          “Why bother to spend the time on a distro that had such a tightly focused purpose and especially one that had the mode of operation to prevent you from discovering anything counter to your belief system?”

          This is a good question and one of the reasons to love FOSS as far as I can tell. There are Distros specific to whatever need someone with some developer skills came up with. If you track down that liveCD listing site they have categories; working with media, working with broadcasts, working with security, general desktop, general server.. the list goes on and on. The article I first read about UbuntuCE was as a distrobution developed for churches that can’t or choose not too spend “flock” donations high cost software. For the price of hardware and burning a .ISO image, a church can join the information age with a prebuilt system tuned to it’s needs (business needs and spiritual). I also nearly fell off my chair the first time I read the UbuntuSE article and ensuing hubbub from the religious conservatives.

          Your right though, outside of an OS/Applications collection for a specific religion, all Info Tech should be considered belief neutral. I wouldn’t have recommended UbuntuCE as a server installation even within a religious environment; it’s for the desktop and only where applicable.

          I don’t see it as limiting the distribution but it is definitely tuning it to a specific use. This would be the same contrast as Debian, a general distribution favoring free license software versus Ubuntu, a more specialized distribution favoring the lower tech user and recent Windows users.

          I did mention that I had considered UbuntuCE a distrobution that came “family friendly” for my little one but it didn’t stay on the list long enough to download and look at. I was still considering it only when I replaced it with Edubuntu since an educationally focused system means “family friendly” but with school software rather than spiritually focused software.

          I must have posted here after responding to posts in a few less civilized discussions as I didn’t mean to come across harshly by any means.

    • #2577383

      Something to think about

      by danlm ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      From what I have read of your posts, this looks to be a multi media home server which will be using Samba for sharing various data between users.

      My question(s) to you is as follows.
      1). What will be the file system that the data will be stored on? Unix/Linux or Windows? Either can be done actually, I have separate drives for each type of data that I store which means I can make it anything I want.

      There are a couple reasons I ask this. My home server is pretty much multi media also, with my mount points being of the Unix file system. They are separate drives. This caused me problems in the beginning I believe because of the file system I used. For some reason, and I am not sure if it was how I had set up samba or if it was just the fact they were different file systems. But when I copied mp3 files from my windows system to the server they would become corrupted. I was told this was due to the way the drag and drop underlying copy was being done in windows. Not sure how true that is, but I know it caused me issues nothing less. I solved this by performing true Unix copies/moves from the windows box to the server data area and had no more issues.

      The second reason I ask this question is due to the fact if your file server goes belly up and you was using the Linux/Unix file systems. Your not going to be able to access that data from windows. The way I dealt with this was by buying two mybook drives and hooking them to my windows machine, and performing my backups to those drives. Chuckle, unfortionally my mp3 drive is now 500 gig on the file server. And those two wd’s are only 250 a piece. But, I’ll work that out.

      If you decide to go with a windows file system, you are going to need to do fat32. From what I have read, NTFS does not play nice for writing when mounted to linux/unix.

      I just wanted to give you some things to think about when planning your server and backup procedures.


      • #2577367

        oh, oh, filesystem, filesystem.. there’s a good one for music

        by neon samurai ·

        In reply to Something to think about

        And, of course I can’t think of it off teh top of my head, it’s burried in a .pdf amongst the rest of my locally saves news readings.

        Incase the description reminds someone else. There is a filesystem meant for music. It stores your audio in an open lossless kind of format. When you mount the partition you can specify the audio file type to apear as along with quality of audio and such.

        The idea is that you keep one music library. When your high end local machine is playing music, it can see the music files as native open format or very high quality mp3, ogg or whatever. When you move music to your iPod or other player, they see it as whatever format they read in the lower quality to save space.

        It basically keeps a high quality copy in storage then converts on the fly based on the needs of the program accessing it. I’m not sure if the same exists for video; it can’t be far off if its not available already. If no one else can remember the filesystem I’m attempting to describe then I’ll run a few searches on my .PDF archive.

        (now I have to go and figure out how to remove a word from my spelling dictionary; I accidentally added instead of selecting the correct spelling.)

      • #2577365

        confirmed – NTFS is not so friendly

        by neon samurai ·

        In reply to Something to think about

        I keep a small fat32 partition on my local machine incase I need it for moving files between the two dualboot sides. I can usually copy to NTFS as root but it’s really not recommended. I believe NTFS/*nix issues are due to the *nix system not setting the NTFS user and security flags on the file after writing it. Fat32 has no security support so you can read/write with *nix till your heart’s content (or partition is full, whichever).

      • #2577323

        Yes I know about NTFS

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to Something to think about

        You guys are definitely right about NTFS. And yes it is the Users rights as expressed in group membership that is the big issue. ESPECIALLY if the NTFS partition is part of an Active Domain (Corrupted LDAP for Microsoft). The security bits are recorded as part of the “index” table and the folders in the OS. The problem is that the Linux system cannot read the LDAP info encoded into the file system of the NTFS.

        In any case the plan here is to use the EXT3 file system that comes from Ubuntu 7.04 and then install Samba on top of it and use that for the Windows clients. I’ve used Samba before and I like it.

        Lucky for me I don’t have to worry about dual boot situations. I have a couple of drives that are either blank or can be for the test box. Changing the OS just means swapping the drive.

        • #2577320

          NTFS features and the DMRC

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Yes I know about NTFS

          NTFS is a superior filesystem within the Windows NT system compared to FAT32 etc. There is a certain amount of error control that beats the FAT options. It obviously has a superior access control system again within the WinNT system.

          Of course none of this means a thing when an “alien” OS grabs the drive! Ha! Actually I’m surprised that MS hasn’t sued people who tried to read and write the NTFS file system like they tried with the FAT system. Maybe the FAT system suit was a test case, I don’t know. The way the DMRC is written, you’re breaking the law EVERYTIME you read or write a hard drive file that has anything other than your own personally generated software on it.

        • #2577318

          Part 2 of the challenge

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to NTFS features and the DMRC

          This is here mainly as an update post to the initial challenge. Also so if you’d like to respond to it it will sequence the commentary a little better..

          These below are the specific features I was able to discern from the advertising on the URL citation listed above. There is also a mechanism that allows 3rd party applications to operate within the server framework, I’m going to assume plug-ins.

          Digital Media Shares
          media and other files served throughout your home and through a website IP

          Remote Access to Your PCs
          WHS lets you access your PCs and media from a Web-connected PC

          Protect Your Data
          automatic backups and full system restore. Smaller restores of individual files and folders (incremental daily backup) of accidentally deleted material.

          PC Health Monitoring
          Manage a family of PCs with WHS monitoring . Make sure virus definitions are up-to-date and each PC is running the latest updates.

          Users rights and access management
          Users can be grouped and allowed specific access to shares and PC access

          Firewall (assumed)
          Microsoft can be so stupid as to not to build in a stout 2 way, state-full watching firewall. I will not be that stupid in any case with the Linux contender I build.

          Web-Browser management and access
          This is also an implied feature.

          I’ve decided to run Ubuntu desktop 7.04 to do further testing of Linux applications, because its currently loaded on my test machine. I’m not convinced it makes a hill of beans difference what I run at this point. I plan to at least attempt to pick matching applications for use on a Linux Server based on what services have been publicized as on the Windows Home Server. I don’t have a Beta of the WHServer to test unfortunately so I am going to have to go by what Microsoft decides to release. Actually the feature set is amazingly sparse once you get past the fact that they touted the same damn things 2 or 3 different ways. An excellent example of advertising fluff, say a lot about practically nothing at all.

          Once I’ve gotten my feature set Linux replacement applications chosen, I’m planning on using a mostly non-scientific method by selecting particular applications for each feature item purely by the unique number of positive hits they get when typed into a Google search window for 100 responses on one page.

          Another un-scientific decision point, if I find too many negative issues based on the hit count, that application, or at the very least, that version of it gets dumped. Once all the feature points are covered, a test of the applications one by one will be made.

          Once I learn how to manage them properly, a set of feature covering applications will then be installed on the no-head version of Ubuntu Server 7.04. The entire set of applications and the operating system will be configured and tested.

          The step after that will be to add what applications and services that should be added to make the Linux Server a much more attractive system based solely on the feature set and we’re now quickly beyond Windows Home Server. In the mean time I’ll be updating in a random event basis on the blogs but certainly on average once a day. After I feel like there is a reasonable coherency to the ?mashup?, I’ll put it together in a secondary distro and probably hand it off to the Ubuntu group assuming its still running on Ubuntu at that point.

          As far as programming, I hope to do as little as possible. I will however write/build/test scripts to automatic the entire installation process to the maximum point I can. Until I can talk to the box and make it do what I want it to in a human language, its something I have to do but I’d really rather not!

        • #2583403

          Also there is access

          by freebird54 ·

          In reply to Yes I know about NTFS

          from any Windows box to and from any ext3 filesystem – available as an ’embedded’ driver. basically it treats it as an ext2 filesystem (fully compatible, but no journaling) so it can read/write without trouble.

          Just so anyone otherwise Win only need not worry! 🙂

          Oh – the link:

        • #2583338


          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Also there is access

          I wonder when or if they are going to support ext3? I just glanced at the first page I’ll go back tomorrow and read the entire page.

          I’m getting jazzed about this project now. It looks like I’ll be able to go both ways. Either with a completely separate Linux box or with a dual boot system. That was my big complaint about 2 years ago when I was running Fedora 1 or 2 and XP Pro dual-boot If I wanted to pass a file from one to the other, I had to have a FAT or FAT32 volume setup to act as inter-OS swapspace.

    • #2578463

      some thoughts from someone who has done most of this, at some point

      by apotheon ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      I think this is an excellent idea, and hope to see some progress made on getting something like that actually put together and made available to the general public. I’ll be reading the rest of this thread with interest, and may contribute when I feel I’ve gotten sufficiently caught up with the goings-on.

      An immediate thought that comes to my mind is that I’d like to combine your work on doing this with Linux with my own current use of FreeBSD to perhaps create a FreeBSD-based version of the same project. This, however:

      “[i]Now the kicker, on the EXACT same hardware I will install the WHS Beta or release RC1, assuming I can get it, and test it in comparison on the basis of a USER, not a technician or a systems engineer.[/i]”

      . . . is not something I’m likely to do any time soon. I just don’t feel like being an MS Windows guinea pig, and don’t want to have to try to find a way to get any WHS beta licenses. I also don’t want to have to rearrange my network to do everything through an MS Windows server, when it already does it all fairly directly.

      Some comments on requirements:

      “[i]Do not expect me to compile Gentoo or Debian. I want to get this all done within a few weeks, OK?[/i]”

      Debian is not a “compile from source” distribution. Where did you get that idea? In fact, Ubuntu’s package management system was lifted directly from Debian (and subsequently made less reliable). I think Debian may, in fact, be the perfect choice for a project like this, as its operation is not mangled by the sort of quirks introduced to Linux administration by Ubuntu.

      “[i]The install packages must be applications that can be downloaded from the distro’s website or mirror. I will not start with somebody’s forked code.[/i]”

      This, in fact, is one of the reasons I think Debian might be an ideal choice, among Linux distributions. It provides more packages in its package management system than any other distro, by a long shot.

      “[i]The applications need to be compatible with the Linux distro and the desktop. I am partial to Gnome but I’m willing to use KDE.[/i]”

      This can be done without making it GUI-specific for the client systems. There’s no reason to tie it to a specific window manager or desktop environment.

      • #2579151

        I wouldn’t force ANYBODY to use Windows

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to some thoughts from someone who has done most of this, at some point

        For that matter I can’t get a Beta of my own in any case!

        Debian years ago used to be a compile-it-all distro so at least that’s what threw me off it. I’ve gotten more than just your suggestion to try it so I will.

        As to the desktop, at least on the server, there will not actually be a desktop. On the final version of the server, everything will manageable through a webpage. I also expect to strip out a lot of the typical distro applications like OpenOffice and Evolution etc.

        • #2579092

          re: Debian installs

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I wouldn’t force ANYBODY to use Windows

          If you’re going to install Debian and try it out, you might want to have a look at an article I wrote for about installing Debian:

          [url=][b]Linux 101: Installing Debian GNU/Linux[/b][/url]

          That aims toward a minimal install of the system, with the assumption you’ll then use apt-get to install everything you actually need (and nothing you don’t) instead of doing a kitchen-sink desktop-type install. Beware of the download link for the installer — it’s out of date, and needs to be changed. I’ll see if I can get an editor to alter that in the near future.

          Once installed, these might help as well with the setup of your project box:

          [url=][b]Linux 101: Efficient software management with the Advanced Package Tool in Debian[/b][/url]

          [url=][b]Linux 101: Establish more effective security capabilities with OpenSSH[/b][/url]

          [url=][b]Linux 101: Get control with these secure service management tools[/b][/url]

          [url=][b]Manage user accounts in a multi-user Linux environment with disk quotas[/b][/url]

          [url=][b]Achieve more effective overall network security with the versatility of rsync[/b][/url]

        • #2578300

          I just stuffed all these into my PDF library

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to re: Debian installs

          It’s about time I had another serious go at Debian. The last install went perfectly until I couldn’t run of drakconf ;). Ah, I may stick with my Mandriva but at least I’ll know I can config a system without the Drake GUI tools.

        • #2583562

          Good idea

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to I wouldn’t force ANYBODY to use Windows

          “I also expect to strip out a lot of the typical distro applications like OpenOffice and Evolution etc.”

          “Debian years ago used to be a compile-it-all distro so at least that’s what threw me off it. I’ve gotten more than just your suggestion to try it so I will.”

          Wow, that must have been way back in the stone age of debian 1 or maybe 2. The installer for debian was so ugly at one point I can see how people may have thought it was a compile distro.

    • #2579733

      RE: Debian

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      Thanks Aapotheon. Good call on the Debian.

      I downloaded the Debian inst-net ISO and burned a CDR from it and installed it. I let get-apt do its thing.

      I’ve got SAMBA running and that makes my life a lot easier, it lets me copy and pass files back and forth with little problems.

      I’ve used Samba before I think with Fedora 2 or 3 and it was a bit of a pain to set up. The Debian Samba install took 2 minutes maybe to setup, definitely pleased with that.

      BTW thanks for the article URLs Its late here need to get some sleep so I’ll probably read them tomorrow.

      • #2579721

        quite welcome

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to RE: Debian

        I’m happy to be of assistance so easily. Keep up the good work.

    • #2585511

      Linux.. Yeah it rocks

      by 2shane ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      I have some Microsoft Matches, and Linux Matches.

      The Linux ones light first time, every time.

      The Microsoft ones give me the blue smoke of fizz.

    • #2585507

      As luck would have it…..

      by johnson12 ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      i am currently working with a small team on a soho server edtion of a very popular Linux distro right now.

      It is planned to have a August release, and things are coming along very nicely.

      I assume the deal breaker would be the fact that it’s NOT built off ubuntu. However if you are interested in seeing what it can do, and don’t mind a few (minor) bugs, then send me an e-mail.

      I will be more than happy to hook you up with an iso.

    • #2583468


      by balthor ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      You’re using the good old Microsoft technique of getting free engineering from others for your thesis.(anyways here’s a starting place)

    • #2583427

      First things first

      by mikifinaz1 ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      The community has to get together and come up with a bullet proof basic distro. Two disks or two parts one the OS that will install flawlessly on a toaster if need be. The other the basic applications i.e. browser, zip utility, adobe reader, etc.

      Then community support to transfer thousands if not more people to Linux. The major obstacle is to overcome twenty years of Windows everywhere.

      • #2583374

        It looks like you haven’t tried Debian (recently)

        by absolutely ·

        In reply to First things first

        You can burn a ‘net install’ iso file of about 140MB to disc to install a minimal system. During the install process, you have the option to add any of their apps, and there are MANY.

        • #2583349

          Actually I found that about Tuesday I think. Things got a little fuzzy

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to It looks like you haven’t tried Debian (recently)

          Did the net install iso for Debian 4.0 put it on my test box and have been running it since Tuesday or Wednesday. I like it. Its faster booting than ubuntu and most of the other distros. That might be because of the size of the install as much as anything else I do not know yet.

        • #2585058

          Debian Etch

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to It looks like you haven’t tried Debian (recently)

          has a slightly different install it seems then Sarge did. With sarge there was an option to “customise package selection” or some such wording. On the net install disk of etch I have, its just select from several broad options, there is no customise button =( I was a little sad, but then just chose the base system, no desktop, and went from there. Takes a tad longer to install each application through apt, but not by much really.

        • #2587058

          I noticed that also when installing Etch just before it was graded “stable”

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Debian Etch

          I was likewise disappointed at first, but by the end of the process, prefer to start with a minimal, base system, and add each module individually, with the easier visibility to the “full menu” provided by Synaptic.

    • #2583376

      My little suggestions from what I do

      by sepius ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      I built my first server in 98 to share the dial out for my home network. Redhat 6 i think, and it got rewted in about 4 weeks, never let that happen again.
      I have always used webmin and VNC for remote access and tools. VNC is used for the KDE apps I use like K3B.
      Word of warning though. Webmin is not in ubuntu’s base repositories, you will need to download it or add a repository with it. I have only just moved to Xubuntu and discovered this, which I think is poor, but not unexpected, as they do try to maintain a Windows look n feel for easy transition from Windows to Ubuntu. So I would perhaps consider Mandriva or Red Hat instead if you what something that has most tools OOB and access to a broader repo without having to add more.

