“ Released on Monday 25, September 2000 -- This new version features: enhanced security, 2.4 kernel ready, OpenSSL with 128-bit encryption for secure web communication, USB support for mice and keyboards, XFree 4.0.1 for improved video performance, improved GNOME desktop and Sawfish window manager, and an increase on the ease of use side. With optimized software for higher-end Intel chips and increased 3D support, along with dozens of new enterprise-ready applications. „
* Prices may differ from that shown
Dunno if this is the right place or not for this - maybe we should have a SAMBA section under Linux? BEWARE - this is Techy McTech from Techtown shit. It's only worth reading if you actually want to share files between a Linux box and Windows. Otherwise it will just bore the arse off you. Sorry sorry sorry. I'm such a sad bugger. Got your Linux/UNIX box up and running? Got your network all slicked up and ready to roll? Want to share files with your Windows machines?? You need SAMBA mate, that's what you need. And SAMBA stands for? Such A Mess, it's Bloody Awful. Actually SAMBA itself is OK; it's the documentation (or, quality of it), which stinks. The standard LINUX HOWTO is, to my mind, pants. So, here is Coco's rough guide to setting up SAMBA quickstyle. SAMBA is basically a Windows emulator running under Linux that can participate in Workgroups and Domains. To the Microsoft stuff it looks just like another Microsoft box on the LAN. Now, like all emulators, it can be a bit finicky to set up. However, if you do EXACTLY what I do here, then it will work. Promise. If it doesn't then tough tomatoes - don't call me. He he. So what do we have to do? First off, check that SAMBA is actually installed on your Linux box. Most installs load it automatically. I have Red Hat 7.1 and while it installs SAMBA, it doesn't start it at boot time. To start SAMBA fire up a root console and type; /etc/rc.d/init.d/smb start You should see two daemons come up; - SMB and NMB. You can restart it any time you like by issuing; - /etc/rc.d/init.d/smb restart which, as we will see later, is dead good. If for some reason it ain?t there, then you will need to install the RPM from your Linux CDROM. OK let's take a very brief look at what SAMBA does and how it does it. That will make the rest of this stuff a bi
t more logical. SAMBA implements a protocol called 'Server Message Block', or SMB - hence the name SaMBa. SMB was developed by Microsoft on behalf of IBM (back in the days when they were friends) in or around 1984. In layman's terms, it is a set of rules whereby computers (originally PC's) can share files across a network. SAMBA is effectively a Linux implementation of the protocol. SAMBA itself consists of two main components, the SAMBA program and a configuration file called SMB.CONF. SMB.CONF tells SAMBA how to behave in the environment it's in, what files to share and so on. There is another VERY IMPORTANT file, the SAMBA password file. Very little documentation on the web mentions this file but it is crucial to the working of SAMBA. Listen up, because there is an important bit somewhere hereabouts. Now, what was it? Oh yes, I remember - Each Microsoft Windows machine on the LAN that wishes to access a SAMBA file share or service MUST have a USER account in the Linux password file and MUST have an account in the SAMBA password file. Got that? Good. So - here we go:- STEP1 - create an account for each Windows PC on the Linux box. The account should have the EXACT SAME name and password as you have for the Windows PC. For example let's assume your Wintel box has a network name of CLIENT1. This is the name you gave it in the Identification tab when you set up your network. It is also the name that will appear for your PC if you open a DOS window and type NET VIEW. Let's also assume that the password for CLIENT1 is CL1PASSWD. Create a user account on the Linux box with the name CLIENT1 and the password CL1PASSWD. Next you need to do the same thing for SAMBA. Unfortunately, you can?t do this through the GUI admin screens so open a console and type: - smbpasswd -a CLIENT1 The system will ask you to supply a password to which you reply
CL1PASSWD END OF STEP1 - go and have a cig - you've earned it! STEP2 - now we need to create the SMB.CONF file. Red Hat comes with a pre-prepared conf file. If you want you can just use that. However, in my opinion, it tries to do too much for a beginner and it just leaves you bloody confused. Just so you know, there are several GUI products that can help you build your SAMBA shares. You can find a list at www.samba.com. The one I like best is called webmin and you can get it from www.webmin.com. However, before you do, you still need to have a basic understanding of how SAMBA works or it will just be so much gobbledegook to you. STEP 2 - Here is a VERY simple SMB.CONF file - it works fine - I?ve just tried it. Copy and paste it into your SAMBA folder (save the old one first). You will also need to create a folder called scratch in the root folder. # This is the main Samba configuration file. # NOTE: Whenever you modify this file you should run the command # "testparm" # to check that you have not made any basic syntactic errors. # # # Special Section GLOBAL # [global] smb passwd file = /etc/samba/smbpasswd dns proxy = no encrypt passwords = yes null passwords = yes workgroup = WORKGROUP server string = SAMBA %v on %L socket options = TCP_NODELAY # # Special Section HOMES # [homes] comment = Home Directories browseable = yes # # First fileshare - a folder called tmp # [tmp] path = /tmp read only = no # # Second fileshare - a folder called scratch # [scratch] comment = scratch area path = /scratch read only = no # # Third fileshare - the SAMBA folder itself. # [SAMBA] comment = SAMBA Directory path = /etc/samba read only = no END OF STEP2 STEP 3 - F
