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ok i have had this server laying around for a while, i have just upgraded it and am now looking for the best OS and software to use on it.

Dell Precision 410 Workstation

Dual intel Pentium 3 700Mhz

256mb SDRAM (Planned upgrade to 512 or more)

2 30GB HD's (Planned Raid 1)

basically i have the server i am looking for a file server which will also authenticate users onto my network of xp professional and 2000 professional machines. so i only have to update one user database.

the more advanced features of active directory dont really apeal to me, i wanted to use NT4 server but it is being no long supported so am considering linux and i am asking if it can do what i want with little modification, also remote administration is a big requirement since i plan to hide the server away.

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Heck ya! Throw linux on there!

I'd highly recommend Gentoo linux is you want to get the best out of that hardware because you can compile the system specifically for that hardware (if you want to go that far) and you can also install only the items that you want to. It can take as long as a day or two or as short as like 45 min to install gentoo depending on how much optimization you want to do. The GRP install is the quickest and is probably what you want. It should take about 45min and get you moving towards where you want to be.

If you have never really "used" linux before, then this is going to be a bit of a learning curve, but its really good experience. From what you described, you should setup a Gentoo linux box with Samba v3 (NT4 file serving&authentication), KDE 3.3 on Xorg (easy to use GUI envirnment) and probably VNC (so you can remote desktop to it like a windows 200 terminal server).

www.gentoo.org -> User docs has lots of helpful how-to's

Stuff you will need:

Gentoo install

Samba How To

see also samba.org -> how to

To setup a Terminal Services like Remote desktop on KDE with VNC:

TS setup

Samba 3 will let you actually create an active directory thats NT4, 2K and XP compatable and authenticate users. Samba also is your best friend for fileserving between linux and windows clients. Use the web-based Samba config called SWAT. It makes setting up samba, adding users, shares, changing permissions....ect a snap.

Use at least ReiserFS v3.4 on the server for the main root directory, stable and will work great for lots of files.

If you get stuck, forums.gentoo.org has some excellent help sections. That forum is loaded with answers. And if you can;t find it, post, there is always someone there with an answer.



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