    • #2583336

      Update 6-8-2007

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      I went kind of nuts. I downloaded all 22 ISOs in the Debian distribution and burned CDs of the entire set.

      I actually used BitTorrent for most of them but to tell you the truth I didn’t find it actually very reliable. I had to quite often rebuild the outgoing torrent to kick start the downloads again even though I had the software on Auto to detect the stream capacities.

      When it got down to disks 18 or 19 I just downloaded them using ftp and it actually was a lot faster per disk. I had my system set to deliver streams to the Internet but I didn’t see much outbound traffic at all.

      Kind of reminded me of my old days when I had a TechNet subscription and you’d have 20 to 30 color coded CDROMs in a binder of every freaking service pack and utility Microsoft published for every version of Windows they supported or didn’t. The trick was to hold onto the really old CDs so that when MS killed support for Win95 for instance, you could still pull out the service pack and fix bugs on somebody’s home Win95 computer etc. Especially important to keep your boss happy!

      I will be going through the Debian CDs looking for gems to try out.

      Bacula for Linux looks to be a perfect match for the Winows Home Server desktop backup feature with the added fillip of being able to do BOTH Linux and Windows desktops! They also promise bare metal restores.

      I’m especially thankful for all of the suggestions and have been grabbing looks at them as soon as I can and I’ve downloaded most of them. I also especially like the lack of rancor and flaming attacks.

      Sometimes going through the distros gives me the feeling that I’m “re-inventing the wheel” but then that could be said of Microsoft as well! The importance though is that it is being done, that I am learning a lot of new (to me at least) technology and gaining a perspective from another angle of how to do some really useful things for home systems.

      • #2583327

        Too much money spent for a simple solution

        by jk of seattle ·

        In reply to Update 6-8-2007

        Just Unsling a $90 NSLU2 and load/configure the required apps. The how to’s are at;
        The NLSU2 server can be accessed from any machine on your home network. The NSLU2 requires a USB HD. It’s been a great home server for many years.

        • #2583287

          The URL is busted,

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Too much money spent for a simple solution

          Even trying to navigate back to root of the URL comes up as busted.

        • #2584653

          Try This

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to The URL is busted,

        • #2584603

          Yes that one worked

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Try This

          The biggest problem with using that particular open source project is that it is completely dependent on a group of specific pieces of hardware. Instead of a generic system like i386, PowerPC or even a generic version of the ARM9 (a version of which I believe is used in a number of Linksys products) you need to find 1 of a small number of boxes. In 18 months to 2 years, that hardware will not be available except as salvage or surplus.

        • #2585012

          For anyone willing to test our SOHO

          by johnson12 ·

          In reply to Yes that one worked

          Please have a look at our site if you are interested in our server.

        • #2584965

          Thank You

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to For anyone willing to test our SOHO

          although I did not see a download link. Is this a sign-up only option for now?

        • #2584822

          Thank You tjohnson

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to Thank You

          Thank You for the peer mail.

          “The download link is in the server thread on the forum. The other team members
          took a vote and all agreed to require membership to test. Sorry”

          You should not need to apologize for that. It was a descision made, and not too harsh of one. I was just curious.
          Although I have no immediate plans to build a home server, I have been following this discussion in interest. This is the reason I did not create an account to test downloading it.

        • #2584893

          I will be more than happy to test it.

          by 845 ·

          In reply to For anyone willing to test our SOHO

          I will give it a try for you.

    • #2584823

      I’m doing much the same thing.

      by doug ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      I have a Windows 2003 server at home runing Exchange, IIS, Active Directory, and DNS. It’s getting too hard to qualify as a Microsoft Partner, so I’m in the process of moving that all to Linux.

      The other problem I have with Microsoft is I want to put together a back up server.

      Here’s the thing. People seen to think that a home server doesn’t need to be as powerful as a business computer, but at home you need e-mail and file storage and everything else a business needs.

      • #2586115

        Doug, I think you will find a lot more to like about Linux

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to I’m doing much the same thing.

        then the Microshafties seem to want to believe.

        I wouldn’t wish Exchange Server of any variety on anyone. Ex 5.5 was bad enough and that was long before the idea of a “collaboration” server got grafted onto Exchange!

        A long time ago I tried a 120 day “drop-dead ” demo disk for Small Business Server and tried using Exchange as a “family email server”. It was a pain in the posterior, all I ended up doing was “bringing my work home” since I was also running an Exchange Server at work.

        There are a number of Linux email packages, some of them more than adequate to serve as a personal or family email server. Although the plan at first is not to implement an email termination or congregating server on my version of a Linux based Home Server, that’s an obvious extension especially for multiple accounts for multiple users in the family. That becomes even more useful when you can add filtering and spam rejection packages that are not Windows based.

        • #2584332

          I’d be curious to hear more about Exchange alternatives

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Doug, I think you will find a lot more to like about Linux

          One of my wishlist items is building a central mail/contacts/calendars/tasks server for the family; we all work off one calendar and can access it indavidually through any machine in the house.

          If I was still working for an MCSP I’d be running Exchange at home for education but I don’t have that lovely binder of install disks or the license costs associated with a baught copy. (I’m out of highschool, the illicit suppy channels are no longer acceptable.)

          Back to the topic though, what are your ideas about setup of a Exchange Server functions? Any ideas on how to cover off the four data types in one location? It would have to support *nix, osX and Windows based clients. Ideally, palmOS also.

          I started looking at openXchange but wasn’t motivated to go through the compile on my clean work station just to test it out. It’s about time I cut a custom VM to check it out though. Any other big name competitors to Exchange seem to include enterprise pricing; my issue isn’t paying for software, it’s paying an enterprise fee for home users.

        • #2584178

          I might have gotten a little too verbose

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to I’d be curious to hear more about Exchange alternatives

          There are alternative MAIL servers. But the other functions might have to be pieced together.

          Evolution is an email client for Exchange server. It started out as Ximian and they were going to release an open source Exchange-like server. I do not know where that project went . But there is likely something else out there that should work.

          My experience was that Exchange was way-over-kill for home use. For collaborative calenders have you thought of just using a spread sheet with 31 sheets. Time on the left hand side, Family member’s names in the columns?

          Make a template with thirty one sheets, one for each day of the month. Nice thing about using the spreadsheet, size of rows and columns can be changed to allow more detail if necessary.

          Notes can be passed back and forth using a Wiki or a blog

        • #2584053

          Home use of Exchange.

          by doug ·

          In reply to I might have gotten a little too verbose

          I really disagree. I use Exchange at home more than I do at work. My cell phone numbers are in it, I have reminders scheduled sometimes a year in the advance. I have e-mails from several domains feeding into it.

          And I’ve heard this overkill idea before, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Exchange takes about a week to setup, working maybe a half hour a day or so. That’s not bad for a hobby. After that it’s painless. I haven’t been in my Exchange server for years.

          The thing is, I want to be doing more at home than at work. I’m not the Microsoft guy at work responsible for Exchange. But as the senor IT guy it really impresses people that I know my way around it.

          That’s the thing. I don’t want to be messing with less than business quality software at home. I want at least the chance that something I learned at home benefited my professional life.

        • #2586292

          yes, overkill

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Home use of Exchange.

          “[i]And I’ve heard this overkill idea before, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Exchange takes about a week to setup, working maybe a half hour a day or so. That’s not bad for a hobby.[/i]”

          By contrast, using the built-in MTA and calendar utility of a FreeBSD system, combined with about fifteen minutes of script and configuration setup, I get the functionality you described as taking a week at half an hour a day.

          “[i]I haven’t been in my Exchange server for years.[/i]”

          I hope you at least install security patches. I’m sure you do — but in case you don’t, you might want to look into that.

          “[i]I’m not the Microsoft guy at work responsible for Exchange. But as the senor IT guy it really impresses people that I know my way around it.[/i]”

          That’s easily the best justification I’ve ever heard for running Exchange at home. I find, in my life, that it’s more valuable to know how to achieve functionality much like Exchange’s with lighter-weight tools (preferably tools built into the base system) — but obviously our career paths are somewhat different.

        • #2586258


          by grax ·

          In reply to Home use of Exchange.

          ?Exchange takes about a week to setup, working maybe a half hour a day or so.?

          Great, and you?re an IT Professional. What chance, Joe Public? That is the market for “Xwindowsjunkie Home Server”. It clearly wouldn?t do for you. I dare say there would be ample scope to upgrade the basic Server should one wish to.

        • #2586749

          WTF are you all doing?

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to KISS

          “Exchange takes about a week to setup, working maybe a half hour a day or so”

          Why? are you compiling it from scratch?

          I know Exchange is not the most reliable program in the world, but if your AD domaine and dns are in order, exchange installs pretty much in about 45 min. Setting it up properly can take a few hours to a few days depending on the complexity….

          Now, a multi tiered system with many front end servers and a back end cluster could take a week….

          But either way, exchange has to have AD, which means a home domaine, which means windows server. Massive overkill for a semi-stable program.

        • #2586189

          Actually that’s a fairly intelligent approach.

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Home use of Exchange.

          In the respect of an “educational” or as a professional SOHO system it makes sense. I used the 120 day demos to learn the systems for practically everything I got certified for. In that respect Microsoft is extremely intelligent about their system software.

          I had Exchange 120 day demo disks for the system I ran at home. I made absolutely sure that whatever I learned at home, I tested more than twice at home before I modified the machine at work. I had to completely re-install Exchange Server more than once at home! I can’t say that I was ever an expert on Exchange but I managed to get certs on all of the other major NT 4.0 and Win2K systems.

          I finally got out of the IT business and moved back into engineering systems by changing companies! So I have made an extra effort to not let anybody know that I know that much about IT!

        • #2586669

          My test box is in a VM

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Actually that’s a fairly intelligent approach.

          I keep a VM build as close to my native boot install for the same reason. If I make a change, update the system or install some bit of software I’m curious about and it doesn’t break the VM and is what I need then it goes onto the native host OS; I refresh to previous snapshot on the VM if it doesn’t leaving test and live systems ready for the next experiment.

        • #2586465

          I had considered a Wiki or shared spreadsheet

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to I might have gotten a little too verbose

          I’m also not dealing with tech savvy family members. My wife won’t use it unless she doesn’t notice the difference between using iCal now and later with it feeding off a shared calendar. My little one will be fine but her days of computer use are still far off. My systems are where things get more complicated. Just supporting the *nix programs is easy but the challenge is syncronizing supported functions across *nix, Windows and PalmOS (PalmOS currenly needing a second tier sync from Outlook once it’s synced to the central calendar).

          I think the server component of the Evolution is one of Novell’s retail packages so it falls outside my budget like an Exchange license. Either would be overkill for some homes but they’d make use seamless for the other family members and have better luck supporting whatever crazy puzzle I take interest in.

        • #2584065

          Exchange alternatives.

          by doug ·

          In reply to I’d be curious to hear more about Exchange alternatives

          This is what I’m currently looking at.

          You have to add a mail server tho, but I actually think that’s an interesting arrangement.

          I would be very interested in any information you pick up on Linux alternatives to Exchange.

        • #2586463

          damn.. do they package a .RPM?

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Exchange alternatives.

          I just glanced down the feature list but I’ll give the website a more detailed read after work and let you know what further I find.

        • #2586188

          Yes here’s the URL

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to damn.. do they package a .RPM?

          The Fedora install has an .rpm

          Looks very interesting to me as well but “off topic” for me at least for a while. Looks like a very interesting system. Lots of modules and features that I doubt I’d ever need at home, like the phone switchboard!

        • #2586160

          Speaking of groupware . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Yes here’s the URL

          There’s a metric arseload of web-based open source “groupware” software out there. If your users are as happy with web-based email as with POP or IMAP email, you might consider looking into those options. They’re pretty much all written in PHP and use MySQL on the back end, which has its ups and its downs of course, and tend to be a breeze to work with. Things like more.groupware, eGroupWare, and phpGroupWare come to mind (two of which are available on Debian, all three on FreeBSD, in the software management archives of the respective systems).

          For a more traditional (non-web-centric) server setup, options like Kolab are out there, too. You can also roll your own solution pretty easily, often requiring nothing more than base system services and utilities plus a few glue-code scripts. Servers like OpenXchange are only necessary if you actually need Exchange compatibility.

          Anyway, I guess the moral of the story is that your options are nearly endless, especially if you don’t specifically need Exchange compatibility.

        • #2586621

          I’m banging my head against eGroupware presently

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Speaking of groupware . . .

          It was an accidental discovery while seeing if my distro included OpenGroupware. The project website claims that eGroupware will also support sync with iCal and other client applications. I’ll get a test system running as a browser interface then start branching out to the specific client apps we use at home.

          Mysql is killing me though. I started fighting with it two weeks back while rebuilding my “toolbox” machine and including the latest msf. msf runs fine except for returning obscure errors when trying to read/write through db_mysql. Now with trying to get eGroupware working, I’m able to see a more descriptive error telling me “1001 can not connect. Please confirm if server is running.” (or something similar anyhow)

          This is pretty much the same post as moments ago in this same thread but after three weeks, I have some ill will towards Mysql, Postgresl and sqlite; all of which seem to install but don’t actualy talk to anything trying to use them.

          I guess Mysql is the one to pick out of the bunch. Now to spend a romantic evening with google and the search term “mandriva 2007.1 mysql setup”

        • #2586626

          it had me sold at Outlook/iCal/Firebird/PalmOS

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Yes here’s the URL

          First thing I did after getting home yesterday was cut a VM for a specialized server build. Before downloading the RPMs, I checked the Mandriva package manager and didn’t find openGroupware but it does come with eGroupware.

          I’ll give eGroupware a go and let you know how it is. I’m checking it out first since it’s already vetted and included in the distro but I won’t have any hesitation about scrubbing it and downloading OpenGroupware or cutting an OpenGroupware VM for comparison.

          So far my issue is Mysql not accepting connections. A howto I stumbled across says:

          urpmi mysql
          services mysqld start
          mysql -U username databaseserver

          .. and I get “error 1001, can not connect to database server”

          BAH! So tonight will be learning how to install a mysql server unless someone out there has ten steps or less for installing Mysql on Mandriva 2007.1

          Once Mysql is working I can go through the config setup for eGroupware and actually see what it does. At present, I can only confirm that the PHP runs clean within the httpd deamon.

      • #2586114


        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to I’m doing much the same thing.


    • #2586193

      Update 6-13-2007, Windows Home Server RC1, Not!

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      Since I don’t make money working on Linux, I’ve gotten into a bit of a time crunch and so I apologize for my update delays.

      Bacula has such an attractive feature set I think I’m going to break my own word and build it. I found a couple of Help pages that will certainly make the process a lot more painless.

      HOWEVER, this isn’t the method the typical USER is going to be able to handle. I’m not going to expect everybody to whip out their C, or C++ compiler and build an application for their own installation!

      If I can believe what I read on the Windows Home Server website, RC1 has been released and I didn’t make the cut for the release. So I’ll be building the Linux Home Server without a Microsoft product to compare it to. I’ll check with the guys at work and see if any of them got into the WHS RC1 or beta program.

      In any case the comparison really isn’t that much of an issue now since it seems as if it will be a lot more interesting to combine Linux applications together instead.

      More to come!

      • #2586158

        Bacula strikes in the dead of night. . . .

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Update 6-13-2007, Windows Home Server RC1, Not!

        There’s a GUI Bacula management interface built using the wxWidgets graphical toolkit that runs in both X Window System and MS Windows Explorer environments. You might find it’s an effective backup tool for end-users after all. It’s also available both through the ports tree of FreeBSD and the APT archives of Debian, so no manual source code wrangling needs to happen to get it installed on the server. [url=][b]Here[/b][/url] is some information on the MS Windows installer for the client software, too.

        disclaimer: I’ve never used the graphical management interface. I have no idea how it works, or how easy it is to use without shooting yourself in the foot. I’m just pointing out the possibility of it being exactly what you need.

      • #2586774

        Compiling an application

        by doug ·

        In reply to Update 6-13-2007, Windows Home Server RC1, Not!

        When I installed my SuSE server I fet the same way about installing the C compiler that you do. Who wants to mess with that?

        However, it seems the compiling applications is a fact of life in the Linux world. Very little seems to want to install without running make. One of the reasons I’m building a new Linux server is to install the compiler and make sure I’m set up to recompile the kernel when needed.

        • #2586668

          Compile doesn’t matter in the long run

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Compiling an application

          The whole point of this process, as I see it, is to develope a working platform with the correct services installed and configed. Once that is complete, creating the appropriate install routine can be accomplished by another interested party that may have more knowledge of the process. I envision this similar to creating a custom live cd from an existing linux install.

          So, from an end user point of view, the server should be installed, and a script auto run to fill in appropriate config info, and then its all done. All thats left is to run security patches as they appear (kernel updates should be avoided so as to not break any thing). Once set up, there should be no real need for most end users to compile. But, untill that unified install process, custom compiles will be a normal state for any multi-purpose server.

