Commonly used linux packages
So you've got linux and you want to set up some cool programs because now you can actually "host" to the outside...where to now? For intro purposes, I've added a very brief (3 ports) list of most commonly used applications available for internal and external use.
21 (port that the ftp daemon listens on)
25 (port that your smtp mail listens on)
80 (port that your web server listens on)
These are all listed in /etc/services and /etc/inetd.conf. These generally don't change and you won't find a need to change them.
What's a good web server to use?
Apache is by far the most widely used web server worldwide and has much more support, functionality, and security than ANYTHING MS calls a web server (for you NT admins, sorry, but IIS blows *points to the over 2000 individual IIS servers that have tried to install/abuse the CodeRed "virus"). The most current apache version is 1.3.22. Go here for the httpd page and go here for documentation help for 1.3 and 2.0 versions.
What's a good mail program? And what's sendmail?
Sendmail is one of the most popular mailing daemons to use, having been created by Eric Allman back in the day (history lesson shortened). While it's been ridiculed at points in time because of the 'sendmail bug of the week' syndrome, it's got
open source, and isn't *too* hard to get going. If you can read a sendmail config file however, you have NO life! Sendmail's the only thing I know that can take a 7 line cf file and turn it into 400 lines of 'Dear God, what is that mess?'. Go here for the sendmail main page. It also has documentation and a *shudder* gui interface of some sort that I haven't messed around with.
If you're looking for an alternative to sendmail, check out qmail, a "modern SMTP server that makes sendmail obsolete". This seems to be picking up a lot of support as of late due to it's 'easier to use interface than sendmail ever will be' configuration. I might even check this out...after all, competition breeds better products (mostly). Go here for the main page or here for the mirror site in Alabama (closest mirror to me).
What's a good FTP program to use?
Currently, a lot of machines ship with one of two FTP packages. Either WU-FTP (Washington Univ. FTP) or Pro-FTP. Both are fairly good, although both have had exploits in the past (maybe current, haven't kept up) however good security is not too hard to do as there are plenty of pages out there. FTP, while a good service to provide, can be abused (if you use anonymous ftp) or exploited. Go
here for the page housing WU-FTPD. This is the one RH and others come standard with so it's your best bet to start with. Go here for documentation on the server setup and whatnot.
Where can I get more free programs?
The best site I can name is the GNU site. GPL/GNU/Open Source are all listed here with up-to-date packages on just about anything you'll make good use of. Go here and also check out this site for Sourceforge's stuff. Great place to get a project going and get support. Note the windows stuff too (hehe, we're spreading to the non-believers!).
Where can I go for additional information? This is a lot of stuff!
Never fear, linux support by the millions is here! If you're wanting more general information on linux and what others have already gone through (saving you pain, agony, hate, and discontent!), go here for one of the best sites for linux documentation submitted by the droves. You'll find that linux support (while those that think 'free' == 'crap') is available anytime, anywhere, anyplace just about with 3+ mirrors elsewhere.
Linux, while it's daunting in the beginning, is a very good operating system, regardless of the flavor (I was hoping Storm Linux would make it :( ) and once you get used to the CLI (command line interface), you'll find that windows is nothing more than a buggy "application" (doesn't deserve the term 'operating system').
Have fun setting up your box and if you need any additional help, feel free to PM me on here as I'll be glad to assist in any fashion.