Last updated: 2000-05-18

Trying Linux

I took the plunge. I installed Linux last Friday. I didn't even know that it was just before the historic event -- first ever Linuxworld Conference and Expo. Must be the ether in the air.

The real reason that I finally decided to try Linux is that I now have a DSL connection to the Internet. So it's time to put a little home web server on the net for fun. Note that the a href="">company web server of course is still hosted at Dream Host.

The installation went very smoothly. The platform is a very old 486DX2/66 machine. I had to open the case to find out the model of the video card and ethernet card. I have two 512 Meg (yes, half a gig only) hard disks on the machine. So I have to do a custom installation, putting a small Linux on one of the 512 Meg drive.

I am using RedHat 2.2 version of Linux.

Linux on K6-2

Now that I got the old machine up and running, I setup another new machine for use at work. I purchased a K6-2 based computer from PC For Everyone in Cambridge Mass. This is a custom built computer stripped of things like sound cards and fancy video, instead the machine is sized for a web server.

I first partitioned the harddrive using a DOS tool, partition magic 4.0, setting up a DOS partition. I then installed DOS 6.22 as a base. This allows me to install Linux from CD directly, plus give me a way to test out the computer hardware first.

Upgrading XFree86

Installing RedHat Linux version 5.2 was simple, until I got to the video card selection. This PC came with an OEM version of a new ATI video card called 3D Charger. Ht iuses the ATI 3D Rage IIC chip. After trying lots of different settings I got onto the XFree86 web site and studied all the tech notes. All things point to the fact that I should upgrade the XFree86 that came with RedHad 5.2 (which is version 3.2.3) to the latest version 3.3.3.

Partitioning Information: I decided to partition the hard disk as follows:

/boot 16 Meg,
/var 1G,
/swap 64Meg
/ 6Meg, i.e. the rest.

Installing DOS's CD driver took a little work because I have to hunt down the driver. It is TIASATAP.SYS.

I learnt to use xf86config quite well at the end, updating the /etc/X11/XF86Config file by hand as well.

PPP Server for Dialup

I had a network problem and I needed to provide PPP access to a Sun box running Solaris 2.6 on my LAN. The standard solution would be to setup PPP on Solaris. However I have heard horrible stories on this topic. I did some research on the very informative Stokley site and confirmed that it is not going be a simple task.

Hey -- I have a Linux box sitting on the same LAN. Let's try configuring pppd for this purpose.

After researching the dialup and ppp how-tos, I managed to get this working with a few lines of configuration (which lines was the tough one).

Enable uugetty to listen in on the modem port so that one can login via dialup. This involve putting in init.d the line S1:2345:.... where 1 is the serial port cua1.

I need to setup the options file for uugetty, in /etc/ppp/uugetty.ttyS1.

I also need to setup /etc/ppp/options.

Then I ended up setting up a user id for ppp, with home directory set to /tmp and shell to a script that starts pppd automatically.

Finally I had to enable IP Forwarding in /etc/sysconfig/network.

Otherwise I can have a peer to peer connection but nothing will get routed from the client thru the linux box back onto the LAN, to reach the SUN box.

Saw this tag line on the net:

Windows leads to anger. | Anger leads to hate. | Hate leads to LINUX. --