ire up SAMBA /etc/rc.d/init.d/smb start END OF STEP3 - whoopee! OK, let's try and understand the .CONF file a little bit. The file is split into 'sections' and each section describes a 'share'. There are three special sections called [global], [homes] and [printers]. Each of the other sections in .CONF describes a share, or in other words, a directory or a file. [global] As its name implies, [global] is where you set parameters that affect the overall behaviour of the SAMBA server. A good example is the 'workgroup' parameter in the example above. It tells SAMBA what workgroup to join in a win 95/98/ME environment (there are similar domain based statements for NT & 2000). There are just under two hundred (actually 182) different [global] parameters that can be specified in the GLOBAL section. However, most them auto-default to values that mean you can ignore them most of the time. I just mention it here so that you are aware of just how customisable (and complex) SAMBA can be. [homes] [homes] is really just a handy shortcut. If you know anything at all about Linux you will know that when you create a new user on the system, Linux creates a 'home folder' with the same name in the /home/ folder. So, our user CLIENT1, which we created earlier, will have a home folder /home/CLIENT1. All [homes] does is set you up with access to your home folder on the fly. [printers] Ah, you?ve spotted the deliberate mistake have you? Yes, our little example doesn?t have a [printers] section. I will do printers on another day - I promise. For now - let's just concentrate on getting a file server up and running OK? Good. [share] A share describes a file or directory that you wish to share. Again, there are over one hundred (124) different parameters you can specify. Incidentally, the manual can be found at www.samba.com. At its most basic, a
share is nothing more than a label and a path to a file or directory; - [scratch] Path = /etc/scratch_area Your Wintel machines will see this folder as 'scratch' on 'Linuxbox', or whatever you called your Linux machine when you defined it to the network. Other parameters can allow or deny hosts, allow or deny specific users, grant read or write access - the list goes on and on. However, just because we have referenced these files as shares to SAMBA, doesn't mean that we have changed their Linux permissions in any way. So you may finds that you can see a share that you have declared as 'write' which you can't actually write to (which will confuse the shit out of you). This will almost always be due to a Linux file permission that conflicts with the SAMBA permission. In such negotiations Linux always wins! Pre Windows 95, once you had these shares set up, then that was pretty much all you had to do. However, with Win95 and since, Windows will always send encrypted passwords over the LAN. It then uses a complex hand-shaking routine to verify the password has been received and decrypted. This gave rise to an awkward situation. SAMBA didn't know that the passwords were encrypted so it tried to verify them just as they were against its password files. Of course this failed and so SAMBA effectively stopped working. The original fix was to apply a small change to the Windows Registry to force it to send its passwords in clear. This was something of a retrograde step but it worked (still does). However the downside is that if someone manages to run a sniffer on your network then the passwords will be there for all to see. Not very secure. Later releases of SAMBA have caught up and now support encrypted passwords. You specify which you want in [global] as follows: - encrypt passwords = <yes>/<no> I would strongly recommend that you use
