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Bought an Old PC To Use As Server, Need Some Advice
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Dirk.R.Gently
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:55 am    Post subject: Bought an Old PC To Use As Server, Need Some Advice Reply with quote

Hello Gentooers.

I've been thinking about building a server for a long time for my home network. I'd like to setup this old pc I bought for basic security. To begin, what hardware do I need to do this? I'm guessing I need to buy a network card because I figure I have to route the incoming data from the built-in ethernet through the firewall and then out the network card to my regular computer. If this is how I have to do it, are there any good (new or used) network cards that any would recommend for Linux?

My second question is, are there any good tutorials that can tell me how to setup (route -with software) data to the firewall and then out the network card?

I know this is a loaded question but any help would be greatly appreciated.
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vaguy02
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/home-router-howto.xml

You're welcome.
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Dirk.R.Gently
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vaguy02 wrote:
http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/home-router-howto.xml

You're welcome.


Thanks alot vaguy. This guide is just what I needed. Any recommendations for hardware? Looks like I'll have to get another network card. Any recommendations of network cards that run in Linux?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um...I'm a big fan of the Intel Pro Gigabit cards, they use the e1000 driver. Very stable, and they also allow PXE boot if required. You can find them pretty cheap online.
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Juggernaut42
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:12 pm    Post subject: Intel or Realtek Reply with quote

Any Network Card that has 'n Realtek or Intel chipset.
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szczerb
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can honestly recommend 3coms. You can get the 3c905[tx[m]] really cheap. I even have a 10Mbps ISA 3com Etherlink III as WAN in my home router - if you don't have a really fast (as in "Japan fast") internet connection it's a nice choice (rock solid, almost free, fully PNP - you configure it just like any PCI card so no config is required). Right now I have an Intel EtherExpress 100 or some similarly sounding model on the lan and a 3c905 is faster...

I assumed that with a really old PC you mean something not worth getting into Gbps ;]
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Dirk.R.Gently
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely good tips guys. I've read the specs and this computer has PCI 64bit slots. Yeah, this is a pretty old pc. The built-in network card is an Broadcom ethernet 10/100. Next to PCI slots it says 33MHz so I'm thinking I'm not going to be doing gigabyte networking. Any 64 bit slot cards any knows of?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A 64bit PCI is a PCI-X, which is a pretty cool server slot, found only in serious server boards and you definitely can run gigabit on it and make use of it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI-X
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Dirk.R.Gently
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Almost there. Again, appreciate the help.

Been looking stuff up on this and it looks like pci-x is flexible. Pci cards can be plugged into the pci-x slot as long as they are newer (have 3.3 volt values). I'd like to get a pci-x card though and I haven't been able to find information about compatibility between cards with different bus speeds than the computer pci-x bus. From what I get, pci-x cards lower than the bus speed (say a pci-x network card at 66MHz plugged into a pci-x bus of 133Mhz) will do, but what about the other way around? Itsays 33Mhz where the pci-x is on the board am I limited to that speed on the pci-x network card I'd need to buy?
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok i figured it out a good card (from the reviews I've looked at) for this computer that's supported in linux is the Rosewill RC-400 card. I just bought it - should do the trick.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rule of thumb for PCI and PCI-X cards is that if it fits in the slot, it'll work. The bus and cards will negotiate the fastest, widest connection that all of them can use, so a 133MHz 64-bit card in a standard PCI slot will transfer data as if it were a 33MHz 32-bit PCI card.
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Dirk.R.Gently
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for all the help guys. I did a good amount of research (it was here I got the best tips) on the net and the information as time can be confusing (many are mistold the differences between pci, pci-x). I decided to blog about it to help any in the future.
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