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Re: Linux home data center challenge :-)

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Tom Horsley wrote:
> I was just speculating how hard it would be to turn my Fedora box
> (which is up all the time) into the central system all my other
> computers go to for information (smtp, dns, imap, dhcp, etc).

I wouldn't say it's hard at all.  The tools are all available for
fedora to handle these tasks (often more than one, ala sendmail,
postfix, or exim for smtp).

> The more I investigate, the more impenetrably obscure admin tasks I
> find I'd have to become an expert at. The biggest obstacle being
> that most administration howtos are written assuming I've got a
> block of static IPs and am running a "real" data center, whereas I'd
> want to fake all that by having sendmail or postfix or someone talk
> to my ISP as though it were simply any other mail client, and having
> a DNS server obtain its info by doing client style DNS lookups, not
> zone transfers and other obscure gibberish I don't understand and my
> ISP probably blocks anyway.

If you want your fedora box to be the place all your other internal
systems get their mail through you could setup fetchmail or getmail to
retrieve the mail for all the accounts you wanted and have them
delivered to local mailboxes.  Then you can connect to the fedora box
via IMAP or POP3 to read the mail.  For sending mail you can configure
Postfix (or Sendmail or Exim) to accept mail from your LAN and relay
it through your ISP.  DNS and DHCP aren't too bad to setup either.

> Are there any guides to doing stuff like this anywhere? Are there
> even any lists of which obscure tools I'd have to become expert at
> (I doubt I have a complete list.

I'd check out howtoforge.com and see if there are any guides that will
get you started on these tasks.  Years and years ago I read a series
of articles in Linux Gazette that walked me through setting up much of
this stuff for a home system and I found it very helpful.  The details
there are perhaps a bit out of date, but the general idea is the same
still.  You can find those back issues via google.  Try searching on
"mail for the home network" and you'll see the first hit.

> Would I be likely to die of old age before I actually got a "home
> ISP" working seamlessly? :-).

Only if you're already halfway in the grave. :)

I think I had it setup over a period of a few weeks.  I've learned a
lot and changed things since then, but I had the basic setup done
reasonably quickly -- considering that I was pretty new to all of this
stuff and to linux as well.

- -- 
Todd        OpenPGP -> KeyID: 0xBEAF0CE3 | URL: www.pobox.com/~tmz/pgp
Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload their important stuff
on FTP and let the rest of the world mirror it.
    -- Linus Torvalds

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