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Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon? - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

I'm planning to run and learn to admin a test web server at home with the aim of doing it on a real thing eventually :D Can anybody recommend a set of stuff (free/GPL) for this purpose? I'm planning to try FreeBSD because it's supposedly most secured and seems like a lot of web servers are running on BSD too. As for MTA/Mail daemon, I noticed that CPANEL is using Exim instead of others like qmail or sendmail. Is that a good reason to go for Exim or are there better ones that support virtual hosts, filter/blocking, mailing list and ...

  1. #1

    Default Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    I'm planning to run and learn to admin a test web server at home with
    the aim of doing it on a real thing eventually :D

    Can anybody recommend a set of stuff (free/GPL) for this purpose?

    I'm planning to try FreeBSD because it's supposedly most secured and
    seems like a lot of web servers are running on BSD too.

    As for MTA/Mail daemon, I noticed that CPANEL is using Exim instead of
    others like qmail or sendmail. Is that a good reason to go for Exim or
    are there better ones that support virtual hosts, filter/blocking,
    mailing list and preferably configurable via sql.

    For the FTP daemon, proFTPD has been recommended to me in the past and
    it also apparently is the default daemon used by CPANEL. Is there any
    reason not to go with it or there are better ones available?


    Thanks!
    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
    The Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?


    "The little lost angel" <a?n?g?e?lrigrevol.moc.com> wrote in
    message news:pacific.net.sg... 
    :) 

    I would recommend you use this setup:

    Redhat Linux 9
    Apache 1.3.28
    PHP 4.3.3
    MySQL 4.0.15
    Pure-FTP
    Exim
    Bind 9
    OpenSSL
    OpenSSH

    That setup seems to blend together very nicely.

    Thanks,
    Dan
    Hosting for the New Age
    www.DynamoHosting.net


    Dan Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    On Sat, 11 Oct 2003 14:37:04 -0400, "Dan DeVincent"
    <com> wrote: 

    I'm curious about Pure-FTP, it seems rather good on a first glance,
    supports SQL based user administration and clear doentation. The
    curiousity is both Pure-FTP and Pro-FTP lists Linksys as one of their
    major users :PppPp

    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
    The Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?


    "The little lost angel" <a?n?g?e?lrigrevol.moc.com> wrote in
    message news:pacific.net.sg... 
    >
    > I'm curious about Pure-FTP, it seems rather good on a first glance,
    > supports SQL based user administration and clear doentation. The
    > curiousity is both Pure-FTP and Pro-FTP lists Linksys as one of their
    > major users :PppPp
    >
    > --
    > L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    > If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me[/ref]
    :) 

    Not really sure about Linksys, we use PureFTP on our servers due to the fact
    it is much more resource friendly than proFTPD and the login time with
    pureftp is about 1-2 seconds while proftpd can be 5-10.


    Dan Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    The little lost angel wrote:
     
    >
    >
    > I'm curious about Pure-FTP, it seems rather good on a first glance,
    > supports SQL based user administration and clear doentation. The
    > curiousity is both Pure-FTP and Pro-FTP lists Linksys as one of their
    > major users :PppPp[/ref]

    I like vsftpd. It's been more stable, and in RedHat 9 it's better
    configured. The multiple configurations for multiple IP addresses is
    done in a particularly clever fashion, and it does "chroot" without
    requiring the "/./" whackiness or a local chroot cage
    {chroot}/etc/passwd file.

    Nico Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    On Sat, 11 Oct 2003 20:59:13 -0400, Nico Kadel-Garcia
    <net> wrote: 

    I've seen vsftpd mentioned here and there but seems like not as many
    people use it. This is a factor for me because I figured the more
    people uses a particular app, the more likely whatever problems I get
    stuck with, has already been asked and solved :P

    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
    The Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    The little lost angel wrote: 
    >
    >
    > I've seen vsftpd mentioned here and there but seems like not as many
    > people use it. This is a factor for me because I figured the more
    > people uses a particular app, the more likely whatever problems I get
    > stuck with, has already been asked and solved :P[/ref]

    In general, quite true. But I found it capable of everything proftpd
    does, it behaves better under xinetd operation. vsftpd seems to have
    been built from the ground-up with Linux operation and security
    configuration in mind, as opposed to adding Linux as a strap-on feature.
    And since proftpd is an add-on, rather than built into RedHat
    distributions, I don't have to worry about maintaining it separately or
    paying pftpd's licensing fees for commercial use.

