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openSUSE 11.0: A Versatile Linux Server

Versatile For Many Roles

September 5, 2008

OpenSUSE 11.0 does a great job on the desktop, but it shines equally as bright in the server role. Everything you need to set up most any type of server comes on the OpenSUSE 11.0 installation DVD. The trick is narrowing down the options to the ones you'll really need. While you could have a single 'do everything' box, you might want to consider separating out some of the functionality for security and reliability reasons.

We'll go through some of the more popular server options and hit the highlights of getting each one installed. Deciding on how to parcel out the roles to different machines will depend a lot on your situation and what type of activity you need to support. For discussion purposes we'll assume a typical small-to-medium business scenario as we go through the different options.

File and Print

Sharing files and a printer has been the most common use case for servers since they were first conceived. Samba provides both client and server applications to share files from a central location. One thing you'll need to consider if you plan on providing services to Windows-based clients is the potential need for a Primary Domain Controller (PDC) if there isn't one already on your network. There's a good article on the openSUSE site with details on getting everything configured properly.

Centralized printing is another common service needed for small workgroups. Implementing Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) is one of the most common options for sharing a printer from a Linux host. The most straightforward way to set this up requires a static IP address for the Linux host. For a good step-by-step set of instructions check out the Linux Documentation Project Printing HOWTO page. Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) administration is available by accessing port 631 on the server with a web browser as in:



if you're on the server itself.