Help on which os to choose
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Thread: Help on which os to choose

  1. #1
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    Help on which os to choose

    Iím stuck on which os to choose for a pc ive got that I want to use as a server/gateway for my 2 pcs, I donít know anything about any os's apart from windows so I want something thatís pretty easy to use.

    Here are the system specs

    P1 166
    32mb of ram
    onboard 1mb video card

    Itís going to be linked to the others via hub..one pc is on 98 the other xp, the 166 will have my adsl modem on it (usb) and will share the connections to the other two pcs. It will also be used for some p2p downloading and I would want to be able to transfer files.

    Iím also new to networking (kinda like jumping in at the deep end with bricks round my feet isnít it ) so im looking for something that is going to be easy to network, secure and not windows (I cant reach the reset button to easily ) and I would like a desktop as well. I know I might not be able to get all this but any comments are welcome.

    Thanks,
    Black Mantis

  2. #2
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
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    If you don't know anything about any other OS's except Windows, and you want to use this machine as a gateway for your network, I would highly recommend Windows 2000/NT 4. I understand you don't want to use Windows, but since this system will be your primary internet-facing node, you don't want to use something that you are unfamiliar with (ie - Linux, BSD). You would be much better off using the moderate stability and security of Windows 2000/NT 4 first, and then migrating over to the flexibility, scalability, and security of a Unix flavor (like OpenBSD or FreeBSD) after you've become familiar with it. Windows 2000/NT 4 may limit what you want to do initially, but since you are familiar with it you should at least be able to keep the holes plugged. Unix is not something to try on a whim for a system flagged as being a gateway to the rest of your network. You could quickly find yourself under attack, and you wouldn't know how to defend yourself.

    Sorry if it's not what you wanted to hear. Best of luck to you, though.
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  3. #3
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    well to be honest im not sure if i could stop an attack with windows. Im new to security stuff and still learning

  4. #4
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    If all you know is windows then i would stick with roswell's suggestions... Why play in waters you dont know how to tread in.. build the gateway server as a windows machine and then use one of the others as a lunix,bsd or any other os to test and become familiar with.. dont test on your gateway machine with an os you dont know much about..
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  5. #5
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    If you only know windows and you need something reliable, i would reccomend going w/ roswells idea. Id reccomend 2000 advanced server though. Personally ive had fairly good experiences with it and dont have to reach for that reset button too often. If you get another machine to learn on switching over to Linux, or FreeBSD would probably not be a bad idea either, just make sure you know what your doing first. Trying to run something like that that your unfamiliar with would probably come back and haunt you. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Thumbs down

    It's very easy to say "oh, go use this and that". Unfortunately there are a few things you want to double check before you switch over. First of all I'll die before I touch Windows NT 4.0 one of the worst Operating Systems that are used as network OS I have ever dealt with. Now that I got that off my chest. If you want to use WIndows 2000, you must meet the following requirements:
    Computer/Processor 133 MHz or higher Pentium-compatible CPU
    Memory 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM recommended minimum; more memory generally improves responsiveness
    Hard Disk 2GB hard disk with a minimum of 650MB of free space
    If you meet the above you good to go. But remember meeting minimum system requirements doesnt mean your OS will run super fast. It'll run at an OK speed blah blah blah. You get the point. And as for the OS that is more secure, everyone knows BSD/Linux are best. You said you newbie even to the Windows world, I suggest you stick to windows world and stay away from the evil world of BSD and Linux. Hope this moderately helped.
    [gloworange]I pLaY mY eNeMyS lIkE a ChEsS.[/gloworange]

  7. #7
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    For your hardware, do not use win2000. It will run like a dog, and nothing will get done. However I do agree that you should use windows for your box since you are not familliar enough to cope with linux (i'm guessing from what you've said) if it crashes or to set it up initially. I would go with WinNT4 because it is stable, great for networking, and pretty secure. It is easy to set up. If you are worried about attacks as you said, you need to purchase a hardware firewall. This will not keep everyone out, but if you use it in conjunction with a software firewall, whatever gets through one (hardware) should theoretically be stopped by the other one (software) such as norton or blackice. I hope this helps, and wish you luck. Any questions about WinNT or firewalls, either post it or PM me and I will help you as much as I can!

    Oh yeah, Deranger187: I disagree about winNT, it's ok if you get it set up right. It doesn't load any drivers or anything like 2000, but it's perfect for networking. Win2000 just has more stuff crammed into it, that's all.
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  8. #8
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    i currently have windows 2k pro on it, i have a copy of advanced but like you said it has to have 62mb of ram. 2k runs ok on it but i really want to get into using another os than windows, the problem is that the other pc is my mums and i only have a 20gb hdd on my pc..and its always full, so really my only option would be to install it on the gateway server if i was going to do it.

    doh!

  9. #9
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    My friend, stop with the warez hehehe . Nah but serously if you have a 20gb HD, partition it into like 2 - 4GB and the other half 16 - 18GB depending on how you wish to divide. Lets say you choose 4gb. You'd have 4gb and 16gb. 16GB would be for Windows and 4gb would be for linux or BSD. THis way you dont have to overload your gateway server. ALso, shouldnt gateway server be on 24/7 ? so your other systems can access the net. So let me know if this works for you. ALso, if you have like $65 you can get a new HD.

    Just remembered, Hardware firewall? No offense but I think he should first get a hang of networking and then go into that. Mantis get a ZoneALarm or Black Ice both are free, pretty good software firewalls and when configured properly, they'll stop most minor attacks.
    [gloworange]I pLaY mY eNeMyS lIkE a ChEsS.[/gloworange]

  10. #10
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
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    If you're determined to move away from Windows (I applaud your enthusiasm!), I would typically recommend one of the more user-friendly flavors of Linux such as Mandrake, RedHat or SuSE. Be warned, however, that these distributions are usually not configured to be the most efficient right out of the box (so to speak). Their objective is to make the transition as painless as possible, so they will contain several applications you will probably never use as well as run several servers that you definitely do not want running, and your system will likely run like a dog, initially. With regards to security for newbies, I have found that Mandrake does a good job of warning you when things are dangerous during the install. Mandrake also has several pre-set security settings that make it fairly secure for a base install. I have no experience with SuSE or RedHat in terms of security.

    Also be advised that moving to a Unix flavor is a process of trial and error. You should be prepared to install Linux several times. It's not that Linux is unstable, but if you don't know how to fix something that has broken it's often easier to re-install and go back to the defaults.

    One more thing. Do yourself a favor and make sure that all the hardware on your current system is supported by the Linux distro you plan on using. You will save yourself quite a few headaches if Linux natively supports your hardware. Scouring the web for a driver, configuring it, and installing it is not the easiest thing in the world sometimes.

    Best of luck to you in your endeavor.
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