    Nico Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    On Sun, 12 Oct 2003 22:14:10 -0400, Nico Kadel-Garcia
    <net> wrote:
     

    I'm not familiar with RH, am I correct to think you mean vsftpd is
    part of the RH distribution?
     

    Hmm, I didn't realize pftpd had a licensing fee. It doesn't appear to
    mention it at all either :(

    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
    The Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 21:15:44 GMT,
    a?n?g?e?lrigrevol.moc.com (The little lost angel) wrote:
     

    erm, ignore this, my fingers typed a bit too fast for my sleepy brain
    (5am here) to tell them to go to the web first :PppPp

    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
    The Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    The little lost angel wrote:
     
    >
    >
    > I'm not familiar with RH, am I correct to think you mean vsftpd is
    > part of the RH distribution?
    >

    >
    >
    > Hmm, I didn't realize pftpd had a licensing fee. It doesn't appear to
    > mention it at all either :([/ref]

    I thought it did. Let me dig a bit. (Dig, dig, dig.). Hmm. ".org"
    website instead of .com, lots of notes about GPL licensing. I have no
    idea where I got the idea they had commercial licensing.

    ProFTPd authors, I apologize and withdraw that objection. I'm still
    sticking with vsftpd because it allows me to chroot users without
    building a separate passwd file, and because it's built into recent
    RedHat releases (my platform of choice), but have used ProFTPd in the
    past and can recommmend it highly.

    Nico Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 18:34:51 -0400, Nico Kadel-Garcia
    <net> wrote: 

    Isn't having a separate user/password file a good thing? From what I
    understand of the pureftpd so far, the designed in sql support means I
    can easily create a web front end for administration of user.

    Much easier than trying to do something to hack the system's actual
    user password file... I don't really want them to have any shell
    access after all.

    Plus, less chance of me killing the system if my script goes awry...
    which is most likely since I'm really clueless again at this point wrt
    to *Nix scripting & config... haven't even managed to get XF86 working
    on FreeBSD 4.8 keeps dying on some kind of /dev/io or /dev/mem error
    :PPpP


    Then again, were you talking about proftpd or pureftpd, both of them
    being p-ftpd... :PpPppP
    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
    The Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    The little lost angel wrote: 
    >
    >
    > Isn't having a separate user/password file a good thing? From what I
    > understand of the pureftpd so far, the designed in sql support means I
    > can easily create a web front end for administration of user.[/ref]

    In theory, yes. In practice, it means you can't use the "passwd"
    command, or integrate it easily with throwaway accounts and file
    ownership. The proftpd alternate passwd file structure had to maintained
    by hand using cut+paste and tools like "htpasswd" for generating new
    encrypted passwords.
     

    Oh, goodness, you don't *give* them shell access. The shell is set to
    /bin/false or /sbin/nologin: but as a root user, with the FTP user in
    front of you, you can have them type in the password themselves using
    the "passwd username" command, rather than doing other more awkward steps.
     

    "useradd" and "passwd" are extremely unlikely to go awry. Cutting and
    pasting into a hand-built password file is a maintenance nightmare....

    Nico Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 23:50:29 -0400, Nico Kadel-Garcia
    <net> wrote:
     

    Erm, that's not the way I was planning to do it :P

    Because pureftpd supports mySQL DB, the user/password file appears to
    be just a simple table. So it appears to be relatively easy to cook up
    a php/mySQL web front end for this sort of admin. :P

    If I had to do in some shell script, it will probably bomb though :P
     

    Erm, wasn't going to be around to meet the users for this sort of
    thing. Was planning to do up a web front end, whether they are in
    Mongolia, Timbuktu or Antartica, they just log up the front end and
    change passwords or add users for their virtual domains :P
     

    hehehe, in my hands, they might. Which they already did actually.
    I tried adding a test user called ab, somehow despite telling the
    useradd the user's login name is ab, halfway through it says something
    about giving me a few chances to get it right with a prompt User Name
    [ab] :

    but if I tried to input ab or hit enter, it just doesn't go anywhere.

