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Full Version: I Don't speak greek! :)
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ok, let me start by saying hello and thank you for this support forum..

I have read a few of the topics in this forum and have come to one conclusion... your all speaking greek.. that or martian...

Here is my problem.. perhaps one of you can point me in the right direction...

I have six spare computers... (my personal computer aside..) I am going to attempt to turn these computers into servers and provide a number of services... chat server, p2p server (maybe), hosting, and a few others. these computers range from 900mhz on up to 3gig proc.., 128 ram on up to 512 ram. 10 gig hard drive on up to 200 gig hard drives plus externals on a few.. windows 98, win xp, win server 2003 server enterprise.. using apache2triad as the server program..

i have been having major security problems with the one server i am currently running (3gig 512ram win 2003 server enterprise edition using apache2triad)

I am left with two choices as far as i can see... purchase the ISA server package for server2003 (not cheap), or use linux (Everyone is telling me that linux is more secure than this right?)

I have checked into linux and have been pointed in a few directions (everyones oppinion is different) one being ubuntu server.... the others i can not remember...

I installed ubuntu on one of my machines and just get a prompt... (server edition not having a gui apperently) and being completely new to linux, i am nowhere near ready for that...

I need a good secure linux system that i can run a server from. That has a desktop... being a lifelong windows user i need some sort of desktop untill i can learn linux....

can anybody give me the name of a distro and any plug ins/programs that I will need to get a server up and running while i learn a more complex non gui distro from a seperate system.

also.. i read the newbies page and...... how do you inzip a rar file? or execute an exe? (can you?) most of my programs and such are in these formats.. (i use simple machines forums on my site and paperirc chat server)

also if someone could describe to me denerally why a linux server is more secure than a windows server i would like that very much.. it would help me descide on my final course of action.

Thank you in advance for any help.
IMHO linux is not supseptable to virus etc as easily as windows but they do exist. What keeps them at bay is the fact that theyare difficult to write in a way that will spread. A linux computer that does not have the latest security updates and not running a firewall can be just as vunerable as a windows PC.

There are many linux distributions. If you desire a production server you can look in to Redhat Enterprise (RHEL) but it costs money. CentOS is a free distribution based on RHEL. freeBSD is another good server distribution but is more similar to Unix then linux. I am not sure Ubuntu is the best server distribution but would use debian (what Ubuntu is based on) instead. While fedora is leading edge in terms of supporting the latest and greatest I do not suggest it for a production server. slackware is another good distribution. BTW They all have desktops. I like trustix but it is a non GUI distribution but it is possible to install xwindows on it.

windows executables i.e. exe do not natively run in linux. You need something like wine, codeweavers or vmware but depending on the application it may or may not work. Expect may not more then may. unrar and unzip are utilities for extracting such files. There are linux equiv. for most windows apps however they may not have the same functionality.
Thank you for the break down....

so what you are saying is that I will have to go and find a linux version of almost all of my software? That could suck... as much as i want to switch I don't know if it will be possable... I use programs like paintshoppro and corel wordpad constantly.... are these programs going to be compatable? ( i know i need to check with the maker..) or have equivelants in linux?

sorry.... i am just trying to figure out the pros and cons... i can stick with what i know and can do... or i can start all over again with a completely new OS that i dontknow how to use... sad.gif but is less likely to get viruses.. sad.gif tough choice..

you know of a good unbiased pros and cons comparison site for linux vs. unix vs. windows? (what is the dif in linux and unix anyhow?)

thank you again for your excelent responce
I was given this link... ..........this pointed me to ark linux.... think this distro will do all i need it to? if so....... what firewall do you recomend.. and server program? hmmm... ill probably need an antivirus to run on linux also.... i know this is a pain.. but i really dont know anything about linux and just need to get a server up and running (im suffering from way to much down time right now) then i will take the time to learn everything......


You dont need to moigrate ALL your computer to Linux, they will quite happilly network and co-exist with Windows PCs. You can even use standard windows file-sharing with them (as a client or server).

I don't think that antivirus should be a priority for you - There are some available, but I have been running one for years and never come across a single virus on my Linux server except for the odd Windows one that got stored on a network share by a windows PC.

UNIX is a pretty old OS (thats not to say it isnt current though) on which a lot of mainframes and mission critical systems are run. IBM, HP and Sun Microsfytems are traditioanlly UNIX vendors, but a lot of the focus nowadays has moved to Linux. Linux (at least when run as GNU/Linux - Which it is in about 99% of cases, ie alongside the GNU operating system [Linux is quite a samll but important part of the OS]) is UNIX compatible and generally a UNIX program can be compiled for Linux with little or no porting required. Linux is POSIX-compatible, which basically means it follows the POSIX standards which apply to both UNIX and Linux.

A distribution like Mandriva may be a god choice to being with. The tihng about Mandriva, is that although it is quite easy to use, has relativley modern packages and does a bit of hand-holding with it's GUI tools, it is also quite an "average" distribution in terms of what's uner the hood. All the command line tools that more advanced system admins would use are present, and it's layed out in much the same way as other distributions. In comaprison, UbuntuLinux has a few quirks, perhaps the most confusing of which is the complete lack of the "root" (administrator) user.

Mandriva comes with all the necessary software to easily set up Apache, PHP, MySQL, Perl etc. etc.

Here's a tip: Install the "webmin" package, it is a web-based administration system with an excellent Apache configuration tool. I dont think I could live without it!

Most Windows programs dont have Linux equivalents. Word/Excel/PowerPoint are generally replaced by "OpenOffice" (which is available for windows if you want to try before you commit to Linux) - see Ihaven't used paintshop pro, but like I said, you could keep your workstation as Windows, and just move the servers to Linux.

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