Byte.com: Installing A Linux Server Takes Savvy

“The Penguin, like most Linux (and Unix for that matter)
hardware comes with rather skimpy documentation. Better is
available online, but it will all take study. You don’t just buy
one of these and turn it on. Setting up a Windows NT server network
is simpler. On the other hand, the Penguin with Linux is extremely
reliable. Once you get things going, they won’t need a lot of

Much of Linux is developed by people working on just what
they want to do, with no product manager to drive them. Outfits
like Red Hat and Corel do try to develop documentation and user
manuals, but they’re always a few steps behind.
It’s hard to
get bright people to work on things that don’t interest them much.
This problem is built into the open software movement and little
can be done about it. Linux will always have more people working on
code than documenting it. O’Reilly and other publishers, along with
Linux developers like Red Hat, are trying to do something, but it’s
likely that they will always be behind the curve. So it

“Once we determined we’d covered all our bases, we hooked up two
17″ monitors to the Penguin server and turned it on. It came alive,
with lights blinking on the RAID bay and those seven fans making
themselves known. And then we began the process of configuring

“I wasn’t sure how the Penguin folks would handle this, as
they’d preinstalled everything prior to sending the server out
here. In the event, they’d come up with a pretty nifty set-up
script that automatically executes the first time you fire up the
system. It asks you all the normal questions such as the machine’s
IP address and subnet mask, DNS domain name, DNS server IP
addresses, etc. Once you’ve entered in all the required
information, everything is complete and operational without the
need for a reboot, another advantage Linux has over any flavor of
Windows you can name.”


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