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<!DOCTYPE linuxdoc PUBLIC "-//EPC//DTD LINUXDOC modified//EN"[
]>
<LINUXDOC><ARTICLE OPTS="null"><TITLEPAG><TITLE>Windows LAN server HOW-TO</TITLE>
<AUTHOR><NAME>by Ryan Cartwright,&space;<TT><HTMLURL NAME="crimperman@enterprise.net" URL="crimperman@enterprise.net"></TT></NAME></AUTHOR>
<DATE>v0.1, 21 September 2000</DATE>
<AUTHOR><NAME>by Ryan Cartwright,&space;<TT><HTMLURL NAME="ryan@crimperman.org" URL="ryan@crimperman.org"></TT></NAME></AUTHOR>
<DATE>v1.2, 21 March 2003</DATE>
<ABSTRACT>This document is intended to assist those who wish to consider Linux as a server within an office environment which has PC's primarily running Microsoft Windows 9x. </ABSTRACT>&null;</TITLEPAG><TOC>
<SECT><HEADING>Revisions</HEADING>
<P>v0.1 - 21 September 2000 : Original document submission</P>
<P>v1.2 - 19 March 2003 : Authors contact details amended, spelling errors corrected. Minor text changes. Further Comments section added. Version amended to suit CVS.</P>
</SECT>
<SECT><HEADING>Dedication</HEADING>
<P>This document is dedicated firstly to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour, thanks to Him I have the ability to do this. It is secondarily dedicated to the authors of the various utilities and documents referred to here. Thanks to them I have the tools to do it. </P></SECT>
<SECT><HEADING>Introduction</HEADING>
<P>Linux is gaining increasing popularity within the workplace. Primarily it is deployed within the Internet marketplace at server level but it is beginning to make in roads into other areas such as internal network servers and desktop workstations. With this in mind and for reasons given below, my company decided to deploy a Linux based LAN server into our Windows9x based network. I started this project with basic knowledge of Linux and some knowledge of Unix. During the course of the project it ocurred to me that some sort of document describing the tasks involved would be helpful. I could not find such a document and hence wrote this one.</P>
<P>What you will not find here is a repeat of installation and configuration documentation for the various tools and utilites used. I see no reason to repeat that but have instead opted to include problems encountered whilst installtin or configuring these and workarounds/soultions for those situations.</P>
<P>Linux (or more accurately GNU/Linux) is gaining increasing popularity within the workplace. Primarily it is deployed within the Internet marketplace at server level but it is beginning to make in roads into other areas such as internal network servers and desktop workstations. With this in mind and for reasons given below, my company decided to deploy a Linux based LAN server into our Windows9x based network. I started this project with basic knowledge of Linux and some knowledge of Unix. During the course of the project it occurred to me that some sort of document describing the tasks involved would be helpful. I could not find such a document and hence wrote this one.</P>
<P>What you will not find here is a repeat of installation and configuration documentation for the various tools and utilities used. I see no reason to repeat that but have instead opted to include problems encountered whilst installing or configuring these and workarounds/solutions for those situations.</P>
<SECT1><HEADING>The Scenario</HEADING>
<P>It will probably be helpful to give a short background of the environment in which the new server will be deployed.</P>
<P>Some 35 PC's are linked in an Ethernet LAN across a sprawling site. Like many offices this one started with a single PC and grew bit by bit into the current environment. For reasons of speed, convenience and cost a peer-to-peer network was employed. Users share directories and printers across the network using share level access.</P>
@ -20,15 +24,15 @@
<SECT2><HEADING>Repair</HEADING>
<P>Repair is at first glance the quickest and cheapest option but it is rarely easy, especially if you are unsure of the exact cause of the problem. As a workstation there was nothing "wrong" with this PC but as a server it often seemed overwhelmed. The situation could have been partially solved by installation of a network switch to speed the network traffic but could have possibly resulted in creating a bottleneck at the serverPC as it struggled to keep up with traffic demand. The PC was running Windows98 which as a desktop environment is perfectly adequate but as a server starts to struggle. At best it was considered that this option would only postpone the problem for a while especially if network growth continued.</P></SECT2>
<SECT2><HEADING>Replace</HEADING>
<P>Replacing the serverPC with a dedicated server and establishing a client-server relationship would allow for the expected increase in network size and traffic. Traditionally a dedicated server would involve some considerable outlay as the options here were either WindowsNT or NetWare. Recently Linux has come very much into the spotlight and it provided an alternative replacement strategy.</P></SECT2></SECT1></SECT>
