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Server software


Iain
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I've seen a number of posts here and elsewhere about uses for old PCs.  A common response is to use them to learn about networking - and that's where I'm at now.

The lowest spec of four old PCs that I have is P2, 233MHz with 384MB RAM.  It runs W2K happily (without any bells and whistles!).  I'm happy setting them up, troubleshooting, sharing folders etc. in a peer-peer context and I'd like to move into the client/server scenario.  What recommendations does anyone have for server software?  I'm aware of Windows Server 2000 and 2003 but I wonder if there's anything that's less costly?  I suspect that someone will mention Linux and, whilst I've played around with live Linux CDs, I'm not very familiar so wouldn't want to learn Linux and Domain administration at the same time.  I'd prefer to do the network "experiments" first so would like something that's Windows-based.

If I have to put my hand in my pocket and get a copy of Windows 2000 Server (from eBay) or 2003 Server, I'll do so but just wondered if there's a cheaper Windows alternative.  BTW, I'd also need Active Directory (or an alternative), wouldn't I?

Thanks for your time.

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Thanks.  I was almost expecting a response like that.  It looks like I'll need to put my hand into my pocket.  :-(

I do want to learn more Linux but I want to learn about administering a domain more!

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The way I setup a domain (to avoid messing up my network) was to have three instances of vmware on a single computer (Needs lots of RAMness) and had Advanced Server 2000 installed on one and the others just had windows 2k installed (over the virtual network in the other two vmware instances).

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That's interesting.  I've not used vmware but have heard a lot about it.  I'd not considered having three instances running at the same time.  As well as the old PCs that I have, I intend building a high end one this summer which will be capable of supporting plenty of RAM.  That's when I'll be able to investigate this.

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Aside from using the free VMWare Player to host the OSes, you can go all-free and use BOCHS.

It's not as capable as VMWare, but VMWare wants a bite from your wallet.

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