        • #2586604

          kernel compiling

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Compiling an application

          That’s the good stuff. I don’t look for things to compile from source but I do like to specify my processor in the kernel then boot the custome compile.

          So far I’ve only needed gcc, make and the kernel source/kernel header packages installed. gcc and make both include there own dependencies handled by the package manager. It should also go in easy as an add-on rather than rebuilding your system just for that function; I’m not sure what distro your using though so it may be different.

        • #2586544

          Uh . . . what?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Compiling an application

          “[i]However, it seems the compiling applications is a fact of life in the Linux world. Very little seems to want to install without running make.[/i]”

          I spent several years using Linux systems with only one occasion where I needed to compile something I hadn’t written myself to install it. That includes kernels — never had to compile a kernel for Linux.

          What are you doing wrong that causes you to have to compile stuff all the time?

        • #2583809

          Compiling in Linux

          by doug ·

          In reply to Uh . . . what?

          I’m using SuSE 9.3 right now, but a lot of the stuff I wanted to install won’t because I didn’t install the gcc compiler.

          One of the reasons I’m setting up another Linux box is to make sure I install all the compiling software so I can get the applications I need to run. The two main ones I’m having problems with are Truecrypt and NTX, for remote access.

        • #2583751

          won’t gcc install without a rebuild?

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Compiling in Linux

          Especially with Suse, you should be able to simply install gcc through the applicable package manager without need to scrub and build from scratch. I’m not discouraging a reinstall for fun as I learn something new every time but if it’s just gcc you need then see if you can simply add it through the package manager in either GUI or command prompt. It could save you a half day if installing from scratch isn’t fun for you.


          I reinstalled my desktop after Mandriva 2007.1 was released. As with every install, I put in only the minimum allowing my system to expand organically; needs and new needs get added in as discovered while “chaff” from the last install get’s left out.

          I’m installing the latest kernel package and VMware server package. This is when I discover that I’ve not yet installed gcc and the kernel headers. I pop open drakrpm (GUI rpm manager), select a few checkboxes and gcc is on the desktop with all dependencies. A moment after that, I’m recompiling my kernel; only because I specify my cpu type for whatever miniscule advantages it provides. After that, VMware installed clean including building all custom modules for my kernel.

          Last night I sat down to watch a video only to find that I’ve not yet installed VLC since the last rebuild. This is my preferred program for video media so “urpmi vlc” at my closest terminal prompt and moments later, the video is playing.

          Suse should be able to add any missing components in this same manner without requiring a system reinstall. I don?t know the personality traits of the Suse distribution specifically but there must be someone else reading who can give you the command line or five GUI steps to get gcc in place.

        • #2583688

          Installing apps.

          by doug ·

          In reply to won’t gcc install without a rebuild?

          Well, it’s encouraging that you’ve had no problems installing appliacations on Linux. I usually run into the “missing dependencies” bit, or when I run it it complains about missing something in the kernel.

          But if you’ve figured it out I’m sure I can! 🙂

          A critical aspect of moving my Windows 2003 server to Linux is rewriting my ASP pages to Java Studio Creator. So I’m afraid to recomplle the kernel on this machine, which would interfere with my rewrite. I’m actually planning on building up a new machine. I’ve got one specced out with 3ware raid for around 1200.

        • #2583673

          I’ve had issues in past

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Installing apps.

          Actually, I’ve eaten at least three distribution installs by not using the distro’s perfered packages resulting in dependency hell. This was back before Red Hat pulled support for .mp3 and other “questionable” things out of the enterprise distribution.

          “oh, program X needs static library Y to compile? Sure, I’ll add that in. Oh, look, it broke all this other stuff that needed the previous version which was incompatible with this one. Guess it’s time to format and start over.”

          Actually, this was what made me start downloading only src.rpm then compile the .rpm for isntall (rpm –rebuild). If it would build, I new I had the dependencies in place. I’ve stopped that for a number of reasons.

          I’ve since prefered to stick with the distribution’s perfered package type unless there is reason to do more. Even if an rpm is not included in the repositories, it’ll likely pull any dependencies from the repositories.

      • #2595806

        Windows Home Server

        by jaytmoon ·

        In reply to Update 6-13-2007, Windows Home Server RC1, Not!

        Just a little update, WHS RC is available as a public down load right now. Just fill out the “request” form for a valid Key, then dl the files. The only down side is the release is good till december ’07, then ends. I gues MS will be releasing a retail ver by then.

    • #2586165

      Software Selects for the Linux Home Server 6-14-2007

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      The underlying OS looks to be Debian 4.0.

      At this point it looks like the major server applications I will be using will include:

      Bacula — for system backups, incremental backups and bare metal restores

      Samba — obviously for Windows compatibility. But not so obvious, operate it in Domain Controller mode for both Windows and Linux logon account control eliminating the need for a Win2K3 Server.

      Apache, obvious choice.

      MySql, again, it seems as if 90% of the applications out there need this as a dependency.

      GNU C, C++ compilers

      FireFox 2.0x for the web browser interface. It has an especially consistent appearance across both Linux and Windows desktops.

      A DNS tertiary server coupled with a DHCP server, no choices here yet. Samba offers a DHCP service coupled with a WINS server (a good thing to have for Windows boxes) that might become the defacto DHCP service.

      LDAP, I’m not completely convinced that I need this service in a small network. It might come up as a dependency at some point.

      Some sort of Digital Video Recorder package with a video capture card will be a secondary upgrade item. Although it might be cheaper to buy a a DVD player with a digital output port on it instead and just use it to feed digital video to the hard drive.

      I personally think that that Remote Access from an Internet location into the home network desktops is asking for trouble. I will not implement that on the first iteration of the system. Likewise serving digital media files to the Internet is again asking for trouble. DMZ’s were made for these situations. I can’t see most home owners wanting to invite worldwide hackers into their home virtually.

      Using Kerberos, RADIUS and VPN technology for remote access and/or control is a possibility.

      I can see it setup to download RSS, email, news feeds from specific sites, weather maps and forecasts from weather services, traffic updates etc.

      MythTV is definitely going to be a project for the future and most likely on another computer.

      • #2586157

        re: remote access to desktops

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Software Selects for the Linux Home Server 6-14-2007

        I tend to wonder how Microsoft thinks that’s going to work, anyway. Internet bandwidth is far from limitless, and can get downright scarce depending on where you’re connected. I’d love to see the looks on some Home Server users’ faces the first time they have to wait more than two minutes for Internet Explorer to render when opened remotely.

        • #2586753

          Remote Access

          by doug ·

          In reply to re: remote access to desktops

          To me remote access is one of the most important functions of a home server. Right now I am posting this from my home server that I am terminal served into from work.

          I want to keep everything in one spot, on my home server. Whereever I am, I can start RDP, go to my home server, and do programming, e-mail, word processing, or whatever. I don’t want to have to lug around a huge powerful laptop that can run a java IDE, or install all my apps on two or three computers so I can keep up with work at different locations.

          Right now I have 20 users at another office running all their apps thru RDP over a T1 line. That’s 1.5 megabyte. Almost everyone nowadays has a line that fast running into their home.

        • #2586737

          Not all bandwidth is equal

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Remote Access

          “over a T1 line. That’s 1.5 megabyte. Almost everyone nowadays has a line that fast running into their home.”

          T1 is a synchronous connection. 90% or more of home connections are asynchronous, and as such, tend to bog down badly if you have many out going connections.

          Example. I have 5 mbps cable at home, but thats download, it only has 256 kbps upload, only enough for e-mail and conrol info for tcp/ip really. The 5 mbps download speed is a total gimmick, as you can never get a single file to download at that speed, and with the upload speeds caped, your control info gets choked out on multi-user, multi-process uploads such as p2p, web servers etc. On a normal day, I can brows the net nice and quick. If I set up a bittorrent download, caped at 45kbps up, 200 kbps down, no more the 200 connections, and let er rip, if I check my rouer, it still has 60% of its ram free, and is only using about 20% of its processor. So, the router is not the choke point. I attempt to browse the net, and google takes 30 sec to load, my upstream bandwidth was choked off. i can do the same experiment at work, and it does not slow down my web browsing at all. Cable vs T1. Now all this is just my experience, but it seems to play out with others I have talked to as well.

        • #2586563

          Remote Access

          by doug ·

          In reply to Not all bandwidth is equal

          Well, cable sucks. That’s why I use DSL. 🙂

          RDP doesn’t use much bandwidth, tho. The 256K upload speed on your cable would be plenty of bandwidth for terminal server.

          Again, I’m using it right now. I like to keep all my stuff in one place. I really consider remote access essential to a home server.

        • #2585356

          I guess that is a personal opinion

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to Remote Access

          I like cable Internet. Although the more people on the line causes more slowness.
          It used to be faster on average than it is now though. When hardly anyone around me used it. Now everyone does, and although the bandwidth has increased twice and is 4x faster than it was, I suffer from bad performance at certain times in the day.

          But, overall it is usually much faster than the current DSL offerings in my area last time I checked.

        • #2585345

          I like my cable too w2

          by danlm ·

          In reply to I guess that is a personal opinion

          I never have had experience with DSL, but I’ve talked to enough people that don’t like it. Cox cable treats me right, and they have some nice bundle packages.

          Other then right after work when I get home, I really notice no slow downs. I have never had a 30 second delay on a web page unless the page was hosted by a crap server. Well, thats not true. hehehehe, TR sucks some days. But everyone complains also, so I know its not my connection.


        • #2585220

          For mine

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to I like my cable too w2

          for a few hours after work, it is usually slow. I mean really slow sometimes. But I am usually outside and/or doing something else anyway. later in the eve, like when I come in it is usually fine.
          And no, I have no intention of downgrading to DSL either. Comcast works fine for me (but it is expensive).

        • #2583803

          DSL vs Cable

          by doug ·

          In reply to I guess that is a personal opinion

          I had cable back when you could get fixed IP addresses from Cablevision. I then switched to DSL when Cablevision changed the infrastructure in some sort of corporate deal and the new equipment wouldn’t allow fixed IP’s.

          I ended up prefering DSL. The speed is more regular, you’re not sharing the line with everyone in the neighborhood. At time cable is much faster, but then other times it would bog down for hours.

        • #2583711

          True !!

          by now left tr ·

          In reply to Not all bandwidth is equal

          My home connection has an advertised download speed of around 20Mbps (only goes 16-18) and an upload speed of 768Kbs (only goes around 600)!

        • #2586542

          I use remote access for my home systems all the time.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Remote Access

          Of course, I’m using SSH for a remote console, not trying to run GUI apps over the Internet. Holy crap, a 256K upstream cap for GUI desktop remote access over the Internet would be like bamboo shoots under the fingernails.

        • #2597197

          use Webmin … its web based …

          by sepius ·

          In reply to I use remote access for my home systems all the time.

          I use webmin on all my systems, and one over the DMZ for remote administration. I always use a different admin account on the webmin to add some security, but I have not been hacked in years. The other reason I use it is so I dont need a monitor on the system once its set and running.
          I have used VNC over dialup and on 256ADSL. not really much point doing that actually as webmin will cover most admin, but possible.
          I strongly recomend it.

        • #2597186

          For administration, that’s fine.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to use Webmin … its web based …

          I was speaking of remote access to applications on desktop machines and the like, though — not just sysadmin capabilities.

        • #2596964

          Remote access …. yeah gotta have that …

          by sepius ·

          In reply to For administration, that’s fine.

          Some time back, webmin supported running VNC from the browser, I used it heaps, impressed many with full web access to remote machines, but in the last few versions webmin have since dropped this. I have not really been that stressed by the omission, I use VNC on all my systems have done for around 6 years i guess. My media centre has it and it is used for music, vids and Azuareus (or however it is spelled). I used to run 3 clients on the old dual 450, but have moved on from there.
          Oh and in case you are wondering, I use VNC because it is cross platform, My partner and daughter can use it on either a Linux box or Windows, so just one thing to teach.
          I would prefer to do all from the browser, but I have other interests now and have not really pushed to find a remote GUI client that runs from the browser that is not MS.

        • #2583710

          What about using an SSL VPN

          by now left tr ·

          In reply to use Webmin … its web based …

          such as sslexplorer?

        • #2583671

          VPN vs Terninal Services

          by doug ·

          In reply to What about using an SSL VPN

          With terminal services or a program like VNC, the gui desktop is actually running to on the server, not locally. So all that’s getting transferred over the internet is the changed pixels on the screen. That’s why it can fast on even slower internet connections.

          With a VNC you’re going to be loadling large files over the internet.

        • #2583792

          Remote access

          by doug ·

          In reply to I use remote access for my home systems all the time.

          Microsoft’s terminal services has no problem running GUI apps over 256k lines. Why should Linux be any different?

          A lot of people like VNC. I’m convinced, tho, that I should be able to run X-windows over the NET. Cygwin seems a bit slow over low speed connections, so I’m trying to get NX installed.

        • #2583772


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Remote access

          “[i]Microsoft’s terminal services has no problem running GUI apps over 256k lines. Why should Linux be any different?[/i]”

          It’s not any different — and if you’ve never had any problems running GUI apps over 256k advertised speed upstream across the Internet, you’re either absurdly lucky, very inexperienced with running GUI apps over 256k advertised speed upstream across the Internet, or lying — especially with MS Windows.

        • #2583705

          I’ve had some nightmares

          by now left tr ·

          In reply to wow

          using a windows GUI over a VPN from home in the past. Server end was on a 2Mbps leased line and the other my old 4Mbps Cable Broadband!!

          MSTS has got better over the last few years however.

        • #2617548

          NX server

          by hillman.d9 ·

          In reply to re: remote access to desktops

          I use FreeNX on Ubuntu as an application server. It’s fast over a slow connection, doesn’t drive me crazy like Remote Desktop and is pretty secure. I think this is one area where Linux has Windows beat. XWindows was designed for network use from the beginning. We use Terminal Services on Win2k3 at work and I really hate it. The licensing issue is a real pain and it’s a bandwidth hog.

        • #2617359

          Free NX

          by doug ·

          In reply to NX server

          Yep. I’m posting this over a FreeNX
          connection thru a DSL line to my home SuSE
          10.2 server. It’s plenty fast enough to do
          work on.

    • #2585242

      Well whatta you know! Update 6-14-2007

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      From the wonders never cease department…

      Got home today and found an email in my box from the Gorilla in Redmond telling me that I was one of the select few tens or hundreds of thousands that are allowed to test RC1 of Windows Home Server.

      Guess they called my bluff, or similar sorts of mutterings. Yes I downloaded it and all the other bits and pieces so NOW I have to test it even if I was beginning to really not want to.

      In any case it will be interesting to see what happens. From the propaganda on the download site it looks like the feature set isn’t much different from what I skimmed out of the advertising chum on the WHS website.

      Day at work was a killer, put in 12 hours, some of it spent teaching screwdriver jockies which is a lot harder than it seems.

      I’ll get a fresh start tomorrow night and will report if the ISO was actually possible to burn onto DVD, yes it was at least i GB of ISO with 2 other smaller isos for 300 and I think about 30 MB. So it will be a hot time with NERO tomorrow night. BCENU ( Think The Prisoner!)

    • #2598296

      Slaving over a hot DVD/CD Burner making WHS-Stew

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      Well it looks as if everything for Windows Home Server RC1 got burned onto DVD-R and CD-R’s OK. Discs are all readable.

      Then I realized that my Celeron test machine doesn’t have a DVD reader! Now I have a bit of a reason to delay the inevitable for a while longer.

      Yes that’s right, the WHS RC1 was a DOWNLOAD! (Gee I wonder where they got that idea?) I think that this is a first for MS. It is NOT available on disks for order, at least that I was able to determine. The ISO for the install on the server is a DVD image a little over 1.1GB. No there weren’t options for a couple of CD-ISOs instead.

      A second ISO of about 296 MB is a Windows bare metal restore disk that probably loads Windows PE (Pre-install Environment, fancy name for No-GUI Windows) and talks sweet to the established WHS and restores the current backup image from there.

      Finally the third ISO was a 37 MB image of a “Connector” installation disk that you would use to set the Windows’ ONLY client systems up to connect to the local WHS. This method has been often used in the past for installing Exchange server clients, Proxy Server, ISA clients, and Active Directory installs on NT 4.0 workstations and Win9X clients of an Active Directory Domain. You’ll notice that most of the products I mentioned are all before “push-technologies” that Microsoft has produced in the past.

      Remote Terminal Services would be an ideal means to make this work. But I’m willing to bet that the default security settings of SP2 and the hundreds of quick fixes since then probably won’t allow MS’ Terminal Service to work at installing the software.

      Trying to keep it all in the family, I downloaded it to my Windows XP SP2+ system. I used Nero and followed the advice given me on the website specifically about Nero so I shouldn’t have any issues there. The test drives I will be using all comply with the recommended sizes and with the 512 MB RAM I’m ok there as well.

      I haven’t tried installing the ISOs yet and I will wait until I’m able to do it with a DVD burner installed in the Celeron test machine. I’m very loathe to give up my Little Debby Linux box though (currently running on the same Celeron) so I think I will resurrect my old 1.8 GHz P4 and do an Debian 4.0 install on that one so I can keep learning more about Debian even as I’m testing the 2 Home Server installs.

