[RndTbl] Choosing server software

John Lange john at johnlange.ca
Wed Sep 17 12:42:12 CDT 2008

Mike, you'll probably get as many opinions on this as there are people
on this list.

First, it's not really clear to me what you are trying to do. What
exactly is meant by "provide local internet services" ? How is it being
provided? PC terminals on a LAN? Wireless? Dialup?

"extend the range of an existing public access service" seems to imply
wireless of some kind? By extend do you mean add more wireless access

As far as providing hosting services for web sites, these days it simply
doesn't make sense to do it yourself. There are a litany of very high
quality hosting providers in the US which offer hosting that includes a
free domain name, email, tons of storage and bandwidth, web based site
management tools etc. for less than $5/month. You simply can not beat
this so I'd strongly recommend this option for anyone.

For the router/firewall, I would choose something like a Linksys WRT54GL
and put some custom Linux firmware on it like Tomato. These devices are
cheap and reliable and since you mentioned wifi it would have everything
you need. Specific roll-your-own dedicated hardware is almost always
overkill unless you have a specific requirement for it.

John Lange

On Wed, 2008-09-17 at 11:32 -0500, Mike Pfaiffer wrote:
> 	I'm volunteering with a non-for-profit group. Part of the mandate is to 
> provide local internet services to a particular part of town. Apparently 
> all the agreements are in place and the papers signed. I've been asked 
> to extend the range of an existing public access service as well as 
> provide replacement web space for half a dozen groups/clubs. The 
> hardware is older PC hardware donated to one of the groups. I'm not sure 
> exactly what they have (neither are they) so I'm going to assume I have 
> to put things together from scratch. Old hardware is more available than 
> money.
> 	I'm looking for a couple of easy to install and maintain packages. 
> Specifically free router software and free web server software. If it 
> can be set up in an afternoon it would be handy.
> 	At the moment I'm concentrating on the router software. I've been to 
> Sourceforge and Freshmeat and found half a dozen. The group in charge 
> want wireless in the new location. I'm not sure some of the older 
> packages can handle wireless cards. Since the building they have to 
> house the machines is quite long I figured one at either end connected 
> via a wired router in the middle would be a good idea.
> 	I haven't set up dedicated servers like this before. Yes the people in 
> charge know this and still want me to figure it out. I'd figure 
> something still being maintained would be better than something which 
> hasn't seen an update since 2000. I'd also guess OpenBSD would be 
> preferred over Linux (or Windows). What are people using for this sort 
> of thing?
> 				Later
> 				Mike
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