<P>Replacing the serverPC with a dedicated server and establishing a client-server relationship would allow for the expected increase in network size and traffic. Traditionally a dedicated server would involve some considerable outlay as the options here were either WindowsNT or NetWare. Since the latter part of the 1990's Linux has come very much into the spotlight and it provided an alternative replacement strategy.</P></SECT2></SECT1></SECT>
<SECT><HEADING>The Linux Option</HEADING>
<P>Linux is a Unix clone and as such the incorporates the excellent netwroking abilities of the latter. It is this trait (among others) which has lead to its' increasing deployment in the Internet server market. It could provide a low cost replacement strategy for the problem at hand and yet allow for the expected network growth at little or no extra cost.</P>
<P>That Linux was an effective and cost-effective server solution was not in question but we need to know whether it could provide a specific solution in this case. Could Linux fulfill all the roles provided by the current serverPC, including file-serving, internal mail, network faxing and Internet mail redistribution. Initial enquiries showed that it could and so the question became less of &quot;can Linux do it?&quot; and more &quot;can I make Linux do it?&quot;.</P>
<P>Linux is, to all intents and purposes, a Unix clone (for a more accurate description I suggest you look elsewhere as it's not relevant to this document) and as such the incorporates the excellent networking abilities of the latter. It is this trait (among others) which has lead to its' increasing deployment in the Internet server market. It could provide a low cost replacement strategy for the problem at hand and yet allow for the expected network growth at little or no extra cost.</P>
<P>That Linux was an effective and cost-effective server solution was not in question but we need to know whether it could provide a specific solution in this case. Could Linux fulfil all the roles provided by the current serverPC, including file-serving, internal mail, network faxing and Internet mail redistribution. Initial enquiries showed that it could and so the question became less of &quot;can Linux do it?&quot; and more &quot;can I make Linux do it?&quot;.</P>
<SECT1><HEADING>Research is the key</HEADING>
<P>Before presenting any argument for deployment to management it seemed prudent to research said argument. This would serve the additional purpose of educating myself in the finer details of Linux Administration. My Linux experience stemmed from a few months use at home and as Linux was not in use within the company I was to all intents and purposes the Linux expert.</P>
<P>I started my research lurking at newsgroups, particularly uk.comp.os.linux (u.c.o.l.).Although lurking can be frowned upon in some circles it is something I recommend in early stages of a project like this. Reading other peoples questions and answers gives valuable insight into your approach to future projects you may encounter. They say it is a fool who does not learn from others mistakes. In addition I had a copy of the book "Learning RedHat Linux" published by O'Reilly (http://www.ora.com). This book was used when installing my home version of Linux and is excellent for this purpose. It also contains a very significant chapter on Samba - a networking application which allows Linux to act as a fileserver for Windows9x PCs. I also made extensive use of the Linux Documentation Project (LDP - http://www.linuxdoc.org) especially the Linux Users Guide, the System Administrators Guide and the Network Administrators Guide.</P>
<P>I started my research lurking at newsgroups, particularly uk.comp.os.linux (u.c.o.l.).Although lurking can be frowned upon in some circles it is something I recommend in early stages of a project like this. Reading other peoples questions and answers gives valuable insight into your approach to future projects you may encounter. They say it is a fool who does not learn from others mistakes. In addition I had a copy of the book "Learning RedHat Linux" published by O'Reilly (http://www.ora.com). This book was used when installing my home version of Linux and is excellent for this purpose. It also contains a very significant chapter on Samba - a networking application which allows Linux to act as a fileserver for Windows9x PCs. I also made extensive use of the Linux Documentation Project (tLDP - http://www.tldp.org) especially the Linux Users Guide, the System Administrators Guide and the Network Administrators Guide.</P>
<SECT2><HEADING>The importance of further reading</HEADING>
<P>I cannot stress enough the importance of the research to the outcome of the overall project. There are many phrases and anecdotes which accurately summarise this, including "forewarned is forearmed" and the five P's (proper preparation prevents poor performance).</P></SECT2></SECT1>
<P>I cannot stress enough the importance of the research to the outcome of the overall project. There are many phrases and anecdotes which accurately summarise this, including "forewarned is forearmed" and the five P's (proper preparation prevents poor performance).</P><P>Note:- I am aware of the sixth P often prepended to that statement but I chose not to include it.</P></SECT2></SECT1>
<SECT1><HEADING>The tools</HEADING>
<P>My initial research revealed the direction I should go and what specific programs I should learn more about. These included:-</P>