      Setting up the Debian client will give me 2 different Linux clients (the other is SUSE 10.2) to connect to both types of Home Servers and that might be instructive as well. If I see any significant differences in performance I might try using Ubuntu and Fedora since I have current ISO releases of those as well.

      I do have another XP Pro client and a Win2K Pro client (my kids machines) so there will be plenty of clients to beat on both HServers.

      Having dual-booted Linux and Windows using GRUB before, I do not see much of an issue of doing that on my Celeron test box for the 2 Home Server installs. That should allow me to try the same functions almost back-to-back after rebooting from one server to the other. It will also give me a good idea what will happen when the client suddenly experiences the server going off-line!

      More to come.

    • #2597188

      I’m late to this…

      by cactus pete ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      Sounds like you’re just about done with your experiment, but if you want to retry after having some experience, or want to test on one of your other boxes…

      I didn’t read ALL the posts, so I don’t know what all was suggested… here are a few things I’ve used in that past, in which you may be interested:

      MythTv (favored)

      I’ll add more after I have some time to digest your … ample writing.

      • #2597142

        A very polite comment! LOL(:<))

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to I’m late to this…

        Yes I tend to run at the mouth as well. I’ve done a lot of teaching and manual writing at work because I don’t like taking service calls from our field techs in the middle of the night. My first question is: “Did you read the manual?” If they tell me that they haven’t read the manual, I hang up on them. That usually gets the point across. We publish all of our service manuals on a website that they can reach from anyplace in the world with an Internet connection.

        I’m finding out that I’ve just begun my Linux Home Server experiment. Just got the competition’s (Windows Home Server) RC1 disks burned last night. In between errands today I’ll be bringing up Billyboy (WHS) and then cloning Debra (Little Debbie, Debian 4.0) into another partition on the same drive. Assuming I don’t screw things up, by late Sunday I should have a dual booting Linux/Windows Home Server system. I’m hoping that this will allow me to do semi-side-by-side comparison tests on the same hardware. That’s when I’m hoping the fun really starts.

        • #2597083

          naming things

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to A very polite comment! LOL(:<))

          “[i]In between errands today I’ll be bringing up Billyboy (WHS) and then cloning Debra (Little Debbie, Debian 4.0) into another partition on the same drive. Assuming I don’t screw things up, by late Sunday I should have a dual booting Linux/Windows Home Server system.[/i]”

          Are you going to call the whole setup [url=][b]Sybil[/b][/url]?

        • #2597053

          I guess I deserved that! Ha!

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to naming things

          I guess I will if she turns into a Beowulf cluster and starts talking to her-selves!

        • #2597026

          Wow, I’ve not heard Sybil referenced in well over five years or more

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to naming things

          cheers for the reminder though.

        • #2597000

          That’s ’cause I’m an old codger . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Wow, I’ve not heard Sybil referenced in well over five years or more

          . . . and thus remember these things.

          Don’t ask what I had for lunch yesterday, though. I don’t recall.

    • #2596974

      Down into the Abyss! I’ve started the 4 color banner.Update

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      I haven’t seen Pirates3 but in Pirates 2 I remember a critter called the Kraken, a octopus/squid thing that devoured entire ships. OK, imagine a computer’s hard drives being ships. The Kraken in the WHShip eats all of the ships and you have to have one that’s as big as 65 really Big Guns or the Kraken stalls. What’s interesting though is that if the ships are flying the Penguin flag, it can’t do anything to the ship, not even wipe it off the ocean!

      Sure glad I didn’t plan to do anything meaningful this weekend. The Kraken reports he’ll be done in 51 minutes but 10 minutes ago, he reported he would be done in 52 minutes. Its definitely a Beta, its got nothing but 50% gray backgrounds (for at least half the time) no attempt at wowing you with pretty wallpaper or color washes.

      Kraken says he’s only 4 years old and that he has a much bigger brother. He kind of surprised me. He burped twice and then came back flying a much prettier flag but then he said he be done in 39 minutes. I’ve seen that before many times and I didn’t believe it then either!

      Kraken’s watch isn’t a very good one. He thought I wasn’t watching when he jumped from 32 minutes to 25 minutes till he’s done. What’s also very odd is that he keeps saying the exact same 6 or 7 things over and over again. Some of his older siblings have at least 15 to 20 different things to say over and over. He has also been a little confused because he tells me he’s one thing then he tells me he’s something else. He’s kind of a patchwork critter.

      He still keeps telling me he’s 4 years old but then he decides to tell me he’s brand new. hmmmm. But I saw some free stuff being flashed on the the little windows that all ended in 6 instead of 7.

      Well Kraken took 1 hour 25 minutes to finish belching and burping. I lost count at 7 or 8 burps. He tells me I have 30 days to turn the key in Davy Jones locker to get 180 days of uninterrupted action. Feels like I’m running an XBOX360 demo game. yipee.

      UPDATE am 6-17-2007

      Kraken didn’t find the 4 year old NIC. Winsta Beta and RC1 did though! We’re talking [u]OLD[/u] stuff here. Pretty desktop though, nice integrated console. BUT outside of eating the entire “ship”, Kraken can’t do anything since he can’t hear or talk!!! No wonder the sniffer never caught a whiff of fish. To ripoff Harlan Ellison, “he has no mouth and he must scream!” Big Whoops for the Redmond Gorilla. This little baby Kraken is not ready for the consumer masses, its a geek-toy.

      By the way, Kraken’s wristwatch is really dumb. Date and Time came up all messed up, looks like it grabbed clock time of build compiler to start the clock.

      Kraken also had to run out a moldy fishNET, and like always it took half an hour to self-compile, really annoying. I have a sneaking suspicion that when I fix Kraken’s ears and mouth, Kraken and the Gorilla will have a long talk and the old stuff might magically disappear.

      • #2596970


        by grax ·

        In reply to Down into the Abyss! I’ve started the 4 color banner.Update

        ?I haven’t seen Pirates3 but in Pirates 2 I remember a critter called the Kraken, a octopus/squid thing that devoured entire ships.?

        The tentacled Sea Monster is a very old myth, particularly in Norse mythology, that must have originated with the very real Giant Squid. The beast was resurrected by Jules Verne in his story ?Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea? and has been much abused since.

        Kraken comes from old German and means an octopus. Linnaeus includes it in his early work (1735). Perhaps the most famous modern use of the name was in John Wyndham?s story ?The Kraken Awakes.? (He?s better known for inventing Triffids.)

        So, does one really want to call the beast ?Kraken?? I prefer ?Sybil?; originally a Greek oracle (soothsayer) but now, more associated with multiple personalities, thanks to that film. On that basis it probably isn?t suitable and you might see this whole project as a monster of your own creation.

        Alternatively, try ?Sophia?; Greek for Wisdom!

        Plenty more to choose from. Must give the “thing” a name.

        • #2596969

          Was going to call him Billyboy but….

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to etymology

          I wasn’t given a chance to name the beast so Kraken it is. If I can find a way to rename him I will.

          Tomorrow Little Debbie gets a new sister. I’m going to do a new install of Debian 4.0 and this time do it from the CD stack I accumulated when I downloaded and installed all 21 CD ISOs of Debian. I will install just the applications I want with the required dependencies.

          My plan is to gleefully wipe the hard drive that Wista RC1 was installed on. What a piece of crap. I got so damn mad at it after an hour trying to do ordinary things, I decided right then that Redmond could take Wista and shove it up their Kraken-hole. I hated that OS even more than I hated XP when it came out. BUT XP at least could be set to “emulate” Win2K. That was NOT an option in Wista, at least in the copy of RC1 I got.

          This time zone is in the deep darkness and I really do need to get to bed.

        • #2596966

          Sybil, Sophia . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to etymology

          If it’s going to have WHS on it, you might want to go with Cassandra — prescient, but nobody believed a word she said.

        • #2596906

          Opening Boxes.

          by grax ·

          In reply to Sybil, Sophia . . .

          From recent posts it seems clear that anything with WHS(Beta) on it will be a ?Kraken?. It sounds just like a slimy tentacled monster. Perhaps we could use ?Cassandra? for when Microsoft come up with a commercially viable offering?

          My suggestions were intended to refer to the finished Linux Home Server. Can?t call it LHS can we? The only names I could find with all three letters are ?Ashley? and ?Shirley?. After that I couldn?t be bothered.

          Following the Greek idea stream; how about Pandora, the ?All Gifted?? I know she?s suffered a bad press with that box business but she does have an alternative, little known name:
          Anesidora, “the one who sends up gifts”.

          Now that?s a fair description of what LHS is supposed to do but I do think ?Anesidora? is a bit of a mouthful.The diminutive, however, is ?Dora? in all its many variations.

        • #2583886


          by richard_p ·

          In reply to Opening Boxes.

          Probably not; Pandora’s box contained all the ills of the world, but it also contained hope.

          Perhaps Arachne … started out as a weaver of brilliant things and turned into a monster.

      • #2583943

        Another reason I like to call it Kraken is because….

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to Down into the Abyss! I’ve started the 4 color banner.Update

        so much of it is under water where you can’t see it! Actually for a consumer that’s good. Because if s/he sees it, s/he might mess with it and things get really messy. Having had to design system images for oilfield personnel with, amazingly, a lot of time on their hands, I can appreciate what they did. The roughnecks and drillers like to poke at all the buttons and things to see what they will do. Not good to do on Windows AnyVersion since you practically have to run it all the time in Admin mode!

    • #2583938

      Kraken’s competition and other random rants Updated Monday AM

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      Well Debbie’s big (but younger twin
      ) sister is up and running. And I’m sorry to say that it actually took twice as long to install compared to Kraken. But that included a lot of time shuffling Debian Binary CDs around. Yes in case you missed it, I downloaded and burned ALL 21 CD’s of the Debian disk family.

      WOW what a load!

      Yes before you guys jump my back and tell me that I could have downloaded just one disk etc etc.

      I wanted to have the entire distribution at my beck and call in case the DSL line trashed out and it has on very few ocassions. Its probably the only thing good about having a PHONE company deliver your data stream. They DO know how to keep the damn thing up and running even in monsoon season. Something that the TV cable ninnies (idiots etc, you catch my drift) haven’t a clue about. Not to mention that the cable idiots don’t seem to understand the technology of a yardgate. Thank goodness my dogs are smarter than the normal cable idiot and stay home even when the idiots leave the gate open. (Sorry, had to get that out. Its been caught down there for awhile!)

      Debbie the server got installed COMPLETELY without straying from the yard so to speak. Everything I wanted to put on the Linux Home Server was already available in the Debian 4.0 distro. WOW! I love it! Eat Plankton Kraken!

      I also played around with IceWeasel (FireFox for Debians) I would have called it SnowFox. There is a breed of Fox called Snow Fox that start out red and brown during the summer and then turn white as snow during the winter. They are really inoffensive and small critters that live above the Arctic circle. They seem to thrive in places larger (think software bloat) creatures don’t exist.

      The one piece of software I know and love completely in the Linux repretory is Samba. I didn’t have to do a thing to make it work but type my user name and password that I use on the remote (next to it in the desk) Windows box.

      Now comes my BIG disappointment with Linux, MySql. I am NOT a database geek, never have been, don’t see much reason to be and hope I never have to turn into one. I will write VB.NET programs before writing SQL queries! Here’s where Linux fans need to do some work. Like in the Windows world, SQL Servers are taking over everything. I discovered that ALL of the applications I wanted to add used MySql except for SAMBA.

      The problem is that all of the other apps had to have MySql not only installed BUT also RUNNING. Whats with that? How about a method to run a script after an event occurs like MySql gets up and running OR do a check to see if MySql IS RUNNING before you try to install?

      I said I would be evaluating this whole process from a USER viewpoint. Please don’t write me flamemail. The next step is to figure out what I F’edup and learn how to fix it so I can get on with the whole thing. I wil be RTFMing it for awhile. Then later I will try to see if I can sequence the build so that MySql gets installed before most everything else that seems to depend on it.

      Update follows:

      OK I found a PDF that is helping somewhat. I managed to get access to my own MySql server. Always nice when the software you installed lets you run it. Something that’s not always a given on the other side of the software world.

      The Big Gorilla does not have a twitch (nose-clamp for horses, used to keep them focused on what’s going on in front, not in back where a guy with a hammer is pounding on their hooves) on the obtuse manual market. But it might be me. I have studiously stayed away from SQL Servers as much as possible. I use them only when I have to. SO the fact that I can read the words and still not a freaking clue what they are really talking about could actually be my fault. I’ll be poking at it.

      I think I have Bacula installed but I’m not sure.

      More to come

      • #2583813

        re: databases

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Kraken’s competition and other random rants Updated Monday AM

        “[i]I said I would be evaluating this whole process from a USER viewpoint. Please don’t write me flamemail.[/i]”

        No worries on that score where I’m concerned — I, too, think the state of databases in the open source world is suboptimal. Of course, it’s simply atrocious [b]everywhere[/b], not just in open source software. Some databases, you have to be insane to use (if you know anything at all about database technology). Some, you have to be some kind of minor expert just to get working. The remaining minority of them, you don’t actually use at all — you pay someone else tens of thousands of dollars to use it for you.

        • #2583785

          Well done ….

          by sepius ·

          In reply to re: databases

          Impressive … I could only get MySQL started via webmin, thats how narrow I have become. I dont have a clue about running it any other way, and I like command line stuff! Yeah … open stuff is a bit raw, but you can do what ever you like with it (and charge $$$$ for it). Have to admit though, my favorite DB ever, was one that came with MS works 3.0 for windows 3.1, I had a list of home brew recipes with grading on quality and critics notes (when friends tried it), my tape and vinyl collection, and it took very little time to set up. How embarrassing to admit that ….

        • #2583684

          DB sure are lacking, MySQL is still kicking me around the network

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to re: databases

          After some learning I’ve got Apache working with MySQL; or atleast the eGroupware part of it (my past DB experience is Access and MS SQL Server which doesn’t really count). I still can’t get any joy from MSF or even gmysqlcc. On this hobby project, I now have to setup a pop mail deamon; any suggestions? I thought Postfix was only the smtp portion of the server; either way, it?s not in eGroupware?s list of recommended pop servers.

          MSF (for ethical use before anyone get’s uppity) still gives errors when I try a db_create so I need to do some searching for a more detailed howto on that. Postgres and sqlite give the same issues but I?ve settled on MySQL since it?s what I have for a backend on other systems.

          gMySQLcc confounds me outright. It?s a GUI front end for managing DB, you?d think that its rpm install would be configured to access properly. It?s a smaller priority though, if I learn MySQL through the minimalist client included with it then I?ll likely understand the issue with the GUI front end client.

          Databases sure are an area that things are lacking but as you point out; that?s not just FOSS, DB everywhere are a mess. Heck, SQL isn?t even standard across databases; it?s like the java of the DB world because everyone has there own flavor.

        • #2598042

          Update: The lan’s nice and tight from the inside

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to DB sure are lacking, MySQL is still kicking me around the network

          Ah, that makes me a little more comfortable. MSF finds nothing to complain about on the inside of my network. Now to boot up my other VMs and see how the older OS rate.

          Turns out it was missing dependencies rather than MySQL configuration issues. Ubuntu uses one packaging naming convention, Mandriva uses another. I’d post the detailed solution but this isn’t really the place.

          Just thought I’d post back as it wasn’t the database this time.

    • #2596159

      Kraken gets netted. Debbie is basically ignored for a day or two,

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      Microsoft has quite a way to go before their RC1 should be released to the general public. Please note that I reported that XP, 2 beta versions of Wista, and 3 or 4 versions of Linux all installed using that NIC with absolutely no problems. The linchpin to the entire system is the network port. If the Server can’t talk or hear on the Ethernet port, what’s the point?

      As I reported earlier my install of Windows Home Server RC1 did not find and install the driver for the NIC. I went into the registry to see if it found the PnP ID string, I surmised that could not match the ID with anything in its database of drivers. I went to DELL’s site and downloaded a 2003 dated driver and manually installed it. The DELL driver install package looked at the OS and wouldn’t install it since it wasn’t XP. I dropped the INF, the SYS and CAT files into the appropriate places and it worked just fine.

      After that I went ahead and registered the install with the Gorilla and went to Windows Update and updated everything I could including Internet Exploder 6 to 7. Something that was interesting was that the IE6 install looked to have a considerably toughened-up bunch of settings but with the really annoying popup boxes it got old fast. I agree with MS that nobody should use IE6 or IE7 or any browser on a Server. The reason its there is because the management interface is handled with an IIS webserver.

      I think I’m going to look at Debbie for a day or two to see if I can get more than the basic functionality going.

      More to come……

    • #2587356

      Debbie and Kraken, Like the Wolf and the Falcon

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      When one of them is running, the other one is disconnected. I found that its easy to try out or focus on specific features of both systems by alternately connecting the drive with Kraken or Debbie on it and running some tests. Debbie is still running more than Kraken simply because I have a lot steeper learning curve with her than with the beast. His stuff I’ve seen a lot of already!

