by September 6, 2001 0 comments

What
does it take to set up a good working intranet? On the hardware side, all you need is a
server and the clients. Assuming that you’ve a LAN this requirement is already taken
care of.

Linux is a very good choice for the software part
because most of the services that are required from an intranet are installed by default.


E-mail: The most important component of an intranet is e-mail. In a
Linux installation, e-mail is automatically set up by default. Configuration is minimal,
and after setting up Linux from our CD, it won’t take more than a few minutes before
your corporate e-mail server is ready for business.


Web:
Red Hat Linux by default will install the Apache Webserver.
Apache is one of the best Webservers in the business today and has a 53 % share of the
Websites on the Internet.

In order to use this, all you have to do is copy
your content to the directory /home/httpd/html and update the index.html file there. In
fact, when you have finished installing Linux, if you were to fire up a browser and point
it to the machine, it would immediately come up with a Web page “It Worked!”.
All you need to do is modify this page and add links to your own content.


FTP: A very elegant solution to exchange files is to have a
common shared area where files can be dumped and picked up from. The FTP protocol is
excellent at handling this situation. Again by default Linux has FTP fully configured. All
you need to do is dump the files in the /home/ftp/pub directory. Your users will be able
to put or get files, using a browser.


Newsgroups: An interesting off-shoot of e-mail is the newsgroups. In
Linux, InterNetNews or INN is also set up by default during the installation process. All
you need to do is configure it, and you’ll be up and running with the perfect
platform for your corporate brainstorming.


Proxy Server:
Finally, you need to optimize your setup for Internet access.
If you have a problem with bandwidth to the Net, which is true for most of us, then the
only way to save the situation is to use a caching proxy server. When Red Hat Linux is
installed a proxy sever called “squid” is also installed. Also, the proxy sever
can be used for other purposes, like controlling access, security, etc.

Once you start using your corporate intranet server,
you are bound to question yourself why you had waited so long (and possibly spent so much
money on other solutions) before trying Linux.

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