Old dog, learning new tricks

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Posts: 30
Joined: 2015/01/19 21:06:40

Old dog, learning new tricks

Post by jeffdvo » 2015/01/31 00:34:47

Hi, I decided to ditch Windows 2003 server and installed Cento 7 on the existing Econnel 200 S2 box, about 2 weeks ago. It's been a steep learning curve as my native tongue seems to be Microsoft and I only speak Pidgin Linux :-) I'm sort of getting the hang of the new commands like systemctl / systemd and think they're quite good. I don't really need an AD DC on my home LAN any more but still wanted a central file server and still like the idea of having a DNS server.

My Smoothwall firewall acts as DCHP server and secondary DNS and it's worked like that for years. I use Putty and WinSCP and the Web Admin panel to admin the Smoothy and I'm also using Webmin on the Centos box, It's quite good! The gnome desktop runs like a dog with 2 broken legs, maybe it needs more than 1GB RAM? I'm not at impressed with XRDP so I think I'll get rid of GNOME and XRDP and make a better effort to get to know the command line but at my stage of life cycle, I'm in the slow learners club :-)

I did make a few config mistakes during install but seem to have DNS (BIND) running ok and Samba works more or less as I want but I think I need to do some more playing and learning. I've disabled the firewall and selinux to get DNS and Samba working but hope to enable these when I have have everything running as I want.

I added a 1TB "data" disk and added it as a volume but not sure if that was the best way to do it. I've managed to get network shares working and currently it all seems to be working as good as it did with the 2003 server but with the loss of a DC

Now I've proved that Centos along with BIND and SAMBA will do pretty much everything that 2003 server did, I'd like to sort of start again but without doing a complete re-install and then I want to add a mirror and an ext USB drive (to backup the int Data drive) and then re-visit rsync!

Wondering if there is some kind souls/souls out there willing to have a look at my existing config files and see if the changes I want to make will be better or if it will be better to leave it alone as it's sort of working ok :-) I did get a little confused when setting up BIND, I sort of confused it with setting up a domain. I know that the netbios name in Samba doesn't need to be the same as the hostname but the hostname isn't what I had planned it to be :-(( I've been working my way through a few (different) Tuts on setting up BIND and SAMBA and have maybe misunderstood a few things (slow learners club).

The planned host name was DVOFPS but it ended up as "masterdns.dvofps.local", I've played with hostnamectl so I think I can "backtrack" and amend the config and DNS stuff to suit. I think I'm using Centos as a Winbind server and have put the IP address of the Centos box in the "WINS" settings on the Windows boxes but I'm getting an occasional glitch where I need to use the IP address of the server to get to the network shares.

Anyhow, if anyone wants to help an old fart; I'd be grateful. It seems my days of administering SCO servers is a lifetime away or maybe in another life :-)

Posts: 24
Joined: 2012/08/09 15:17:22

Re: Old dog, learning new tricks

Post by egurski » 2015/03/21 12:11:55

Well I'm an old dog too, but have been using Linux for well over 15 years. Good for you to make the switch.

I run Centos7 with Selinux in both Permissive and Enforcing mode and it works as advertised. You can have Selinux allow the services you want have access to your system (like DNS and Samba, etc...). by installing the Selinux Management Tool. In addition, you will also need to install the Firewall configuration tool, which will go hand-in-hand with Selinux.

For DNS, you should Google "Caching nameserver", which is really what you want. Setup your own internal domain and either manually assign IP addresses to your other machines, or through Smoothwall's DNS assign an IP address to a MAC address and add them to your DNS configuration. You can follow this link http://www.tecmint.com/install-caching- ... in-centos/ on how to setup a caching nameserver. This is for Centos 6.5 but is still relevant for Centos 7.

For Gnome3, I would add the Tweak Tool and Frippery. Make your workspaces static --- define the number of workspaces you want and devise a layout where you know what is in a workspace. (I.E. all browsers in workspace 5, 6 & 7, evolution in workspace 1, etc...). I have 12 workspaces defined on both my systems. One is for web development and the other is my main system.

Now for your disk drive, I would use Logical Volume Management (LVM) for reasons why see this article from the Linux Journal written about a year ago http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/lvm-demystified

You may need to backup your configuration before migrating to LVM and for this I would tar your /home, /etc and any other directories you have personal data.
Save these on a USB thumb drive and then bring them back to say /tmp and expand there. Now you can copy the old configurations to your new system.

One other important tool is learning how to use "sudo". Unlike Windows, you do not want to login as "root". However, with sudo you can grant command privileges to selected users. see this article on why you should be using sudo http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/linux- ... he-basics/

Hope this helps...

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