      Been spending a lot of time reading on-line Debian manuals. Unfortunately a number of them are somewhat irrelevant to the current distribution. Debian Reference seems to have large chunks of fairly good info. I plan on finishing it today.

      My Debian server has all of my selected applications with a few additional applications I didn’t expect (OpenOffice Writer for one) but they don’t seem to be much of an issue. All of the needed applications were a part of the Debian distro or the on-line apt-get system. In that regard -Excellent work! Debian-maniacs (or whatever you’ve decided to call yourselves!)

      I’m still doing research on Debbie and Kraken. I found that the only way to use the backup facilities of either was to use an agent included with each of the respective backup aps that is installed on the target desktops. Windows Home Server (Kraken) uses a install module that can be installed ONLY on Windows boxes. Bacula on Debian has a similar method but has agents that can be installed on practically everything. Advantage — Bacula.

      Apache installed with no fuss whatsoever. In fact I had to pop open browsers on three or four different computers to believe how easy it was. Like nothing had to be done. I’ll be checking out the configuration within this next week. Considering my history with IIS4, 5 & 6, advantage ? Apache, absolutely no question.

      Ice Weasel, the Debian version of FireFox, works very well perhaps faster than the Windows version of FireFox. No Active X support (no popups!), two points for Ice Weasel. Able to use every FireFox extension, plugin and addon, another two points for Ice Weasel. I have been a fan of FireFox since .9 Beta. FireFox gets my vote and usage not only here but at work as Primary Browser. I especially like the fact that Microsoft has bowed to pressure and allows FireFox on most of MSDN to work properly. The only places I have to use Internet Exploder is on the Passport/Live/(whatever-the-hell-they’re-calling-it-next-week) websites.

      The GNU C, C++ compilers are installed, along with all of the samples, tutorials and docs I could find! I have no idea how to vote on these boys yet. The price was right. Visual Studio 2005’s IDE is very attractive and easy to use. Its probably the best piece of software Microsoft has ever put out. Considering the idea was that I wouldn’t get into to programming on this project, maybe I should ignore this issue.

      DNS caching server, DHCP3 and letting Samba handle WINS. DNS cahing is working very nicely. I haven’t starting running DHCP3 yet since my other Linux system is currently supplying IPs.

      File Serving is a little bit different obviously since we are matching bananas and pears. (You expected me to use Apples and oranges?) On Kraken, the WHS sets up a workgroup with a set of shares with permissions divided up by users and/or groups. Logon security can be enabled with Kerberos, hashed or not Lan Manager or https. There might be more mechanisms, this was a quick first look. Files can also be set for local workgroup access with and without web serving access. Obviously any access on the Kraken from a Linux client will have to be through Samba client services on the Linux clients which handles Kerberos and Lan Manager, at least in the Debian distro it does. The Linux client’s Samba logon will have to be programmed into the WHS as a valid client even for files marked as for Everyone. That is a side effect of dumping fast-user switching and enabling controlled shares on any Windows server or workstation, not unlike leaving security wide open on a bunch of Linux systems or running a workgroup of Win9X boxes (no they aren’t EXACTLY the same but just somewhat similar(;-).

      My previous experience with Windows says that file sharing with Kerberos enabled will not be really possible on Win9X clients, it will be difficult with Win NT 4.0 and OK with Win2K and XP. So with WHS operating as the server, the security options will require some compromises if the home clients aren’t all XP or Vista. All of the above will operate properly as Lan Manager clients. However, ?Fast User Switching? can’t be used on the XP Pro clients since it breaks the access to shares that are shared with anything other than simple Windows folder shares. Vista clients, who cares? I’m not paying for Vista anything after battling with Vista Beta and Vista RC1, forget it. In any case I would not expect something based on Windows 2003 Server to support those sorts of simple shares.

      As you would expect with a Linux server, everything to be accessible by Windows clients has to be served by Samba. Since Samba now has the abilities to operate as a Domain controller in what would normally be a small workgroup, I’m going to take advantage of that to deal with the security issues for all the Windows and Linux clients that way. Samba, as long as you are using Lan Manager sorts of file sharing without Kerberos, will allow all Windows based clients to connect. The Linux clients will connect through the normal NFS. So I have to call this file serving function a tie until I can really exercise both systems.

      The characteristics of both operating systems’ methods of serving shares are similar. Folders on the WHS are not associated with a drive letter on the server just as the Linux filesystem does not use drive letters.*1 This is somewhat of a departure from traditional Windows file serving systems in the past. Its a sort of cross between the Distributed File System (DFS) and Active Directory ?containers? or Organizational Unit folders. The Windows users will see an Icon or object with a label that they can drag and drop a file or folder to put the media files or data files onto the server. In other words nothing Linux users haven’t seen for years.

      I’m going to have to do a bunch of testing to see which works better but just from looking at it, the windows clients (XP and Vista only) will have a real easy time connecting only to the WHS (Kraken). Whereas the Linux and ALL Windows clients will require a little fussing but it can be done easily enough so that scripting can automate the process fairly well on the Linux Home Server (Debbie) I suspect.

      *1. Come on guys! Do you really think that hiding a drive partition with hda, or hdb is
      fooling anybody? I agree that most users don’t often need physical awareness of where or what is holding your data. But when the physical world slaps you into back into chaotic reality, when you’re trying to fix a system with a dead drive and you can’t remember which drive has hda or /home/username on it, it might be nice to know what PHYSICAL drive has what! I will eventually get used to it.

      • #2596407

        try naming your Windows drive mounts based on Linux

        by neon samurai ·

        In reply to Debbie and Kraken, Like the Wolf and the Falcon

        c: “hda1”
        d: “hda5”
        n: “hdb1”

        It’ll get you used to the naming if it doesn’t become a prefered habbit in general. I also use bin/ for .bat and single file win32 executables and lib/ for win32 programs that don’t need to run a setup wizard though.

        • #2596182

          That’s what I get for making a footnote-rant! Ha!

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to try naming your Windows drive mounts based on Linux

          Actually I had tried that already but in a timid, woosh kind of way. I named the second partitions on some of my drives at work hdb etc.But it was easier to just not do it. Kept me from trying to copy executable .exe files to/from Linux to/from Windows.

    • #2587247

      I just replaced Windows 2003 Server w/ SuSE 10.2

      by doug ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      Well, not to step on your thread, but I
      just had an interesting experience along
      these lines.

      Last Thursday my Windows 2003 server
      started acting up. I tried to reboot it,
      but the fan on the power supply had failed.
      Rather than trying to fix it right away, I
      decided to move to a Dell Poweredge I have.

      So I decided to move to Linux. Since my
      license to Microsoft products
      expires next month, I had been planning on
      moving to Linux anyway.

      Over the weekend I got SuSE 10.2 installed,
      and most of the basic services working.
      Yesterday morning I got my email running,
      and a few minutes ago I got remote access
      running using freenx. I am posting this
      from my home server I’m accessing from 20
      miles away.

      I’m currently quite pleased with the
      change. It would have probably taken me
      longer to get Exchange running, even tho
      I’ve worked with it for years.

      • #2596410

        I got eGroupware working nice with everything last night

        by neon samurai ·

        In reply to I just replaced Windows 2003 Server w/ SuSE 10.2

        With eGroupware, I now have an Exchange Server centralizing calendar/contacts/todo and email. osX iCal, Linux Korganizer and Windows Outlook all sync perfectly. Now to move some live test data to the server and see if I can get PalmOS connected also.

        • #2596181

          Way too email-ambitious for me!

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to I got eGroupware working nice with everything last night

          I considered Exchange a big enough headache! Not only syncing a single application with multiple clients, now multiple OS apps with multiple clients.

          Like I probably wrote earlier, glad I’m not in IT anymore!

        • #2587859

          Ha, I’ve been wanting an Exchange-O-nix for a while now

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Way too email-ambitious for me!

          It seems it’s the only way to properly sync my varous desktops, my wif’s Mac and my PalmOS device. Until I get a chunck of hardware set aside, it’s only a VM test build anyhow.

        • #2580019

          Are you

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Ha, I’ve been wanting an Exchange-O-nix for a while now

          running MS Exchange or an OS replacement?

        • #2580004

          running all non-MS parts

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Are you

          on Apache/PHP/MySQL
          on Mandriva Linux

          All the functions I want from a groupware server with non of the obsurd Exchange Server license fees. It’s within my budget and adds to my hobby-work; what’s not to like.

          Browser connection is the natively method.
          Korganizer syncs directly.
          Outlook syncs through a FOSS third party app.
          iCal syncs through a FOSS third party app.
          PalmOS syncs through a FOSS third party app.

          I’m still testing the last two but Korg and Outlook are setup. I’m also finalizing https setup since very few other things on my network transfer in plain text. After that, I just have to do enough reading to be comfy with eGroupware and PHP apps in general.

        • #2604202

          That sounds good

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to running all non-MS parts

          I will have to look into it. Is the app to synch to outlook provided by the eGroupware company, and if not, do you know its name?

      • #2596167

        Cool! I’ve tried SUSE 10.1 and it impressed me

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to I just replaced Windows 2003 Server w/ SuSE 10.2

        but I hadn’t gotten to the point where I felt confortable with it before I felt like I should try something else.

        I’ve been very pleased with the Debian distro/system so far.

        • #2603611

          I almost went with Debian.

          by doug ·

          In reply to Cool! I’ve tried SUSE 10.1 and it impressed me

          I had lots of problems with SuSE 9.3, so I
          almost went with Debian. I would have
          except for the principal of trying to use
          stuff at home that I might use in my
          professional life.

          I am very impressed, tho. It seems more
          user friendly than windows, I love being
          able to adjust font sizes.

          And postfix+dovecote was much easier to get
          running than exchange.

        • #2603599

          Would you not

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to I almost went with Debian.

          use Debian in your professional life? I mean, the joke is that Debain will move new packages to “stable” “any decade now”. Debian is more then ready for enterprise use, you just can’t pay them for support.

        • #2580013

          Then how will I pass the buck? :)

          by doug ·

          In reply to Would you not

          The first thing a boss or executive is
          going to ask is what kind of support does
          the software company give. It’s their neck
          on the line as well as yours.

          SuSE could really take off, Novell is well
          known as a server OS company in a lot of

        • #2604197

          I completely

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Then how will I pass the buck? :)

          agree whith your post. But, Debian is as stable or more stable then the Enterprse distros. And, apt is so dern convenient. As for Novell takeing off, I think they have had their chance. At this point its more about increasing a tiny portion of market share then anything else. They have several strikes against them: 1) Linux people do not trust them after the MS deal. 2) MS people would prefer to just use MS. and 3)Novell people prefer Novell, not linux. If Novell could find away to lower the price of their Directory server, and provide solid migration paths and tools from other platforms, then they could take off.

    • #2603634

      Xwindowsjunkie, how is the project going?

      by danlm ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      I’ve been following the thread’s off and on and no longer have a firm hand on where your at with your project.

      I’m not sure what OS you decided to go with.

      Remember seeing you wasn’t real thrilled with Windows Home Server, and didn’t think you could do a valid comparison.

      What I’m interested in is your backup solution. What your using and how your using it. Curious about how you did remote access too..

      I’m sorry I lost track, I get scattered brained sometimes and don’t follow topics like I should. That, and I ended up starting a few projects of my own.
      1). I’m rewriting my idiotblocker application. It’s currently written in sh scripting for parsing my auth.log looking for brute force attempts and then feeding the ip’s to a firewall table. Does a few other things also, but I know of some holes in it. So, I’m rewriting it in Perl so that it will be easier to manage modifications.
      2). I’ve found how to monitor bandwidth with my firewall using labels and another application I want to write. I currently have a server that I rent which only provides me with overall bandwidth for the full server. But, I have 16 ip’s on that server defined internally a config file(alias) level. I’ve been wanting to track bandwidth per ip/service for some time. This also will give me a chance to do some graphics with Perl which I haven’t done to this point.
      This will be my next project.

      It’s taken me some time to get pfctl firewall to where I want it(still not sure if I worked out the ftp issues), but this is a kick butt firewall that is well worth learning.

      Oh well, hope your project is going well.


      • #2587669

        Mostly I’m in learn/read mode

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to Xwindowsjunkie, how is the project going?

        Been spending a lot of time trying to get up to speed learning enough to figure out why the debian install went so well. I know that sounds idiotic but I need to learn a lot about different chunks of technology written by different groups of programmers. So its like learning a new language for each application.

        For instance Apache 2.2 went in so fast and easy it works without absolutely no input necessary. I typed “localhost” into a webbrowser (Ice Weasel/Firefox) and I got a page “It works!” came back immediately and I’m going Huh? How did that happen? I have NEVER had such an easy install with Windows IIS anything!

        I’ve figured out that Bacula didn’t get installed right but I still haven’t figured out what I screwed up. I’m fairly certain that something is missing since I get no information in process listings, boot logs etc. that its even on the system except that files are in the folders I would expect them to be. Before it will work though I need to understand more about Apache and MySql to really make Bacula work so I’m starting with them.

        To be honest its going to take more time than I expected but it looks as if the payoff will be very well worth the effort.

        Kraken the WHS beast works but its kludgy and works only with Windows XP and Vista (gag-gag!) so I consider it a fairly limited product.

      • #2587664

        Look up above at the posting

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to Xwindowsjunkie, how is the project going?

        named Debbie & Kraken, Like the Wolf and the Falcon.

        I sort of summarize where I was about 3 days ago. What still amazes me was that I was able to install all of my selected options from the Debian website and I didn’t have to modify or fiddle with installs.

        It cracks me up that Debain, XP and Vista RC1 all installed without any issues but the WHS croaked and couldn’t install the network interface

        • #2580016

          That almost makes sense really

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Look up above at the posting

          Since Debian, XP, and Vista are all desktop machines with big driver databases. WHS is based off of the Server 2003 code, so if the netcard is supported there, then it SHOULD work in WHS, but no promises.

        • #2596821

          Kraken, the beast that needed a hearing aid!.

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to That almost makes sense really

          I guess the point I was unsuccessfully making was that if there is ONE area where a server driver database absolutely needs to be the biggest, beefiest it can be, it needs to support every freaking network card ever made. Because there will be some jackass (like me!) that will come along and stuff a NIC in a slot and expect the server to install the card without a hiccup. I mean after all it is a server, right? HA!

          Really though I think what it shows is that some where along the line somebody at Microsoft goofed. Or the WHS product didn’t go through the usual channels at the market engineering department. The install screens are obvious patchwork, the dialogs are obvious pieces of this and pieces of that, the system does not have an overall single brand name identity until it gets close to finishing the install process. The total product package was distributed across 3 different ISOs (all three had to be downloaded!) that in a more polished product would be on a single DVD ISO and there would be a menu system that would allow you to make install CD or DVD ISOs from that.

          Network cards for a server are the only way the system can talk to and hear the rest of the digital universe. You would have thought that somebody would have thought about that since its the only way also that Kraken can report home and tell the Redmond Gorilla how the Beta site host (me!) is treating him!

        • #2596805

          Or if I am really a pirate or not! (b{ ) arggh ! ha!

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Kraken, the beast that needed a hearing aid!.

          “Key codes! Key code! We don’t need no steeeenking key codes!” (Think Blazing Saddles making fun of Sam Peckinpah!)

          “Linux, for when you’re tired of being treated as a pirate by your shrink-wrap software vendor!”

          “WGA, Windows Greatly Aggravates!”

          I couldn’t resist!

        • #2604195

          Any particular reason?

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Or if I am really a pirate or not! (b{ ) arggh ! ha!

          Did something happen?

        • #2604196

          I was

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Kraken, the beast that needed a hearing aid!.

          under the impression WHS would be sold as pre-built machines, and that OEM versions of the OS would not be available for a while (other then the betas). This would explain the limited support for network cards.

        • #2603835

          Network NICs & WHS

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to I was

          Well I would have thought that a product that was designed as a network server would get every freaking network driver they could find simply because it is a server. It needs to communicate even more so than a desktop! In any case I used a XP Pro driver that was OLDER than Server 2003 which is what WHS is based on to get it up and working. So at least in my opinion they goofed. But as I’ve seen, I think they either rushed the RC1/Beta out the door, it bypassed the normal conformation for market process or its somebody’s pet project. I suspect that they wanted to generate some marketing data to show the manufacturers a pent-up demand for a “home-media-server” that presumably is easy to customize for market differentiation.

        • #2601195

          Driver support

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Network NICs & WHS

          should only be for the decent cards. there are tons of crappy network cards out there I would not want to support on a server. They do need to communicate more then a workstation (arguably), but they also need to be as stable as possible, more so then a workstation (once again this is arguable).

          As for rushing the Beta, I would not be surprised. the Vista Beta was junk, but RC1 was nearly usable. By the time WHS products are released, in conjunction with hardware control, it should be a usable system.

    • #2598716

      Kraken running? yes. Nice beasty? no.

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      Well I’ve been running Kraken (Windows Home Server) enough to know that I really don’t like it much. Yeah you figured that out a couple of weeks ago, right? But I had to give it a good crack at changing my mind.