<P><ITEMIZE>
@ -37,11 +41,11 @@
<ITEM>fetchmail (for collecting Internet mail from our ISP mailboxes)</ITEM>
<ITEM>mgetty+sendfax or HylaFAX (for faxserving)</ITEM>
</ITEMIZE></P>
<P>Although there were alternatives, these were the most recommended and a quick question to u.c.o.l. confirmed these as good choices. I was aware that network fax serving could be done and that tools were available - articles in Linux Journal helped as did advice from u.c.o.l. users.</P></SECT1>
<P>Although there were alternatives (postfix and exim for e-mail spring to mind), these appeared to suit my purpose and a quick question to u.c.o.l. confirmed these as good choices. I was aware that network fax serving could be done and that tools were available - articles in Linux Journal helped as did advice from u.c.o.l. users.</P></SECT1>
<SECT1><HEADING>Convincing the boss</HEADING>
<P>This proved to be one of the most anxious tasks of the early stages. It was one thing to bring myself to the realisation that Linux provided the best solution and quite another to consider guiding my boss(es) to the same conclusion.</P>
<P>Although there was virtually no outlay cost involved (always a good stumbling block to remove) there was the matter of time. The project would involve certain amounts of time for me to learn as I went and this in turn would involve a longer overall timescale before the solution was in place.</P>
<P>The temptation was to point out the faults of the existing solution and then present the Linux proposal as an all conquering hero. This was unlikely to work as it could have been interpreted as me pushing a solution simply because I liked the idea. In addition had I presented this argument any delay (or pecieved one) in deploying the Linux server would be harder to explain. I had to present my argument as a benefit for the company. To this end I could use the existing problems but I had to be careful to avoid a "Linux for Linux sake" point of view.</P>
<P>The temptation was to point out the faults of the existing solution and then present the Linux proposal as an all conquering hero. This was unlikely to work as it could have been interpreted as me pushing a solution simply because I liked the idea. In addition had I presented this argument any delay (or perceived one) in deploying the Linux server would be harder to explain. I had to present my argument as a benefit for the company. To this end I could use the existing problems but I had to be careful to avoid a "Linux for Linux sake" point of view.</P>
<P>As it happened all my concern was for nothing - during a conversation about the existing server the IT manager suggested the very solution I was about to argue for! However he did require some reassurances which were all along the lines I have discussed here. Your situation will of course be different but in any case it must surely be beneficial to present as objective an argument as possible.</P></SECT1>
<SECT1><HEADING>Which distribution?</HEADING>
<P>I chose to use RedHat 6.0 for this project. This was down to a very simple reason - I already had a copy and could therefore get started quicker. Also I was used to it as I had been using it at home. I can see no real reason why in this case one distribution should be used over another except for personal preference. There are some server editions of several distributions and again use of these is in the realms of personal preference. I have limited experience of various distributions and thus feel inadequately qualified to make a recommendations, my advice would be that you may want to eliminate as many unknowns as possible and thus learning the nuances of a different distribution may cause further hindrances.</P></SECT1></SECT>
@ -79,41 +83,49 @@ Hylafax installed okay although I had some rather annoying client access problem
<SECT2><HEADING>Word macros</HEADING>
<P>As mentioned, our users are accustomed to being able to hit one button to send a fax document from within MS Word97, it was important to keep this feature available with the new server. WHFC has OLE capabilities and thus we were able to write a new macro which allowed the user to send a fax from within Word without having to enter the fax details into a secondary popup box. The macro does two things - first it prints the current document to a file, then it uses WHFC's SendFax OLE function to send the printed file to HylaFAX. The printer driver we use is the Apple Laserwriter 16/600(ps) one as recommended in the WHFC setup notes.</P>
<P>Here is the macro code we use ...</P>
<P>Sub Spool_fax()
<EM>' Spool_fax Macro
' Macro created 09/08/00 by Ryan Cartwright</EM>
<CDX>Dim givenfax, realnum As String
<P>
<verb>Sub Spool_fax()
' Spool_fax Macro
' Macro created 09/08/00 by Ryan Cartwright
Dim givenfax, realnum As String
Dim whfc As Object
Dim OLE_Return As Long
Dim Box_Return As Integer</CDX>
Dim Box_Return As Integer
<EM>' First we print the document to a local file - note that Background must be false
' First we print the document to a local file - note that Background must be false
' otherwise the function will return before the file is entirely written
' and thus HylaFAX will be unable to convert it properly.</EM>
' and thus HylaFAX will be unable to convert it properly.
