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Review: SuSE Linux eMail Server III - page 3

Introducing SuSE Linux eMail Server III

  • March 28, 2002
  • By Dee-Ann LeBlanc

So, I sat down to install the OS and server on my trusty test box. I figured I should actually use the documentation (okay, so even technical writers don't always RTFM!) so I flipped it open and started reading. This was definitely a good idea. There are a number of possible configuration scenarios and checklists for the installation or upgrade process, depending on which you're doing, and the most important to me was the networking section. After determining that I fell under the single network interface on an intranet, with a router to the Internet, I popped a bookmark into that section of the manual and started the install process.

I've installed SuSE Linux before (at least in its most recent versions), so I found the initial part of the installation quite familiar: it's the same YaST2 installer used by the distribution. The first time I got the feeling that I wasn't in Kansas anymore was when YaST2 started adding packages without ever asking me what I wanted. Remember, this is a combined operating system and mail server setup, so it pretty much assumes that you want to install most parts.

Also, since I've installed SuSE before, I found myself surprised at how quick the package installation section was. Even on my test box it only took about five minutes (after all, the entire product is only on one CD-ROM). Everything goes great until I get to the network setup section. That sucker gave me a new bald patch. Being a dutiful tech writer, I looked back in the manual to the recommendations for setting up my particular networking scenario. I set the parameters to get the IP information by DHCP, set the host and domain information manually, and set the gateway to the Internet. Problem was that, as best I can tell, the DHCP settings (which do NOT include host or domain information) somehow conflicted with the static information.

What I eventually ended up doing was finding out from my router what IP address was being given to the test box, using a fortunate dual boot setup I'd left over for another project on the test box to get the MAC address for the Ethernet card there, and hardcoding the IP information. Suddenly it all worked. I wasn't happy having to use a workaround though.

Once I got past that pesky networking issue everything went great again. I let the installer set up a DNS server along with the email server and soon I've got a running SuSE server! Ironically, I don't even have to log into it to proceed to configuration.

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