      If you’ve read and followed the server specifications and you have everything fairly up to date, meaning you are running Windows XP and Vista and NTFS partitions on all of your client computers, then Windows Home Server might work very well for you. If you are like me and you’ve pushed the Win9X and the Win2K licenses off on your kids or heavens-to-betsy you’re running (shudder) Linux! Well then it won’t. It doesn’t even come close. In fact its reason d’etre, systems backup, does not work, at least on my fully legitimate, up-to-date-with-Windows-Update XP Pro SP2 P4 system.

      The hot off the DVD burner, not ready for prime-time, Windows Home Server Release Candidate 1 is a fairly tightly focused package that I think misses the point of offering inter-operable services. Microsoft has to wake up to the fact that a lot of their customers are still running much older versions of their software. The last statistic I saw was that XP Pro was still only running on about 35% of ALL Windows boxes out there. The bulk of the computers were running either Windows 9X or Windows 2000. This tight focus will dis-enfranchise some of the still very large numbers of Windows 9X/Win2K users that haven’t upgraded (and won’t) and the part-time Linux users that see wide-open possibilities with Linux-based multi-media applications. I count myself in both camps.

      Basically the server offers secured folders, public folders and backup services. I know Microsoft touts remote access and remote serving to and from Internet locations as a special function of this product BUT, technically that’s a service that comes with Server 2003 and Windows XP and Vista. So its not really a product feature of WHS.

      First off the limitations, and they are many.

      1) Only Windows XP Pro and Vista OS equipped computers are supported, no Win 9X, 2K or NT 4.0 need apply. Support for Linux I didn’t expect but it would have smart for Microsoft to do that at least through Samba.

      2) Only NTFS partitions are supported. Come on! Why not FAT and FAT32? Don’t give me any BS about security. Microsoft is using workgroup and not Domain security.

      3) Computers must not be active members in an Active Domain. This is the first restriction that makes any sense. It screws up the sharing mechanism used in WHS to have conflicting local security policy on the client.

      4) All logons that will need to have access to the Windows Home Server backup functions must have valid backup rights on the supported client computer. The account you use to install the WHS connector has to have the backup and restore capabilities. Other accounts will have access to the WHS. This is normally not an issue but I have some severely limited user accounts that are setup without backup or restore capability to deliberately prevent my kids from doing that behind my back.

      5) The client logon used on the client computer must be programmed into the Windows Home Server user applet. This is the same restriction seen in workgroup logons to allow easy sharing to occur. If you’ve used XP Pro SP1 or later, you’ve dealt with the logon box each time you connect to a share on some other system. That’s gone with WHS shares.

      6) First backups are of entire partitions, this obviously is for the restore functionality, but it enforces an all or nothing mentality. I never could get it to work properly on my XP Pro system either manually or automatically. Even after I did the suggested fixes to my partitions, it still didn’t work. It would not backup the C drive (system/boot) and it would not backup the F: drive, a compressed NTFS partition. The only partition it would backup was D:, a NTFS partition I first created on Windows 2000, go figure!

      7) It will not backup a NTFS compressed partition, and I assume that would include an encrypted partition since they use the same software mechanism. This I consider absolutely asinine. If you’ve gone through the trouble to compress or encrypt the files on that partition, why can’t you back them up?

      8) What I also find really annoying is that the system could not find one of the two drives that are supported on a PCI IDE card on my XP client. In addition, neither of the two drives can be identified by looking at the WHS backup applet. No drive letters. No indication that they are there. You need to understand that the “discovery” agent used to find partitions to backup runs on the CLIENT computer. The client computer knows what partitions are there and presumably can access and serve those files and partitions up to the server for backup but no it doesn’t work that way!

      9) The WHS as I noted earlier did not support the NIC adapter that was on my DELL Celeron CPU board. Actually it only supports one NIC, the Realtek 8169. I would suspect that either this product will have more drivers installed before it goes public or it will only be available as a configured and setup system from OEMs.

      10) It has only 14 video adapter drivers from ATI, Via and Intel. So I guess we know who’s aching to get product out the door using this software! That’s usually not as much of a problem but it would have been nice to had at least the generic Microsoft VGA and XVGA adapter drivers just to get the system up and running. Video after the system is up and running is not so much an issue. Lucky for me I had an Intel video adapter on the CPU board.

      11) It has absolutely nothing that couldn’t be delivered even on a Windows XP, 2K or Linux workstation except the duplicate file control and that might be scriptable with some file comparison utility. The only advantage is the “instant” connection mechanism to the server and that can be delivered in a logon script.

      I never could get to the “bare metal” restore function test since the backup function never worked right. Likewise an incremental restore from the backup wasn’t possible.

      What does work right? The public folders and the private folders work quite well. The user account structure works well and is easy to use. Once the accounts are setup, the only password needed is the Administrator account password to open the Administrative webpage. Users once logged onto their usual computer have access to the public folders almost immediately.

      One item that will cause a little confusion is that there are two different security policies for passwords. Passwords for accounts that are used for Internet access to the WHS use a “strong” policy but the internal password policy is weak. Either you have to create new user names set with policy-matching passwords or change the internal password policy to match the external policy and reset all the passwords to make them much stronger for internal use. This will maintain connectivity and not require changes to security settings on shares and file permissions but I don’t suggest that.

      Using a new strong password with a new user name for remote access perhaps allows for tightened security and could conceivably improve security above the usual possible in workgroups or local group policies. With one account set for access from outside only and another with access only on the inside, it might prevent some forms of attack. Adding VPN and IPSEC to the requirements for external access will provide a secure connection from remote Internet locations.

      The remote access capability is there, it just doesn’t seem to work right. I did get it to setup a DDNS URL on a service that Microsoft evidently has provided for the duration of the RC1 test. But there doesn’t seem to be anything that allows the user to set up incoming VPN connections through the administration webpage. Now if I go to the Win2K3 Server and logon there I can set up a VPN account and VPN connections on it but I’m not sure if they can be attached to through the client interface on the client computers. This function as far as the user is concerned doesn’t really exist. I’m not interested in doing VPN debugging for Microsoft without an employment contract.

      The software in the WHS seems to assume that it has a connection to a UPnP router that connects to the Internet. Since I’m running a real firewall that is not running UPnP on the router functions, remote access does not work. There were no messages that were meaningful that the user could have utilised to open ports up in those cases where the router wasn’t a UPnP router or was a user adjustable firewall. Yes I remember this is a USER test but with all the other issues I had with the WHS software I wasn’t really interested in exposing my home systems to potential trouble for the sake of the Beta test.

      Looking at this “product” from a User point of view as it stands today as a RC1, I would not recommend it to anyone not already conversant with the feature set of Windows 2003 Server. A lot of the functionality of Win2K3 is still there and it will make a very good stand-alone server for a home environment or even a small home office assuming those features remain in the final product but I wouldn’t count on it. It could be improved considerably with a large number of consumer-friendly wizards. But its not ready for the consumer market, not by a long cannon shot. WHS needs to go back into drydock and add more planking and sails. This buccaneer says “Kraken gets the black spot! arrgh!”

      • #2598627

        Inquiry, Captain: I don’t see the problem in #4.

        by absolutely ·

        In reply to Kraken running? yes. Nice beasty? no.

        [i]4) All logons that will need to have access to the Windows Home Server backup functions must have valid backup rights on the supported client computer. This is normally not an issue but I have some severely limited user accounts that are setup without backup or restore capability to [u]deliberately prevent my kids from doing that behind my back[/u].[/i]

        I might have misread, but it looks like Windows Home Server will preserve the restriction you have set, not introduce any new restriction. You included that observation in your list of “limitations”, leaving me a bit confused.

        Meanwhile, configuring squid in Debian to cache web pages for XP was a cinch, and I have finally coaxed Samba to share a directory with Windows XP, after cifs was working for a couple weeks, doing the converse. Turns out I technically “only” needed to use the command “smbpasswd -a username” at a command prompt! In fact, however, I “needed” to hunt & peck through several relatively well-known sources of relatively well-written documentation of open source software. No wonder so many impatient people don’t prefer GNU/Linux!


        • #2598614

          Yes that’s right..

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Inquiry, Captain: I don’t see the problem in #4.

          I guess what I should have said is that the WHS connector has to be used BUT the logon used in the WHS connector has to be a full Admin logon or at the very least one that has a backup privileges. Thanks I’ll fix my post.

        • #2600561

          No, don’t “fix” it, reply to it…

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Yes that’s right..

          with your rewritten #4.

          Otherwise, these messages of ours seem to refer to nothing!

      • #2600294

        Clarification of item #4

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to Kraken running? yes. Nice beasty? no.

        Mr Absolutely has a point and is aptly self-named as well. Item #4 was originally not as clear as it could have been.

        Here is the original #4.
        4) All logons that will need to have access to the Windows Home Server backup functions must have valid backup rights on the supported client computer. This is normally not an issue but I have some severely limited user accounts that are setup without backup or restore capability to deliberately prevent my kids from doing that behind my back.

        This is how I modified or edited my item number 4.

        4) All logons that will need to have access to the Windows Home Server backup functions must have valid backup rights on the supported client computer. The account you use to install the WHS connector has to have the backup and restore capabilities. Other accounts will have access to the WHS. This is normally not an issue but I have some severely limited user accounts that are setup without backup or restore capability to deliberately prevent my kids from doing that behind my back.

        Outside of making absolutely, positively clear, the necessity of installing a WHS connector under Admin user privileges it doesn’t do much more than that.

    • #2601270

      Kraken, buried at sea. Long live Debbie!

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      With the posting I did yesterday I hope to have buried Kraken at least in consideration as an alternative server for my backwater bay.

      For a product that supposedly offers “new” features and advantages to the computer and media consuming public I was marvelously under-whelmed. The second biggest reason to use a home server, that of backup for the other systems on the local subnet, failed in my case miserably.

      I doubt very much that I will bother to do a forensic postmortem simply because it was supposed to be a almost finished product and wasn’t. Yes I could spend a lot of time and fix all of the problems and yes I know how to fix the backup problem. I’m not on Microsoft’s payroll. If I’m going to expend that much effort, its going to be on something I OWN, from the top of the mast to the keel.

      But this started out as a user test and to be entirely and brutally honest, Debian (Debbie) failed as well as Kraken (Windows Home Server). But I expected Debian (and all other Linux distros) to fail simply because the Linux programmer’s universe hasn’t bothered to approach the consumer market except in specific targeted devices. Nobody writing Linux applications sees anything profitable in generic Home appliances. A Home Server is still fairly general purpose and not that much different from any other desktop, NAS or computer. All of the profitable Linux appliances are specific purpose devices, set top boxes, DVR’s, DVD players etc.

      I’m going to continue working on and writing about Debbie simply because it does fill a need I have here for a generic file and media server. When its done I hope to be able to release the “cookbook” I used and hopefully a distro variation.

      • #2601185

        If we look

        by dumphrey ·

        In reply to Kraken, buried at sea. Long live Debbie!

        at the finished product from a user point of view, then the lack of linux frienlyness is not important, as the final installed, config product is what the end user would receive, with a few boot up scripts to input some info and set up vpn etc. Comparing the entire install procedure is only fair if you installed windows server 2003, and then added in the products needed to create functionality, and removed the unwanted parts.

        I do realize that a full set up of Debbie is a chore, but if some smart programmer came along and made it into a single disk install (ala KnoppMyth) or a specialized live cd (ala Dynabolic) then the install bother would be over.

        • #2588669

          But that’s not the point of linux

          by doug ·

          In reply to If we look

          I think you might be missing the point of
          linux. There is no one way of doing things
          like there is in the Microsoft world.

          Many years ago when I set up a mail server,
          there was only one way to go. Exchange.

          With Linux there’s a dazzling array of mail
          software that can be used. Right now I’m
          using KMail+Dovecote+postfix, which is not
          a combination I would have thought to end
          up with.

          Linux gets a bad rap as far as
          userfriendleness. I’m finding Linux much
          more user friendly than Windows. I
          particularly like the way I can adjust font
          sizes everywhere.

          Configuration can be a pain. Right now I’m
          configuring postfix using Webmin, vi, and
          monitoring a log file with “tail”. Is this
          harder than using the purely GUI Exchange?

          Well, when I hosed postfix I just copied
          the text configuration files back.
          Sometimes when you hose Exchange you have
          to reinstall. And I’ve just about
          eliminated all my spam, something I never
          managed to do with exchange.

      • #2601068


        by retro77 ·

        In reply to Kraken, buried at sea. Long live Debbie!

        I read about 90% of the posts. Some got too deep into subjects I dont care too much about [databases].

        Good work. I look forward to a finished “cookbook”. I too am not upgrading to Vista and I tell everyone around me to not upgrade yet as well.

        I am looking to be 100% Linux by the end of the year. Is Debbie the girl for the job? I dont know, we’ll see. Might be Suse or the African cousin: Ubuntu.

        My hardware: Shuttle mini PC with an AMD 64 3000+, ATI Radeon 9600 All In Wonder. it currently my gaming PC [GuildWars] and my TV/DVD player/recorder.

      • #2601048

        progress, cookbook, and so on . . .

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Kraken, buried at sea. Long live Debbie!

        Thank goodness for people who inform me outside of TR when something that would interest me here at TR occurs. Since TR changed its email alert format, I haven’t been able to use them to keep up with discussions at all.

        Anyway . . . sorry to hear things didn’t just magically fall into place, but as you’ve made clear, you at least didn’t expect that from the Linux side of the story. It’s good to have realistic expectations.

        Like you, I intend to produce a free/libre/open source software home server setup. I’ll probably cobble together a set of scripts to automate the setup process with FreeBSD, though, rather than producing a cookbook for Debian.

        I’m sending you an email (via TR “peer mail”, aka “private message”) about the disposition of that cookbook, by the way. Look for it in your inbox, I guess.

        • #2601045

          Post Please

          by retro77 ·

          In reply to progress, cookbook, and so on . . .

          can you post it to the general public? I am looking for such a solution and would love a jump start. I hate re-inventing the wheel.

        • #2601041

          Post what, exactly?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Post Please

          Are you talking about my private communication with Xwindowsjunkie, or my progress with FreeBSD? If the former, he’s welcome to post what I said to him if he likes, but I figured I’d start it out privately as the more appropriate way to start with the suggestion I had for collaboration. If the latter — well, I haven’t really started doing much for the FreeBSD variant, so there isn’t really anything to post yet. I do intend to post some mention of it here if/when I get around to getting something useful done, however.

        • #2601034

          Oh ok

          by retro77 ·

          In reply to Post what, exactly?

          I just like to see what combinations have worked for others to replace Windows in the home/SOHO/small business sector.

        • #2601026

          what works for me

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Oh ok

          I’m using both FreeBSD and Debian GNU/Linux in my SOHO network environment for servers and workstations. Because I know exactly what I need and (generally) exactly what I’m doing, I can just set up a server to handle my needs with relative ease. What I do isn’t exactly suited to a UHS (Unix Home Server) setup, however, as I don’t use GUI or web-based administration, don’t use a system that automates setup for common server tasks, and so on. I make use of my understanding of how to configure these servers from scratch, and tailor each server to its specific job.

          For a UHS project, I intend to automate a lot of things, so this would be a significantly different approach. Thus, while I’ve done a lot with Debian and FreeBSD that has worked quite well for me, I have not done much of anything along the lines of what this discussion has addressed.

      • #2600840

        Out of the Woodywork

        by grax ·

        In reply to Kraken, buried at sea. Long live Debbie!

        In a Windows Secrets Newsletter published 17/05/2007 the highly respected Woody Leonhard said:
        ?As a card-carrying member of the ‘Association of Windows Victims,’ I never believe Microsoft’s hype about software that’s still sitting in the hopper.

        But I’ve been playing with the beta version of Windows Home Server for quite a while, and even though the final product isn’t due out until the end of the year, I’m impressed.?

        I?ll not bore you with all the chaff, but he finishes with:
        ?Rumour has it that the first WHS machines will include a substantial amount of hard disk space, but sell for only about $500. If that prediction comes true, there’s a Windows Home Server in my future. Bet there’ll be one in yours, too.?

        From the experiences described in this discussion, I think there will not be one in my life. Debbie will do. The question is should one disabuse Woody? Of course, his Kraken may just be a Triffid.

        • #2600807

          I would not count Woody as a typical “consumer”.

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Out of the Woodywork

          It would be interesting to find out if he did a download or did he get a pre-configured system from a OEM?

          As a consumer product WHS RC1 is NOT consumer mass-market material. As a slightly stripped down Win 2003 Server, its a home server geek-toy of fairly incredible power for a home market product.

          I limited my test to the user interface that any user would have easy access to. I would not expect the typical Joe Sixpack to have a clue as to how to configure the high power functions in Win2K3.

          My guess is that Microsoft is offering the Windows Home Server as a “platform” that it expects OEMs to configure with their own interfaces and methods for the consumer market. You’ll likely see packages with graduated feature sets all part of the Win2K3 system but “stepped” like Standard, Deluxe and Super Deluxe. Like 3 grades of gasoline, the marketing departments of OEMs will be able to sell it in stripped to fully “pimped out” versions.

          As a SOHO/Home server it would be a really nice system if it was fully tricked out like a 2K3 server could be. I didn’t bother to discover what functions were actually enabled and which were disabled. To offer a lot of the functionality touted in the advertising, the feature set of the 2K3 system would have to pretty well stacked up. Simply because the system would require most of the networking software of the 2K3 to implement standard Internet protocols and all of the security infrastructure to support them.

