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Trustix + VMware Server

Queen’s birthday long weekend – and I’ve found another quick geeky project to play with at home. This one was quick (I swear!). I’ve being contemplating recently how I’d go about setting up a small business network with the essentials – web/mail/file/proxy server plus the very necessary extras like back-up and spam/virus filtering for email.

The offerings from the open source world are pretty impressive (without getting into a debate over paid-for / free software). Which led me to the Trustix Linux distro – from their website:

Trustix Secure Linux is a distribution for servers with a heavy focus on security and stability. One of the main features of Trustix is its small size which combined with easy updating by the automated secure software updater swup, makes it a smooth and inviting system to administer.

Having been away from the Linux world for 10 years and having never been an expert – the idea of a ‘minimal’ distribution appeals to me. An ‘everything plus the kitchen sink’ distro just means more things that could go wrong, more potential security holes, and more applications to patch/update.

Got an install up-and-running on my ‘test’ machine. In the mood for experimenting I downloaded the free VMware Server, and a Trustix install ISO file. The virtual PC can be set-up to boot straight from the ISO image, and install Trustix effortlessly. I know of a few people working with production servers hosted in VMware. I can see the advantages – I can now easily move my Trustix install between PCs running VMserver. Making it possible to run several servers on one physical machine – and move them off onto more physical machines as the additional resources become needed.

Documentation is a bit thin on the ground, the TrustixWiki covers most of the scenarios I’m interested in. So now its time to roll up my sleeves (stop saying ‘I bet this is easier in Windows’) and think about the features I want on my new server!

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