Help on chosing OS

Jon Mercer jon.mercer at
Mon Nov 11 02:38:09 GMT 2002

Roy Stark wrote:

>Can the users please give me some honest advice.
>I don't know FreeBSD or Linux but would like to setup a computer to serve
>the following;
>*	Email 5 users
>*	WEB proxy but with a firewall to protect the Microsoft computers
>behind this machine
>*	Host my site as well as allow FTP to certain files.
>Am I been too optimistic or can this be done?
>Is it possible for a novice to setup.
>Thanks in advance,
Sounds like what you need is not going to be dependant on just the 
operating system, but also the suite of stuff you need to implement what 
you want. For email Qpopper is very good. Squid for a web proxy (but 
http only - maybe also look at a SOCKS proxy if you can find one) and 
the FreeBSD packet filtering is very easy to work with.

Managing these applications (after all they are third party products to 
both Linux and Free BSD [except packet filtering]) is made very easy on 
FreeBSD with the ports collection and portupgrade.

IMHO FreeBSD is the easier of the two to work with because there is only 
the one distribution, so getting familiar with it doesnt require reading 
between the lines on a dozen different email forums to work out which 
distro the author is using.

I'm sure others on the list will also want to contribute, especially 
around the area of security, and you might want to specify exactly what 
counts as web access - it has a great impact on what you need to let 
through the firewall! Incidentally, I run all those things and more on a 
dodgy old P166 which doesn't struggle an ounce, an dodesn't get rebooted 
for months at a time.


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