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I'm new to Linux and I'm currently running a network, with the main computer running Windows XP. I plan to install Linux on a seperate harddrive. I am wondering if it is possible to run Linux while running the network (keeping the functionality of the router and cable modem, letting computers that run WinXP still connect normally). Would it be possible to do this while running both operating systems (switching)?
Thanks for your time.
Its completely possible to run a network from Linux. If it wasn't it wouldn't be much of an OS. Ask any reasonable person and they will tell you Linux is better for network management than any windows OS.

The point is, that other than having to learn a new set of tools for doing it, you can manage a complete network (including samaba, the windows file sharing server) from Linux.

The only problem with be when you reboot. Obviously you can not have network tools running wile the computer reboots, so depending on how your servers are set up, client computer may have some problems each time you reboot, but those can be delt with.

If you have any more specific questions feel free to ask.
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