9;encrypt passwords = yes' unless you have some particular reason why you must have passwords flying around in clear. One of the really nice things about Linux services like SAMBA is that you don?t have to bounce the machine every time you change something; you just have to restart the service. This means that you can play around adding and removing parameters and immediately see their effect. I have a Wintel box right next to my SAMBA server so I can mess around with the parameters easily and quickly (what a sad little bugger I must be). Going from Linux to Windows - mapping a Windows share onto a Linux box is much easier. Here briefly is how its done. First of all, in order to see what shares a Windows machine has available you can run the smbclient command as follows (in this case for a machine on my network called ATLAS); - smbclient -L ATLAS The output will look something like this; - Server time is Sat Aug 10 15:58:27 1996 Timezone is UTC+10.0 Password: Domain=[WORKGROUP] OS=[Windows NT 3.51] Server=[NT LAN Manager 3.51] Sharename Type Comment --------- ---- ------- PRINTER$ Disk EPSON STYLUS Printer AUDIOLIB1 Disk ADMIN$ Disk ATLAS_SYS Disk IPC$ IPC Remote Inter Process Communication Server Comment --------- ------- Workgroup Master --------- ------- OK - I want to get at the MP3 library which lives on a fully shared drive called AUDIOLIB1. So, first of all I need to create a mountpoint for the share;- mkdir /mnt/audiolib1 Then I can simply mount the share using a special command called smbmount. It looks a bit odd because of the weird treatment of backslashes however it
is very analagous to the windows "map network drive" procedure. Here is the command; - smbmount "\\\\atlas\\audiolib1" /mnt/audiolib1 atlas will ask for a password (the network password you use when you bring it up) and the mount will be actioned. You can now browse /mnt/audiolib1 as if it were your own. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. And that, is a very quick expose of SAMBA and what it can do. Think I'll go down the pub now. My mate Zorba (the geek) is going to tell me how to re-flash my BIOS... Out there, on the edge, that's me (not).
AAARGH!!! UNCLE BILL IS STRANGLING ME! Hot on the heels of my Windows XP Pro opinion, you may well be wondering what I'm doing writing about a completely different operating system (OS). Well, it's partly to do with how my PC hardware is configured. I have a pair of 40 gigabyte hard-drives, one acting as a full backup to the other - after all, wouldn't want to lose all those opinions I've written, now would I? I do also carry out a less frequent backup to CD-R, but that's another story. Anyway, my drives are in removable drawers called caddies. This makes it very easy to slot in another drive at a moment's notice. This would also makes it very easy to change OS's at a moment's notice, and this then leads the thought process down the route of "Why not give it a try"? The vast majority of IBM-compatible PC users will be tied in someway to a Microsoft product, either, the OS itself (MS-DOS, Windows etc), or some other package like Office (Word, Excel et al), and as they say - "If it ain't bust, don't fix it!" However, I'm one of life's meddlers, who's just GOT to complicate matters by swimming against the tide, and so I got to thinking about learning another OS, preferably not another £250 one! Just call me "Betamax Man"! WHO THE F*!+ IS LINUS TORVALDS? Yes, not a name that rolls off the tongue in the same way that I wish Bill Gates didn't, is it? Now in the "big boys & girls" world of networks and servers, an OS called UNIX has always been a front-runner, but, as you might guess, it would be a tad expensive for your average stand-alone PC user! Steam-hammers and nuts spring to mind. Our pal, Linus T set about creating a system that could emulate the (in his opinion) superior UNIX without costing an arm and a leg. In fact, he decided to put the software in the public domain (that means it'
;s free to you and me!). More significantly, it also means that if you are the writer of a software application, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding out how to get it to work within this environment because the requisite "source code" is an open secret. Thus LINUX was born. So, if it's free, why does it cost anywhere between £39 and £85 in PC World? Well, as you can imagine, the software industry hasn't fallen over itself to make versions of their Windows or MacOS software to run on Linux, so when paying for your Linux package, you also get a bundle of software to overcome this, at least partially. In my own case, my Linux 7.3 version cost me £49 bundled by a company called RedHat, identifiable by the ..errr....red hat on the box. In this bundle comes an "office productivity" package (note I don't say MS Office look-alike) called StarOffice from Sun Microsytems. This provides for word-processing, spreadsheet and a presentation/graphics package. In fact, most of what a (much more expensive) basic version of MS Office can do. Very sensibly, Sun have made sure that their documents and spreadsheets are compatible with Word and Excel, so swapping floppies with an Office user should be no problem. So, if typing is your main use for a PC, maybe you should cut loose, forget Windows and Office, go for Linux, and use the change from 500 smackers to go to Crete for 2 weeks to work on your first book - "Who Pays The Software Man?". Γεια σου! INSTALLING IT In the box you get:- 1x Installation Manual (not a User's Manual, note, that's significant) 8x CD-ROMs 1x DVD-ROM (not needed exactly, but contains everything on the CD-ROMs). Personally, I found the manual easy enough to follow, but then I know what a "bootable CD-ROM" drive is, and how to "alter the boot sequence in the BIOS". I you
