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Linux troubles

I have installed RedHat Linux 6.2 on the server (10 GB, 256 MB RAM, Intel Pentium -III processor) and would like to install a proxy server on it so that I can give Internet access to the other clients who are primarily on NT or Windows 98 systems.

1. Is our migration to Linux system only coz of the freeware firewall justified?

2. We are using IPChains as our firewall and are planning to install Delegate or Squid as our proxy server for intranet activities. Which one would you advise?

3. In the proxy we need a two-tier security. First we need to allow access to the IP addresses of the individual machines only which are authorized to access the Internet. Secondly

we need a individual password authorization. Keeping these requirements in mind should we go ahead with squid??

Ans: 1. Migrating from one OS to another is a free choice and an availability of any free software cannot justify the cause. What you shall need to take under consideration is, whether you shall be comfortable with Linux or Not. Linux is an OPEN source, but it is still more secured than some of the NT servers that exist. Careful administration of the server only can make it more secure.

For e.g. though RH7.0/7.1 is released with a BIG hype, it has a security flaw which can be easily executed posing a security threat and make enable people to gain root access. So it's up to u as to how you keep your system updated and make it more secure. Linux is easy to administer and I know that if any holes leak out, then I am sure to get a patch on the Web.

2. Both Squid and Delegate score equally when it comes in terms of functionality. Squid is more popular and you can get good support for it. If you are a newbie then you opt for Squid ...... and try Delegate as an option on some other machine. This shall make you comfortable with both the servers, plus you shall be more familiar with the Linux.

3. As far as security is concerned, no software/hardware is perfect. So it doesn't matter if you install two tier or 'n' tier security. If crooked minds exist, then they are bound to get around and break the rules. As said earlier, both Squid and Delegate are fine. As a good system administrator, it's better that you first opt in for some LOG analysers.

Debasish Patnaik


I am a regular reader of your articles in Network Magazine and liked them a lot. I seek your permission to add your e-mail in my tech help mailing list, as it would help solve the problems my subscribers encounter.

I have a website, www.harrycool.com, and I maintain it as an open discussion platform, where people can post their queries and anybody who knows the answers can reply to them.


Migrating to Linux

The Linux articles in the May issue of Network Magazine was very interesting. I am more of a Windows person and Linux has always fascinated me. I have got as far as installing a Linux box in a Windows environment and configuring Samba. I now want to install Squid for Internet sharing and a mail server on the Linux machine.

Could you please give me some tips or links from where I can get some information and help.

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