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openSUSE 11.0: A Versatile Linux Server - page 3

Versatile For Many Roles

  • September 5, 2008
  • By Paul Ferrill

According to the Netcraft tracking site, the Apache project continues to be the most used web server on the Internet. Configuring Apache to meet your needs can be an involved project depending on what you want to do. Fortunately there are a wealth of resources from both the openSUSE documentation site and the main Apache Software Foundation site.

JBoss and Tomcat are the two most popular open source J2EE servers. Both are supported on openSUSE through the standard distribution and documentation. The commercial version of JBoss is now owned by Red Hat, so there might be some reluctance on some parties to go with a solution that has taken more of a closed-source approach. Tomcat is a part of the Apache project and as such integrates very tightly with the Apache web server.

openSUSE 11.0 is a great option for implementing a LAMP server, meaning Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. All the necessary components come with the standard distribution and are also available from the main repositories. Starting with version 10.3 of openSUSE you can install missing components using the one-click-install method. There's a good howto on the SUSE geek website.

E-mail is another critical service that some companies choose to take on in-house. openSUSE comes with the standard Linux Mail program but also offers a number of alternatives. Kolab is a full-blown groupware solution that ships with version 11 but is currently broken due to some dependency issues. You'll have to back up to openSUSE 10.3 if you want to give this tool a try.

Helping stem the tide of spam is another common use for Linux servers. The most popular tool for this task is Spam Assassin. Another alternative is the ASSP project, although not as popular as Spam Assassin. There's a whole host of network monitoring tools for things like packet capture and filtering if you're looking for a way to do intrusion detection and monitoring.

Final Words

openSUSE 11.0 is definitely up to any server task you want to throw at it. One thing not discussed here is the area of virtualization. openSUSE supports all the major open source virtualization tools for creating independent server instances on high-end hardware. The earlier discussion of separating tasks across servers is made even simpler with this approach. All-in-all, it's a distribution worth your consideration.

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