don't, then it looks like Linux could be a case for "GALMIN"* *Get A Little Man In - I suppose that ought to be GALPIN in these politically-correct times! Linux can be installed on a disk previously formatted for the Windows 9* family, i.e. on a FAT32 format disk. The initial install sequence takes about 30 minutes and is very straightforward. A decidedly orderly screen tells you which files are currently being installed with a brief "one-liner" as to what they do. You also get a series of informative text screens, much like waiting for the main feature to start at your nearest multi-plex, although none of these advertised my nearest Indian restaurant or a driving school, being mainly concerned with the history of Linux! During the install, it is assumed that the installer is likely to be the administrator to the system (seems reasonable otherwise, where did you nick the disks from?) and you will be asked to input a "root" level password. You can leave the creation of other users until you've got the system running. One surprise for Windows users is that there is actually a choice of two different Graphical User Interfaces (Gooeys). Now this is the point where I have to take issue with Red Hat and Linux in general. Following the first reboot, there I sat, eagerly awaiting a nice new screen, when all I got was an initial screen asking me which system I'd like to load. Having confirmed that Linux was the only one for me (it is possible to use this loader for a dual-boot system where Windows also features), the system boots a bit further, until you come to a flashing command prompt. Hmmm, great. Now what? Guessing that I needed to type "Root" in at the ID level, and my administrator's password in at the Password prompt took me one stage further. What was then needed was a command, but the installation manual made no mention of this - oh, no
! After all, I'd installed it now, ITS job was done. No amount of trying to guess what the command was helped. I tried RUN, GO, LINUX, and START (so near yet so far away!), all to no avail. It became obvious that I was going to have to read the Users Manual safely tucked away on a CD-ROM in Acrobat PDF format: but how to read it? Of course, insert my Windows drive caddy, boot up de ol' Windows XP and read the .pdf file from there. Easy-peasy. I can't quite put my finger on what I find so unsatisfactory about this, but the nearest I can come up with, is the following allegory. You're driving in along in your brand-spanking-new BMW when it suddenly breaks down. You phone BMW who confirm that you'll need a tow truck, but since they don't make them they refer you to a Ford Dealer! I think that about sums up my feelings on this process. So, eventually, thanks to Windows, I was able to ascertain that STARTX was the command I was looking for. Now why couldn't the installation manual have mentioned that? After all, it's only the very first thing that you'd need to know AFTER installation, and then you could have read the manuals from within Linux, not a rival system! This doesn't bode very well for anyone who has taken my initial advice to throw their lot in with Linux and save a few bob, now does it? My (revised) advice would be to print out the Users Manuals either from Windows or someone else's PC if you are starting from scratch, since from day one, the paper manual they give you will leave you high and dry. ALL IS FORGIVEN - IT WORKS! You do have to keep saying, "What did I expect for 50 quid?" to yourself occasionally, but first impressions are pretty favourable. The main screen is a very logical familiar affair that Win 9* users will recognise straightaway. Sure, a lot of the terminology is different, after all, a "Wizard"
; is probably a Microsoft copyright! Linux has daemons. It would appear that Linux is not as "plug-and-play" as Windows, although I did find that my Blueyonder Broadband was already working when I tried it, so it obviously set up the network card and LAN settings with no help from me . For internet use, you get two browsers, Netscape (the "other" one) and the upstart Mozilla which is gaining favour fast. You also get Netscape Messenger, an approximate equivalent of Outlook Express, although I haven't set up any e-mail accounts. Since this OS is for my educational benefit, I don't want to keep trying to remember which disk has got my latest e-mails on it! Now if I was having an affair....... INSTALLING OTHER SOFTWARE At first, I couldn't find out how to install the extra software like StarOffice, but this turns out not to be a problem. Instead of an "Install New Software" process like Windows, the CD-ROM is designed to "autorun" on insertion, giving you a list of what is on the disk. Then, you tick the bits you want and off you go - different but equally simple. The same goes for the "Productivity Disk" of software, mainly utilities, although I could have done with better descriptions of what they were, so as to decide whether to install or not! Trial "dabbles" with the word processor and the spreadsheet reveal them to be almost the same in operation as Word and Excel. PERIFERALS Now this does seem to be my most problematical area yet. Despite the initial set up having spotted my two LPT ports, which means that it must have inserted its own driver for the PCI card that carries LPT2, I still can't set up a printer. The process has drivers for my Epson 600, but not my Canon LBP-660. Even on the Epson, there are so many sub-variations to the driver that I'm not sure if the "Unable to Complete Te
