I’m still working on setting up a NAS server for our new Pennsylvania office. I gave up on OpenFiler in favor of FreeNAS today. There’s nothing wrong with OpenFiler, per se, but it just wasn’t looking like it would work well for what I needed. FreeNAS looks just about perfect, though. I was a little reticent about using it, at first, since it’s based on BSD rather than Linux, and I’m just not that well-versed in BSD. It doesn’t seem like you need to know much about the underlying OS, though.

open source stuff

My company is setting up a new (small) office in Pennsylvania, and I’m thinking about using some Linux stuff down there. I’m planning on using IPCop for the firewall, and maybe Openfiler for a NAS.

I’ve been using IPCop in our main office for the last few years, so I’ve got no doubts about that, and I’m quite familiar with it. I’ve never used Openfiler though, or any other open source NAS package. I considered putting an old Dell PowerEdge box running Windows 2000 Server down there, but I’m not really enthusiastic about that; it’s an old box, and an old OS, and I don’t really need all the overhead of a full Windows server. Nor do I want to pop for a Windows 2003 Server. I just need a place to put shared files for a small workgroup. I’m hoping Openfiler works well for that, and is easy to access from a Windows XP client. I’ve been looking at the Openfiler forums, and I think this thread may prove helpful. I haven’t actually gotten around to installing OF on a box yet. I downloaded it Friday afternoon, but I mistakenly downloaded the 64-bit version, and I didn’t realize that until after 5pm on Friday, so I left my machine downloading the 32-bit ISO and went home. I’ll give it a try on Monday.

SELinux, Fedora, and ASSP

I’m setting up a new Linux server at work to run ASSP, a spam-filtering SMTP proxy. This’ll be my third ASSP server. On the first, I used Fedora 1 (or maybe 2). On the second, the one that’s currently live, I’m using Fedora 4. The new server will be running Fedora Core 6. The reason I keep building new servers for ASSP is largely that I don’t have any budget to go out and actually buy a server for this, so I just keep recycling old workstations into servers, and, eventually, they fall apart. Or our mail volume increases to the point where the old server can’t handle it. Either way, it forces me to keep somewhat up-to-date with Linux.

The new wrinkle in Fedora 6 is SELinux. I hit one SELinux-related snag today that got me browsing around a bit for SELinux info. I stumbled upon Dan Walsh’s LiveJournal page, which turns out to be pretty helpful.

I’m wondering if I should keep using Fedora for this. On the one hand, it’s free and I’m pretty familiar with the basics of the distribution, since a lot of stuff in there goes back to the old Red Hat distributions, which I’ve been using on and off since, I think, Red Hat 5.2, in 1998. On the other hand, it’s not terribly stable. It’s on something like a six-month release cycle, and the legacy support for old releases is a bit questionable at this point. See “Why Fedora Matters” for some thoughts on the subject.

Something like CentOS might be better for a production server like this. It’s based off RHEL, and as such, ought to be a lot more stable that Fedora. I did download CentOS 4.4, and tried to get it working in a virtual machine to try it out, but I had some problems, and just gave up for now.

ASSP, by the way, is a wonderful spam-filtering solution that doesn’t seem to get nearly enough recognition. I’ve followed it through a few releases, and watched as it has changed hands from one developer to another. It’s a pretty good example of an open source project that works well. The original developer stopped working on it a while ago, but other folks have picked it up and added stuff to it where it’s been needed. At this point, it’s a fairly stable, and very configurable, spam filter, probably comparable with serious commercial software.

Red Hat 8

Hey. I’m posting this from Red Hat 8. Okay, not a real big deal, but I installed it, and it works. And it seems to support most of my hardware. I haven’t tried everything, but the obvious stuff works — mouse, videocard, sound card, etc… Thus far, the only thing useful I’ve done is installed MP3 support and downloaded a Grey Eye Glances song from EMusic.

Linux Adventures

I spent some time today trying to get Red Hat 8 working on my laptop. It works fine, but I couldn’t get it to recognize my wireless card properly. Oh well. Also, I don’t like the way the interface looks on my wimpy 800×600 display. Oh, and there seem to be a number of bugs in various things. I probably could get it all running well, given enough time, but I’m getting lazy in my old age, so I wiped it out. I may try Madrake 9 on the laptop next. I’m curious. It sounds like a lot of people are using Mandrake now. I can’t do any Linux stuff on my desktop right now, since I’m just about out of room on my hard drive. Maybe I’ll get a new one and set something up next weekend.