    In the end, I thought it was be in quotes or something and did 'ab'
    which worked, but wasn't what I wanted. Had to delete the user and
    after a few tries realized, the user name cannot be the same as the
    name I use for useradd... it's kinda DUH or is it just ME? :P


    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
    The Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    The little lost angel wrote:
     
    >
    >
    > Erm, that's not the way I was planning to do it :P
    >
    > Because pureftpd supports mySQL DB, the user/password file appears to
    > be just a simple table. So it appears to be relatively easy to cook up
    > a php/mySQL web front end for this sort of admin. :P
    >
    > If I had to do in some shell script, it will probably bomb though :P[/ref]

    Gack. "It can't use the standard tool that's existed in UNIX since it's
    first release, so I'll write a custom front end to replace that, in
    MySQL and HTML, and make it as secure and reliable."

    This is why I like "passwd" and "useradd". They're simple and have been
    tested out fairly robustly, and are likely to continue working.
     
    >
    >
    > Erm, wasn't going to be around to meet the users for this sort of
    > thing. Was planning to do up a web front end, whether they are in
    > Mongolia, Timbuktu or Antartica, they just log up the front end and
    > change passwords or add users for their virtual domains :P[/ref]

    I don't let them touch my FTP server remotely for manipulating their
    accounts. And writing secure, reliable CGI to manipulate user accounts
    remotely makes me really, really twitchy.
     

    ??? I work from the command line, and have never been asked something
    like this. What in the heck were you using?
     

    That's kind of duh, yes. This does not sound like the "useradd" tool
    that *I* use....


    Nico Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Recommend Linux Distro, Mail/MTA/FTP daemon?

    On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 08:03:45 -0400, Nico Kadel-Garcia
    <net> wrote:
     
    >>
    >>
    >> Erm, that's not the way I was planning to do it :P
    >>
    >> Because pureftpd supports mySQL DB, the user/password file appears to
    >> be just a simple table. So it appears to be relatively easy to cook up
    >> a php/mySQL web front end for this sort of admin. :P
    >>
    >> If I had to do in some shell script, it will probably bomb though :P[/ref]
    >
    >Gack. "It can't use the standard tool that's existed in UNIX since it's
    >first release, so I'll write a custom front end to replace that, in
    >MySQL and HTML, and make it as secure and reliable."
    >
    >This is why I like "passwd" and "useradd". They're simple and have been
    >tested out fairly robustly, and are likely to continue working.

    >>
    >>
    >> Erm, wasn't going to be around to meet the users for this sort of
    >> thing. Was planning to do up a web front end, whether they are in
    >> Mongolia, Timbuktu or Antartica, they just log up the front end and
    >> change passwords or add users for their virtual domains :P[/ref]
    >
    >I don't let them touch my FTP server remotely for manipulating their
    >accounts. And writing secure, reliable CGI to manipulate user accounts
    >remotely makes me really, really twitchy.

    >
    >??? I work from the command line, and have never been asked something
    >like this. What in the heck were you using?

    >
    >That's kind of duh, yes. This does not sound like the "useradd" tool
    >that *I* use....[/ref]

    Probably because I just realize, it's "adduser" and not "useradd" (no
    such file) on the FreeBSD I was testing on. Erm probably the
    difference BSD and Linux? Sorry for the confusion.

    Anyway, after trying it a few times I realized what's wrong. The first
    instance of asking for a user name was actually asking for a regexp
    for the user name. After realizing this, I tried doing with [\w], then
    using the username ab worked :D

    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
    The Guest

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