st Print" flag is a result of my choosing the wrong driver, or the fact that I'm doing something else more fundamentally wrong, but I'll press on until I lick it, including finding a Canon driver from the web. Who knows? - I might even read the manual! That's the great thing about Linux - if Red Hat haven't supplied what you want, there's a world of "anoraks" and geeks out there beavering away to tweak it. CONCLUSION By its very nature, this opinion will be sketchy so far, since I'm still struggling to get to grips with some of the basics. Some of what I said earlier about this being a cheap alternative to Windows, if all you want to do is type, still holds true. However, if I, (and I regard myself as reasonably computer-literate - compared to some at least) can't yet get a printer working then Linux's days as a £50 type-writer haven't arrived yet. It feels more like a system "by and for" hobbyists. I suppose Linux will be finding favour with some companies setting up LANs though; especially those with UNIX servers. With the luxury of an IT department to do the configuration for you, leaving you just to use the thing, then "mucho dinero" could be saved compared to the cost of umpteen Windows site-licences, since users will find it very similar to operate to any of the Windows 9* family. As and when I lick the printer problem, I'll be back!
I decided to buy a copy of Red Hat Linux 7 as a part of my college course. It was very cheap costing just £18 including a big book. I have never even used Linux never mind installed it so I new it would be a difficult task. First of all I had to create a new partition, this was surprisingly difficult and I ended up having to delete an existing on with FDISK. Thankfully I had already back up everything before hand! When it finally installed I had to tell it exactly what hardware I had, this wasn’t to hard as I built the machine my self. I then had to select which desktop I wanted use I selected Gnome. I have used Linux a bit since I got it but I still haven’t been able to connect the internet or even install programs with it. Its supposed to be easy to use but it is no where near as easy to use as Windows 98 never mind XP. The system requirements are also quite high but it will run on modest 400Mhz system with 128MB RAM. The programs included with it are similar to what you get with windows such as a basic word processor. However most the program you can download free for Linux. I think Redhat is an achievement and I can see why its used in businesses as it never crashed but the average PC user its like starting all over again. I will learn how to use Linux but for the moment I can’t be bothered until it improves. The other problem is its not compatible with Windows.
Linux is a relatively new venture for me and after seeing RedHat on a website I thought I would try it, after all Linux is Linux. I first tried it out a few months ago but instantly uninstalled it after finding out that my modem would not work with it. After all what can you do with a product that is highly web orientated when you don't have a modem? After uninstalling it I then became interested in what Linux can actually do for me. I read countless documents on the internet and as I read more, the more interested I got in it. Second try. I had got a new modem which was compatible (after installing the right software) and I got my first real taste for RedHat Linux. It was very different to the Windows I was used to but I kind of liked it. I became obsessed with downloading new programs for it (after all most of them are free). Then I came across my second problem. You are very lucky when a program installs okay first time round. I spent hours searching newsgroups and mailing lists to find answers to what was going wrong during installation. When everything is working okay and you have finally fixed the problem that was preventing you installing a small program Linux is absolutely brilliant (especially for writing web applications). I first ventured into Linux because of my new venture of learning Perl. It has not only helped me to learn Perl but also how to configure and administer web servers. RedHat Linux is a great OS if you?re going to be using it for writing web applications or running web servers. I would not recommend it for casual home users because it is just not suited for people using it for that purpose. If however you are interested in how web servers and the web works and have a huge amount of determination to continue even when nothing will work then I would definitely recommend it. It could do with ironing out a few of the problems but still, it is relatively young in its life anyway. After all what have you got to lo
se. It?s free. give it a try.