    • #2610161

      Its been quite some time….

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      At this point my 2 to 3 week experiment has gone way over time but things are still progressing although the pace has slowed considerably. Biggest problem is getting time to work on Debbie and her sisters.

      I’ve been doing some configuration tests with NFS and Samba trying to find the best mix of settings and permissions to allow both server systems equal access to the shared folders. I don’t want Linux to override Windows and vice versa. So I’ve been playing with the server and a couple of Debian client boxes I set up and a couple of Windows clients, one running XP Pro and the other Win98SE.

      I’ve also been toying with the idea of running some services like streaming content on a second subnet and perhaps over 802.11G wireless instead of the main wired 100 baseTX network. Especially since my son seems to think that Internet “radio” hiphop is way cooler than real radio.

      More to come.

      • #2610048

        Its interesting

        by dumphrey ·

        In reply to Its been quite some time….

        that you mention Wireless. I have been working on setting up a wireless Ubuntu box for my bedroom for streaming media from my main box. So far, I have had zero luck. I started with a Linksys wmp54Gv4.1. I pluged it in, and ubuntu saw the card, recognized the chipset, and loaded a driver. The driver was completely broken. I could not even connect using wep, and wpa was not even offered by network manager. Next I tried a netgear 311v3. I once again could not get this card to work under ubuntu, even using ndiswrapper. I kept getting errors that the driver install was not complete. An interesting note: Mint Linux (based on Ubuntu) has an ndiswrapper driver for the Netgear 311v3 on the install disk. In about 10 min I had the netgear card up and using wpa2 on a live cd. I guess I will be installing Mint linux on that workstation.

        • #2609885

          Wifi Grief; Ubuntu took some work, Mandriva 2007.1 pretty easy

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to Its interesting

          I’ve a linksys wrt54gs with 54gs NIC stuffed into my notebook. Ubuntu took some work, Mandriva picked up the card pretty cleanly.

          Ubuntu was one or two liveCD release versions ago but I had to use Ndiswrapper and my Windows WIFI driver. I then had to add wpa-supplicant which gives you the WPA support. The last step was fiddling with network startup scripts to get it connecting.

          Mandriva 2007.1 is the latest liveCD offering from the Mandriva distrobution. In this case, I had to do a custom install (it always is anyhow so no change there). At the initial network setup, I specified “use windows driver” and pointed it at my windows partition’s NIC driver.sys. After that, the included wifi browser could see my network and Mandriva connected with WPA just fine. I believe this is primarily due to Mandriva now including WPA and doing the Ndiswrapper work for you as a “use windows driver” setup.

          I haven’t had a chance to push the network card and see if I have complete support under Mandriva mind you; it’s only connecting me to the home network at the moment (nothing “fun”).

        • #2609795

          The Mandriva wrapper

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Wifi Grief; Ubuntu took some work, Mandriva 2007.1 pretty easy

          Does it use the specific Windows driver for the card made by the manufacturer or just the generic Windows ndis driver?

        • #2607954

          ndiswrapper uses specific manufacturer’s driver

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to The Mandriva wrapper

          It wraps any Windows network driver in a *nix translator so the *nix outside has it’s usual driver module calls and the driver inside get’s Windows driver calls.

          That’s how I understand the functional details anyhow. In general, it wrapps any Windows network driver then uses the driver to talk to the NIC hardware.

          It should also be included with most Linux distrobutions though Mandriva made it rather easy to setup in my specific case. I’ve also used ndiswrapper with older distros and more conveluted setup steps.

        • #2607845


          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Wifi Grief; Ubuntu took some work, Mandriva 2007.1 pretty easy

          After several days of frustration, I finally did what I should have from the start. I uninstalled ndiswrapper from Ububtu through apt, and downloaded, built, and installed the latest ndiswrapper from their sourceforge page. Next I checked out the ndiswrapper page for cards, and eventally stumbled on a driver for the Netgear wg311v3 (Marvell). Using the xp sys and inf from the marvell driver, and a new ndiswrpper, I had a wireless wpa2 connection in the amount of time it took to create a new connection. I am most pleased. The key was looking at the ndiswrapper version in Mint Linux (which worked). I guess now I will see if I can get the linksys card working.

        • #2609796

          Linux coming out in flavors now?

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Its interesting

          I couldn’t resist!

          You ought to be able to run that wrapper and driver under Ubuntu or at least that would be my uneducated guess.

          My son’s computer is running Win2K SP4 so running it on a Linksys PCI wireless 802.11b/g card is no big deal. My daughter’s computer is running Win98SE and I’m beginning to think that will be a bit of a challenge since it hasn’t worked right yet. I’d bump her up to Win XP but I’m really getting reluctant to give MS any more money at least at the personal level.

          My company’s customers pay for Windows as part of their product purchase so I don’t have any problems with that.If I could wean her off the games on her computer than I could get her to run Debian or some other Linux variety.

        • #2607843

          You are right about

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Linux coming out in flavors now?

          running Ndiswrapper in ubuntu, but I had to upgrade to a newer version then the one in the apt-pool by compiling it myself. That was the only problem it seems. So it should also work in debian I would guess. If anyone is using a netgear wg311v3 pci card, let me know….

    • #2617840

      Debbie developed a split personality! But she’s better now.

      by xwindowsjunkie ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      After neglecting my Linux Home Server project for over 2 weeks I’ve had some time to work on her. Sometime before then, I managed to screwup the smb.conf file and disabled Samba sharing such that Windows XP could not connect successfully to Debbie. Debbie however worked extremely well as a SMB client of whatever Windows server I pointed her at! Attempting to log on from a Windows client onto Debbie however was another issue. I could get the log-on dialog form repeatably but not a complete transaction. Fixing that took a little time. (see below for a sample smb.conf file.)

      Connections are now automatic onto Debbie from all Windows OS boxes, mainly by implementing a log-on/drive mapping script run on each user log on. This duplicates the functionality of the “WHS Client Connector” used by Kraken (Release Candidate 1 of Windows Home Server). All of the log-ons on the Microsoft system need to be “replicated” or basically copied onto the Samba server. That means the User name and its password used to log onto on the Windows system needs to be copied into the configuration of the Samba server. I would heartily suggest that these accounts be only USER accounts on the Windows systems. You don’t have any business using an Admin account to access movies or media files on an external server system, Linux or Windows! I do not worry about the security issues of the Debian system but Windows systems have demonstrated many times their vulnerability to “man-in-the-middle” attacks.

      Overall, I will be depending on a hardware firewall based on a Linux distribution that basically shuts down ALL Netbios (and a lot of other ) interaction with the outside Internet. I will not be putting Debbie directly on the Internet. She’ll be working through the firewall like all of the other systems on my home network. The difference will be that she’ll have a NIC in the DMZ and another on the local network. Routing between the NIC ports will be heavily controlled.

      Here’s how to do the auto-log on on the Windows clients. This line below is saved as a Windows (MSDOS) batch file saved as ANSI or UTF-8. Notepad (not as extensive as gedit) works fine.

      net use x: \\\serverclientsshare password /user:username /persistent:yes

      This assumes your Samba equipped server is located at with the share named “serverclientsshare”. Don’t type , just press enter. The password and username are the password and user name of the Windows AND the Samba account. This is one of those areas where I’ve run into some confusion. If the Linux account username and password do not match the Windows username and password, the logon on the Samba server usually fails. You can’t operate in a mode that is essentially “log-on-Samba-as- another-username”. This might be a “feature” of one of the myriad post-Service Pack 2 quick-fix patches from Microsoft, I do not know for certain. I have been keeping the WinXP Pro system up to date using Microsoft/Windows Update, especially since it seems as if support for XP is soon to stop. One of the fixes might have broken using user name aliases.

      Then the complete path to the batch file location, as a string, is placed in the Run key in the HK_Current_User.

      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
      “LinuxShareLogon”=”C:\\Documents and Settings\\username\\batchfilename.bat”

      Shown here as the complete text for a sample.REG file. Double left click on it in Explorer and answer yes twice. There you go, you’ve just installed a Trojan! No not really. The keyname listed on the left (LinuxShareLogon) makes absolutely no difference, it just can’t be “” (a null string or a space). Its the path listing on the right side of the equation as the value that is important. You may already have other programs set to run in the Run key, just add this one to the list.

      Or you can add it using a shortcut to the batch file in the Start folder in:
      C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

      Either of these two methods will enable an automatic log-on to the Linux based Samba share. If you want to enable the same drive mapping (x:, substitute any drive letter for x) for ALL users on the Windows computer, substitute All Users for username in the above listed path. I do not suggest it except on Windows systems used only to access the Samba shares. This mapping will override whatever user mappings for that particular drive letter that have been previously set so be careful! The persistent setting may generate an error message on subsequent log ons but will be ignored. This will allow the system to reconnect automatically on the next Windows system boot-up or user log on regardless of the user mistakenly deleting the drive mapping.

      For those of you that know about WINS or Netbios browsing groups, you may wonder why I used an IP address to address or name the computer in the command line above. Windows simply connects twice or three times as fast when it doesn’t have to do a lookup in a WINS server or Netbios listing. In the system design model I am using, Debbie is going to eventually be a PDC (or Primary Domain Controller in Windows nomenclature) and will be running DHCP, DNS caching services and WINS, so it needs a fixed IP to remain consistent for all the Windows client applications (most of them!) that don’t like moving DHCP targets.

      Files and Folders security and access settings are part of the NFS and Samba settings used on the Debian folders setup as shares. All users and at least one group they are a member of must have at least read access to the folders both under the Debian file system settings and under the Samba configuration file settings in smb.conf. The settings likewise must be consistent. The service with the least level of access rules. In other words Samba access set to write doesn’t over-ride the Linux access of read-only, or vice versa. This might be a feature of Linux SE, I’m not sure. I do remember it working differently with Samba 1.

      There are nuances in the Linux and Samba security models I still haven’t completely mastered yet. I do know that essentially all users on the Windows systems accessing the LHS must have valid user accounts on the Debian system before any of the Samba implemented shares will work properly. The computers the users are logged onto, likewise are required to either have a Machine account or a listing in the permitted systems sections of smb.conf. In addition, there is a Debian-Samba system update cycle issue that limits the number of system privileges, shares access and user group permissions that can be changed at any given time. Using SWAT and then looking at the smb.conf file settings is not guaranteed to give you the total picture of what is going to happen the next time on boot-up of the Debian system. I do not blame Samba or Debian but my own understanding of what items take priority over others in the smb.conf file and how SWAT makes things work.

      Here below is a sample smb.conf that works reliably on Debbie. There is actually nothing here that is unusual. serverclients is the name of the general public folder and the user group that has access to LHS. All users having access to the LHS must be a member of serverclients the group. I’ve set the folder up to be shared as a Samba and a NFS share with the same more or less open permissions. Although the user interfaces and the OS are different, the folder is easily accessible by both types of client. Later I plan on tightening up write permissions so that users can write to their own folder and read all others under serverclients. I also would like to set up the user account routines so that as users are added, they get a public folder and a private folder under their username folder automatically.

      I’ve set the announce level and the OS level to 33 to prevent any Master Browser server battles. WINS server is enabled on Debbie. This level and server setting should guarantee that the LHS is always the Master Browser. 33 is also the recommended setting for a Samba server set-up as PDC. This smb.conf is still set for stand-alone server settings with the exception of the OS level setting. Mangling method has been left blank and will eventually be set to whatever level I can manage to include all the Windows clients I have that will need to access the server. As may not be obvious, Microsoft calls it the “encryption” level and it relates to the security model used in LanManager(NTLMv1 & 2) and later methods of security on user passwords. Mangling method is an all too apt jab at MS for their “encryption techniques”.

      # Samba config file created using SWAT
      # from (
      # Date: 2007/08/02 16:56:05

      workgroup = Homenet
      server string = Debbie
      auth methods = sam
      announce version = 33
      client signing = No
      client use spnego = No
      mangling method =
      os level = 33
      wins server =
      ldap ssl = no
      username = xwindowsjunkie
      valid users = xwindowsjunkie, user1, user2, @serverclients
      write list = xwindowsjunkie, user1, user2, @serverclients
      hosts allow =
      wins support = yes

      comment = this is a folder inside /home on debbie for a Linux client but also shared as an SMB client
      path = /home/xwindowsjunkie
      read only = No
      max connections = 25
      available = yes
      browseable = yes
      public = no
      writable = yes
      comment = this is a folder inside /home on debbie
      path = /home/serverclients
      read only = No
      browseable = yes
      available = yes
      public = yes
      writable = yes
      comment = this is a private folder
      path = /home/serverclients/user1
      read only = No
      browseable = yes
      available = yes
      public = no
      writable = yes

      In Debian’s Shared Folder applet, I’ve set the Samba share for the folder /home/serverclients as listed above in the smb.conf. The same folder is also set as a NFS share and its acl (Access Control List) state is saved in the file /etc/exports and gets listed as /home/serverclients The acl setting is exactly the same as a Windows group serverclients would get in an NTLM type group as folder owners. Remember that Debian Linux requires the Samba clients have valid Linux accounts in a valid Linux usergroup to have access to the Samba share.

      If you are a Windows IT guru in a one-man IT department with no budget and you need a reason to learn Linux, Samba is the reason, especially Samba-3. It is by far the most impressive application to promote interoperability between Linux and Windows systems. It has in my opinion done more to make heterogeneous network installations work than any other piece of software ever written, period. It bridges the gap between Windows workgroups and NT domains and Linux in so many easy ways. It has a scalability that allows for graduated incremental steps from workgroup to full Domain. It is worth the price of learning Linux to use Samba to get around the high price tag of Windows Server products and the high-priced hardware needed to run them, especially with Windows Vista.

      One manual that I have scanned at least most of it and read deeply perhaps 25% of is:
      The Official Samba-3 HowTo and Reference Guide, ISBN 0-13-188222-8. It is also available for free by access by download. My rating: Excellent! Extremely clear explanations. The authors’ goals were to promote understanding, not arcane jargon, an attitude often hard to find in software manuals. If you are conversant in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2K products, this manual is what you need to configure practically any Linux server from any distro to take over generic file and print serving functions, network protocol server functions, and operate as either primary or backup domain server for a “large” domain workgroup in a small office environment. Although Samba/Linux is often associated with these older NT network servers, it can keep up certainly with a Small Business Server 2003 situation without the freaking large price tag and still do it on hardware of P2/P3/P4 vintage. If you decide to use Samba, you will want to go buy a copy and keep it within arm’s reach while you work on and learn Linux server functions.

      At one point a few years back I used a license I had for NT 4.0 Server on a P1 system because I wanted a full server with DNS, DHCP servers etc. for use at home. Partially it was for my own education while I did my certifications but also because at the time the idea of a central server to hold my family’s files was attractive for the idea of maintaining current backups. Samba3 running on Linux now can not only replace the Windows server Control Panel “applets” and backup functions but also function as a full primary server for user logons etc. It will completely replace NT 4.0 Server in a NTLM domain. With Kerberos and LDAP Linux applications, it can completely replace a Win2K or Win2K3 server as well with the exception of Active Domains. In a small office environment, Active Domains is massive overkill and isn’t worth the effort. What this means in the realm of Kraken (a Win2K3 Small Business Server cropped down to Windows Home Server RC1) is that with Debbie (a Debian 4.0 server running Samba3) I can serve files to Linux, Windows Vista, XP, NT, CE, ME, 9X and even WFW 3.11 clients! Kraken can only serve to XP and Vista clients!

      Apache2 is my next target of investigation. Apache so far has demonstrated absolutely no issues. Perhaps because I really haven’t done anything with it yet! What I have experienced with Apache2 and Samba so far seems as if both projects are being written in the same style, by the same groups of programmers. Both groups are obviously pros and they have dedicated pros writing the documentation. That makes the software they release a joy to use.

      Web pages will be the standard User interface to Debbie, the LHS. I haven’t done it yet but swat looks like a model to follow for at least a beginning control system for the LHS server. Yes I know. I’m breaking one of my own rules, I’m going to write programs. I think my disease is terminal now. I just spent the last 3 weeks writing and debugging batch files and VB scripts to automatically install application software from a remote Windows server for work. The hardest part was making them “stupid-operator-proof”. HTML and javascripts seem trivial in comparison.

      It looks as if I will be able to write VB Script or Javascript loaded static pages that are served up by Apache2 on Debbie and actually executed on the Windows clients. These pages will most likely need to be accessed by IE 6 or 7 and I’ll need to fiddle the security settings on the Windows clients to allow them to execute on the clients. Dropping shortcuts onto Windows desktops look to be the easiest way to get the embedded script pages “installed” on the Windows clients. Browser functions to open, save and view files are the activities most likely to be the ones needed at the start. That should work on the Linux ones as well.

      I’m still interested in adding news website RSS feeds into some kind of a master news server. A long time ago BG (Before Google), I had a spider package that would scan websites for specific info (damn I should have filed a patent!) by using keywords. I could be doing that to incoming RSS feeds. I might not even have to write any software, somebody has probably already written it!