Application.PrintOut FileName:="", Range:=wdPrintAllDocument, Item:= _
&null;wdPrintDocumentContent, Copies:=1, Pages:="", PageType:=wdPrintAllPages, _
&null;Collate:=True, Background:=False, PrintToFile:=True, _
&null;OutputFileName:="c:\faxtemp\printout.ps", Append:=False
wdPrintDocumentContent, Copies:=1, Pages:="", PageType:=wdPrintAllPages, _
Collate:=True, Background:=False, PrintToFile:=True, _
OutputFileName:="c:\faxtemp\printout.ps", Append:=False
<EM>' In our template the user is asked by an Autonew macro for the faxnumber etc.
' In our template the user is asked by an Autonew macro for the faxnumber etc.
' the field number for the faxnumber is 8, we need to retrieve this
' and add a 9 to the front of it</EM>
&null;Set givenfax = ActiveDocument.Fields(8).Result
&null;realnum = "9" + givenfax
' and add a 9 to the front of it
Set givenfax = ActiveDocument.Fields(8).Result realnum = "9" + givenfax
<EM>' Now we create the OLE object and call the Sendfax() routine</EM>
&null;Set whfc = CreateObject("WHFC.OleSrv")
&null;OLE_Return = whfc.SendFax("c:\faxtemp\faxoutput.ps", realnum, False)
' Now we create the OLE object and call the Sendfax() routine
Set whfc = CreateObject("WHFC.OleSrv")
OLE_Return = whfc.SendFax("c:\faxtemp\faxoutput.ps", realnum, False)
<EM>' Finally we test the returned value and report accordingly</EM>
If OLE_Return <TT>&amp;&lt;</TT>= 0 Then
&null; Box_Return = MsgBox("Error sending file", 16, "FAX Not Spooled")
' Finally we test the returned value and report accordingly
If OLE_Return &<= 0 Then
Box_Return = MsgBox("Error sending file", 16, "FAX Not Spooled")
Else
&null; Box_Return = MsgBox("Fax Job ID:" <TT>&amp;amp</TT> OLE_Return <TT>&amp;amp</TT> Chr(13) <TT>&amp;amp</TT> &quot;You will be notified by email if it was successfully sent&quot;, 0, &quot;Fax spooled&quot;)
&null;End If
Box_Return = MsgBox("Fax Job ID:" & _
OLE_Return & Chr(13) & _
"You will be notified by email if it was successfully sent", _
0, "Fax spooled")
End If
Set whfc = Nothing
End Sub</P></SECT2></SECT1></SECT>
End Sub
</verb>
</P></SECT2></SECT1></SECT>
<SECT><HEADING>Is that it?</HEADING>
<P>That pretty much covers the installation and configuration of all the tools and utilities required to get our new server up and running. Having said that there is more to a good server than just the tools to do the job required. I advise you read the afore-mentioned Linux System Administrators Guide especially chapter 10 - backups!</P></SECT>
<SECT><HEADING>Conclusion</HEADING>
@ -126,5 +138,10 @@ Linux is not difficult to use, just different and the transition from Windows ta
<ITEM>qmail - http://www.qmail.org</ITEM>
<ITEM>HylaFAX - http://www.hylafax.org</ITEM>
<ITEM>Samba - http://www.samba.org</ITEM>
</ITEMIZE></P></SECT></ARTICLE></LINUXDOC>
</ITEMIZE></P></SECT>
<SECT><HEADING>Further Comments to v.1.2</HEADING>
<P>Since first writing this document I have gained a greta deal more experience with Linux and some of the tools mentioned here. I now use Linux in a wide variaety of tasks at home and work. I have since moved from the company for which I set this particular server but to my knowledge they are still using it some three yeas later. If you are considering using Linux as an alternative to another OS I would encourage you to look into it.</P>
<P>Not only have I moved on but the changing face of Linux has meant the necessity for this document has decreased somewhat. Many distributions (try looking here http://www.linux.org/dist/ ) have made using Linux as a Windows-LAN server even easier by pre-configuring the options needed. Often you can find a dedicated product specifcally for the purposes mentioned here.</P>
<P>However there will always be those who want to "get their hands dirty" or just want to do things for themselves and learn through that process. I can sympathise with this as the experiences shown here served to teach me far more about Linux than I first anticipated.</P>
<P>Also, as the world of Microsoft moves away from clients such as Windows9x, there has arisen a need for provision of things like shared calendars, address books etc. ( basically replacing Microsoft's Exhange Server ). Much of this functionailty are available under Linux through various applications and tools, some proprietary, but I decided against listing them here as I felt it best (and simpler) to keep this document within it's original purpose. If you require these things, have alook at some of the products available through various distributions which aim to provide all of the functionality listed in the document in one go.</P></SECT></ARTICLE></LINUXDOC>