If you are sick of Windows and want a free alternative then check out Linux (Red Hat 7) - Advantages: Its's free to download and share, Very stable, A great alternative to Windows - Disadvantages: Hardware installation is a nightmare, Download from the 'Net is around 1G
- What is Red Hat Linux? - Linux is a new Operating System, similar to Microsoft Windows. People install Linux because it is free. - Why did I get it? - I installed Linux because I wanted to play around and see for myself why people are so excited about it. - What did I find out? - When I first installed it I was quite excited, I followed the book "Linux 7 Unleashed" by Bill Ball. But then I realised that Linux was in it's early stages. It doesn't support many printers, and unfortunately I have a printer that is not supported by it. That's not all, it doesn't support my modem as well. Recently I got ADSL through HomeChoice, and that doesn't work on Linux either. So I am not a happy camper. - What did I learn? - I was really excited about installing Linux, that I did not read the instructions properly. They first thing they asked me to do on the instructions page was to check if my hardware was compatible, I assumed it was. I am a practical person, I learn by doing it practically and by making mistakes. - Final Advice ============== - If you are really anxious about installing Linux, please do make sure that your hardware is supported. Although I have had problems with it, I am very glad to have installed it. It contains programs similar to Windows product, that comes free with Linux. The amazing thing is that you don't have to pay £1000's to have these programs. You can download them free, or get a mag. with a Linux OS CD or buy that book "Linux 7 Unleashed" by Bill ball etc. I have a free program called StarOffice, which is same as Office 2000, and provides all the facilities that Microsoft Office does. So Good luck!!! If you want me to explain more, please add some comments and let me know the topics.
I have been a devotee of Linux from relatively early on in its life. Redhat has made a big contribution towards making the Linux platform more accessible, epecially over the last few years, and I have to applaud that. It is certainly my distribution of choice. However, I think Redhat jumped the gun a little in releasing redhat-7.0; it was perhaps just a mite short-sighted to distribute an unsupported developer release of the standard C compiler gcc. This screwed up several days of my work before I eventually decided to check the GNU gcc website, where the error of Redhat's ways was revealed to me! In hindsight with the compiler errors I was getting perhaps I should have checked sooner - in any case I was not terribly enamored with Redhat. Now all is forgiven. I am back on RH6.2 with no problems and a fully functional gcc, version 2.95.2. I would not have installed redhat-7.0 had M$ Windows 98 treated my harddisk with any respect. The whole saga started when my Win98 partition decided it could occupy my entire drive irrespective of what the partition table information said; Win98 proceeded to write over my Linux data, destroying any chance of booting through LILO and of ever recovering Linux (lucky I back-up reasonably often!) My advice is stick to 6.2 :-)
RedHat 7.0 is "nearly" ideal if you have never used Linux before, the main reasons being that so many companies (particularly in the UK and USA) treat "RedHat" as being the Linux standard. Whether that is good or bad for GNU/Linux as a whole is debateable, but it is a good reason to start off with RedHat if you are not too familiar with Linux yet. Many Linux professionals choose RedHat over the other distributions also as they find it more stable than distributions like Debian. (Debian is however great if you are a developer, you may like to contribute to it). RedHat is freely available as a download over the Internet, if you have a good and fast Internet connection then you may choose to obtain it this way. If you have a CD Writer and software with your current operating system then you can download the CD images to create CD's just as if you had purchased the product and it is perfectly legal! If this is going to be your first experience of Linux, take a look at the boxed products available from your local PC shop, some include free phone support and other benefits that you wouldn't get by downloading the product. There is one negative thing I have to say about RedHat, it doesn't come with any good disk partitioning tools for the novice so if you are not familiar with computer disks and partitioning them, you may get a bit confused about this during the install. Some other Linux distributions such as the boxed Mandrake products are a lot friendlier to the novice when it comes to disk partitioning. So: If you are new to Linux and you are quite familiar with disk partitioning, I would highly recommend RedHat. If you've used other distributions but not RedHat recently, download it and give it a go. It has come a long way since the earlier versions. I wouldn't say any Linux distribution is the best as they are all suited to different people and circumstances
. But if you haven't tried it, try it :-)