      I’ve had no time yet to look into why Bacula doesn’t work on Debbie. Having already exposed my aversion to SQL Servers of every flavor, I’m going to put it off as long as I can and avoid messing with it until I have to, probably with Bacula. If I soon can’t get Bacula to work I’ll find a replacement for it.

      Since I’m using what probably ought to be called junk to implement my media server, I’m still of the opinion that I’ll put the TV tuner board and the DVR functions on a separate computer. I have an old 1.8 GHz P4 Intel board based on a 423 pin CPU with 512 MB of RAM that probably could run as a TV/DVR streaming server. Its hard to justify the cost of new CPU hardware ($500+) to replace a $150 DVD recorder/player. Using a separate system gives me the option to run it first as a Windows system to verify that all of the boards, the CPU, RAM etc all work without dragging out the process. My skill-set as a Windows system guru is still much stronger than my Linux newbie side. Hey Yoda backoff! I’m still trying to find my balance in the Force!

      • #2617323

        Wow, some good stuff going on

        by dumphrey ·

        In reply to Debbie developed a split personality! But she’s better now.

        with your server. I do have several questions..First, why did you not just use local computer policy to apply the samba mount script? Second, why will Debbie have a nic in the DMZ? Are there that many ports you would have to forward? And if you were going to be security conscious, you may want to look into port knocking instead of just forwarding. Also, have you installed Webmin yet? For Debian Etch its a single .deb package download and install. I recently discovered this little gem, look for it asap. It gives a common web interface to manage 98% of your computer, including servers. I installed it on an old box, put the computer in place in our second location, drove accross town to my office, connected to the web interface through a vpn, and set up a squid/clamav/squidguard web filter/proxy for our call center. All from a web interface. I had to apply the proxy through group policy, and Webmin couldn’t help there, but no program is perfect =\
        As for putting the tuner card in a seperate box, I recomend that heartily. I have a mythtv box running both the front and back ends. Keep in mind this is a 1.2Ghz celeron with 512Mb sdram. Changing channels is slow, and the UI is a little unresponsive. I have the remote working, but it seems laggy, so I just use the keyboard. I actualy get better perforamnce if I use another box as the front end, and stream the video, the buffereing and reading tends to use a lot of cpu and disk time. I could probably improve the performnace a lot wit some tweaking, but I do not watch enough tv to bother, its good enough for me. For just straight tv viewing, no recording, an old ATI TV Wonder pro (pci) plays beautifully through tvtime using the stock kernel driver in every linux distro Ive used in the last year or two. I have no idea what the newer cards are like though =\
        Bacula is a major pain. It either “just works” or takes major hammering. I did see a very good man on it not long ago, i will see if I can find it again and put it in a sa link..
        Not the one I saw, but seems pretty good anyway
        web interface for bacula

        I am in the process of replacing my 2 ubuntu boxes with Debian 4.0. I also have a spare box I am attempting to learn freeBSD on. My overall goal is to build a machine able to do 99% of all web based activities a windows box can do, so I can spend less time fixing my roommates computer =\

        • #2618048

          Details of Debbie and where she sits.

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to Wow, some good stuff going on

          Local computer policy requires you do more work than write a logon script. It also assumes that local computer policy is installable on all clients. Win9X clients really don’t have a “local policy”. Also the local policy of mapping a drive is handled differently in each version of Windows. So if I had to fiddle with policy I might as well map it directly in each logon. The same logon script works on all Windows computers and with all users. Since the server sets the level of access each user has, the logon script just opens the door. The user group privileges on the server set the permissions the users can exercise.

          At least in this house I only have 5 potential “logees” not counting the two dogs! (If they manage to log on then I’ll give them admin privileges and retire!)

          Also at present I don’t have a Netbios or NT domain setup yet on Debbie. That is my eventual goal but I’d like to keep it a little looser than that for a while till I understand a little better what I’m doing.

          Port knocking, good grief, that looks like a difficult manipulation technique for little benefit. Combine that with Tor from the EFF and you’ve got incredible IP obfuscation but not encryption.

          Transmissions between those two IP addresses will in 99.999% of situations will have to be locked to those two IPs. So I don’t think you gain much if anything over encrypted connections. Network monitoring will capture all of the traffic based on IP To and From addresses. You can implement the same thing as a knock sequence by passing a coded sequence back and forth that is encrypted with the same one-time pad technique.

          You could take the port knocking sequence to its logical conclusion and continue to scramble the port numbers on every IP frame for the entire communication between two computers. A one-time pad would be perfect for that but there are a limited number of port numbers, 2^16.

          In radio systems like wireless Ethernet, pseudo-random frequency hopping is used to scramble the transmission and to provide higher bandwidth capacity with less interference between “competing” systems. A digital correlation filter provides the means of synchronizing transmitter and receiver during a training sequence. You’d have to have something like that for the port tracking. You couldn’t really allow the IP frames to embed state information because that would be a give-away for a hacker to do his tracking with.

          I suppose you could also hop around on IPs as well but it might make a lot of ISPs really angry!

          VPN and tunneling look a lot more feasible and easier to deal with than port scrambling.
          Layering on PGP or some other encryption technique should make it invisible to the users at each end.

          Back to the issue of the DMZ. My system is structured this way:
          The incoming DSL line goes through a ADSL modem that does an IP address translation, serves a block of DHCP addresses that then enters a Linux firewall system with 3 NICs. One for the incoming ADSL/Ethernet, one NIC for my systems and the final NIC (the DMZ) for my son’s (win2K) and daughters Windows 98 computers. That NIC feeds into the WAN connection into a Wireless router that does NAT, DHCP and port mapping/ forwarding from the WAN side to the LAN side. The Linux router has IPChains that do not permit routing from the DMZ to the NIC handling my networked systems (2 Windows systems, the Linux Home Server(Debbie), 2 more Debian desktop systems used for testing and trying out the LHS and my SUSE 10.2 desktop system. There are is also a Linux printer server HP DeskJet 500 (it still works!), a HP 3100 printer/scanner/fax and an Epson 880. The LHS (Debbie) will have a NIC on the DMZ so that my kids can use the LHS for their file storage.

        • #2618275

          Nice reply

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Details of Debbie and where she sits.

          I hadn’t thought about windows 98 machines. I guess the oldest windows I use is 2000, and I use that quite a bit really…I still think using local policy on the machine able to support it to run your boot-up script would work better for me, I would latter on forget about the reg entry, but I tend to look at local policy when trouble shooting.

          I understand why you use a DMZ now, but it seems to me that you do not use it AS a DMZ, since all hosts on it are behind a wireless router, though, now that I look back, it seems that you consider all the hosts on it “untrusted”. Nevermind, I see why its a DMZ.

          Sounds like you have it all under control =) Let us know how it all progresses, and how Bacula ends up.

    • #2618504

      So…mission accomplished?

      by absolutely ·

      In reply to A challenge to the Linux Users of the World

      [i]These are the specific features I was able to discern from the advertising on the URL citation listed above. There is also a mechanism that allows 3rd party applications to operate within the server framework, I’m going to assume plug-ins.

      Digital Media Shares
      media and other files served throughout your home and through a website IP
      Remote Access to Your PCs
      WHS lets you access your PCs and media from a Web-connected PC
      Protect Your Data
      automatic backups and full system restore. Smaller restores of individual files and folders (incremental daily backup) of accidentally deleted material.
      PC Health Monitoring
      Manage a family of PCs with WHS monitoring. Make sure virus definitions are up-to-date and each PC is running the latest updates.
      Users rights and access management
      Users can be grouped and allowed specific access to shares and PC access
      Firewall (assumed)
      Microsoft can be so stupid as to not to build in a stout 2 way, state-full watching firewall. I will not be that stupid in any case with the Linux contender I build.
      Web-Browser management and access
      This is also an implied feature.[/i]

      Some of that is comical: “Keep all your family’s PCs happy and healthy with home network health monitoring. You can see the exact condition of the computers in your home and make sure everyone’s software and virus definitions are up-to-date.” which you summarized “PC Health Monitoring
      Manage a family of PCs with WHS monitoring.”

      Hmm, so, is Windows Update going to be decommissioned, then? Will Vista block my virus definition updates from my third party security software vendor? Because in all seriousness, I am not about to trust my computers’ “security” to the team of code monkeys that put the easily exploitable vulnerabilities there in the first place. In other words, by merely configuring a simple file server and Internet server or proxy, I have that functionality via the software installed in XP.

      The same goes for “digital media shares”. I open Windows Media Player, search the shared directory on my Debian machine, and play my mp3s directly in XP. Streaming media, check.

      I myself haven’t configured Debian into a “web-connected PC” or tried to use bacula for the data in my Windows computer, but you have posted that those functions are working in Debian as advertised for WHS, haven’t you? So in a nutshell my question is, when are you going to compile that, write up documentation for the odd .conf file that will need to be customized from one home network to the next, and what are you going to call it?

      • #2618260

        Apache & Bacula and the real pirates in this mess.

        by xwindowsjunkie ·

        In reply to So…mission accomplished?

        I haven’t gotten anything out of Bacula yet. I think something is broken and I haven’t a clue as to what it is. So for the present I’ve completely un-installed it and yanked it out of Debbie completely, or at least I think I have. That’s the nut of the issue, I haven’t been able to get anything that comes back and tells me its running or not, installed or not. So I’m going to hold off working on Bacula until I get more info on it.

        I have mySql installed and that’s all well and good but I hope to not to have to mess with it at all.

        I’m spending my time right now working on Apache2 settings, configurations etc. I’ve run into a bit of an issue in that Apache2 is running in a very secure manner and I appreciate that but its a pain in the butt trying to manage something that requires you to type passwords every time you want or need to fiddle a setting!

        I’m not going to claim “mission accomplished” prematurely like another famous Texan I know! Debbie is still a work in progress. The smb.conf (Samba configuration file) that I am currently using is very similar to the one I published with most of the ID info changed to hide my system settings. I do know where you are coming from though, so I am documenting what I do or have done in a series of web pages that I’m writing and “hiding” at present until I get some time to go back through and “sanitize” for my protection! ha!

        The one thing that I have learned is that using the apt-get mechanism looks to be the best way to install the scripts and file changes when that time comes around. I’m fairly impressed with the Debian mechanism they use for updating the running system image. I can see writing a configuration application that writes the various text files and then updates the entire system in one fell swoop through the file system.

        A final comment on Kraken (the WHS box). Besides only allowing 10 users to be connected to the system at any time. You can do that with any workstation product all the way back to Windows 3.1! So there’s an artificial limitation that they AGAIN programmed into the system. The systems that the WHS connector work on only include the last 2 versions of Windows XP (SP2 on top of that!) and Winsta (ryhmes with gangsta’).

        I was not impressed at all that Microsoft made a cold, hard, mean-spirited decision to cut out support for anything Microsoft older than XP or based on FAT or FAT32 file systems. I can understand their reluctance to include Linux clients. That was a purely marketing decision and from the viewpoint of a long-time user of Microsoft products, that was unforgivable. They claim “inter-operabilty” is their goal but they show time after time that money is the motivation not customer support. That earns them the pirate’s black flag (Jolly Roger) in my book.

        • #2618234

          Oh well, thanks for keeping us posted.

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Apache & Bacula and the real pirates in this mess.

          I’m sure I’m not going to mess with Apache for my own home server, but I have been meaning to get my feet wet with bacula. If I find anything interesting I’ll post it here.

        • #2618929

          Love linux so much I’m now getting a notebook.

          by doug ·

          In reply to Apache & Bacula and the real pirates in this mess.

          Well, last month my windows 2003 server’s
          power supply blew, so I set up a SuSE 10.2
          server. The e-mail was easy, as was teh
          remote access, but I’m still having problem
          rewritting my websties in Java Studio

          Still, except for a few glitches, I found
          Linux much more user friendly than windows.
          Yesterday I ordered a 699 notebook with a
          17 inch screen, and I’m going to install
          linux on it and make it my work computer.

          BTW, I think Bacula is a bit of a dead end.
          You might want to check out partition
          magic, and systemrescuecd.

        • #2626818

          follow up

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Love linux so much I’m now getting a notebook.

          “You might want to check out partition
          magic, and systemrescuecd.”

          Why? What about either/both do you find commendable?

        • #2626565

          Partition Magic

          by xwindowsjunkie ·

          In reply to follow up

          Partition Magic when it was NOT owned by Symantec was the absolute best partition manager period. No contest. I NEVER lost data due to a software error, not once. It would tell you exactly what it could and could not do BEFORE it did anything. I bought Partition Magic 8 from Symantec on a download but it was obviously still being programmed by the original programmers since it didn’t come completely wrapped up in Norton Utilities sh–. I never found that Norton Utilties could do what it said it could. I made backups everytime I had to with Norton and I was glad I did 50% of the time since Norton would trash the drive 50% of the time.

          It would also work with ext2 and ext3 partitions, nice! I never used it with Linux though, just Windows systems.

        • #2626479

          I’ve had similar experiences with PowerQuest’s Partition Magic

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Partition Magic

          & Symantec’s, which is why I asked the question. I had never heard of the other app recommended, and am genuinely curious why either was suggested in place of bacula. Very odd, IMO.

        • #2627297


          by doug ·

          In reply to I’ve had similar experiences with PowerQuest’s Partition Magic

          Sorry dudes. I meant this:

          In linux there’s also tar and rsync. I’m
          still experimenting to find the right

          Right now I’m trying to figure out how to
          image my new AMD 64 Turion notebook before
          I shrink the VISTA partiion down to 20 gb
          and use the rest of the 160 gb drive for
          either SuSE or Ubuntu. Systemrescuecd
          doesn’t like the processor.

          This will be my work computer. I will soon
          be windows free!

          It’s an Acer 9300. 160 gb hd, 17 inch
          screen, 64 bit processor, all for 699.
          Seems like a steal.

        • #2628339

          re: SystemRescueCd

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I’ve had similar experiences with PowerQuest’s Partition Magic

          SystemRescueCd is a LiveCD Linux distribution designed specifically for use doing, well, system rescue stuff. It includes a lot of utilities for backing up, restoring, filesystem management, and so on.

        • #2615020

          Like you said, not Bacula

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Love linux so much I’m now getting a notebook.

          backuppc looks like the way to go, so I’ll be trying that the next few days.

          LDAP is a hassle and all the POP3 MUAs I see depend on that, so my “mail server” is currently a send-only freak. I’m tired of trying to get it working, too, so I’m happy to have something easy to do this weekend, between barbecuing.

        • #2614919

          LDAP dependence . . . ?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Like you said, not Bacula

          What MUAs are you trying out that require LDAP? What are your requirements for an MUA, anyway? I may be able to make a suggestion — or not.

        • #2614911

          I meant MTA, not MUA

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to LDAP dependence . . . ?

          I shouldn’t post so late at night I guess. 🙂

          Certainly relaying mail could be accomplished without LDAP, but my observation on the email packages in synaptic is that the ones that can work with clamav and filter rigorously against spam tend to also have sophisticated authentication — either ldap, mysql or postgresql. Specifically, I have been looking at courier & perdition. I’ve installed & started configuring both, but neither has delivered my messages to my other computer’s Outlook Inbox. In both cases, I got stuck at the step ‘list of users/authentication’.

          I’m looking at p3scan as my fallback, and really I think it’s pretty ideal: “transparent POP3-proxy with virus- and spam-scanning” is really just right for a home server, even for very large families (or small apartment complexes & dorms, possibly).

          Your suggestion is definitely welcome, but I might just decide that learning the LDAP dance is a worthwhile exercise anyway.

        • #2616883

          I’m mucking with Courier here

          by neon samurai ·

          In reply to I meant MTA, not MUA

          I have to find some better howto docs to read though. Right now my postfix/procmail/courier-imap,-ssl is only delivering mail within the machine. I’m using system user accounts but will have to explore mysql auth after I understand the base mail setup. eGroupware works perfectly overtop of it all and my outlook/thunderbird clients connect over ssl imap without issue but there is no mail going out or in.

          Any links to good howto for a courier mail server behind a port forwarding router would be appreciated. The webserver works clean through a dyndns so in theory there should be no issues once I learn how to config the mail server properly.

        • #2616767

          Sorry to hear it.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I meant MTA, not MUA

          I haven’t really dealt with unixy mail servers sans LDAP, so I guess I don’t have much to offer in the way of advice. Learning LDAP should prove useful anyway, however, as it can serve to provide you with a deeper understanding not only of Unix-based networking services, but also of Active Directory (since AD is basically just several Unix-based services glued together).

        • #2615316

          Thanks apotheon. Neon, if I find any good docs I’ll post them here.

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to I meant MTA, not MUA

          Courier’s set of features and compatibility
          with various databases looks nice but it’s
          a little bit of a nuisance to get started.

        • #2615227

          I’ve never used Courier, either.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I meant MTA, not MUA

          My experience with managing Unix/Linux mail servers has all been with Sendmail, Postfix, Exim, and Qmail. My experience with Qmail has been that it kinda sucks (for both functionality and security reasons), and my experience with Exim is that it’s a severe pain in the butt to configure (like learning to read and write Chinese). Postfix is particularly easy to configure, in my experience, and very well documented — it’s what I used on Debian (instead of Exim).

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