ok heres what im trying to do. I have a home network with 4 to 6 computers on it(6 when my sisters are home from college). i have an extra computer that i installed red hat 9 on which i want to set up as the hub. i want it do do the internet conection sharing, i want it to be the name server, everything. It would also be nice if i could configure appache but thats a problem for anouther time.

when i installed linux i selected "server" configuration and i made sure that all the "server" packages were installed just incase i would need them. when i go to look for network servers i can find Samba and the DNS, FTP and, Appache servers but no name servers and ICS servers. im a native windows guy so all of what im sying may sound absolutely ridiculus, please tell me if it does. But please, be nice about it.


I have set many of these things up. Be happy to help you here.

First, a couple of clarifications.

A HUB / SWITCH is a network device that connects computers and other network devices (shared scanners, printers, maybe a fax machine/copier) with each other. Hubs share all traffic; Switches isolate traffic among the nodes by building small routing tables with in them.

You are asking the RedHat linux box to be a ROUTER. You want all of the traffic inside the house to go through the RH box to the internet. While you did not specify if you are attached to a cable/dsl modem, or a POTS line, what you are asking to be done is rather easy.

You will want to consider a firewall, either having the linux box behave as one, or having another firewall further "upstream".

ICS, or Internet Connection Sharing, is handled internally by linux by passing the command:

echo "1" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward

This statement must be set every restart, as it is in /proc which is a dynamic directory that is virtual and re-created at boottime. I have this command line in my linux firewall.

Linux's DNS server is called BIND, and you can set it up by hand, or using webmin. I suggest learning webmin, as it is a nice interface, web driven, and quite complete. Unfortunately, the docs on how to use it are not the best, but give it a few minutes, and you can get it and build on it.

You may also want to install Samba on this box, and use it as a file server.

Traditional networking models suggest that a firewall should be independant from your fileserver; for my home, however, I have combined the firewall and the file server into one big box.

I am going to write a tutorial on how to solve your problem. You may wish to consider using Fedora Core 3, as RedHat 9 is no longer updated / supported.


What you are trying to do will work but rather crudely.

Since you are a native Microsoft user / admin or whatever, I would suggest buying a device that is specifically meant to do what you want.

www.2wire.com has a "Home Portal" product which I received when I bought my DSL contract as part of the deal, and I must say, this thing kicks butt.
You can pretty much manage your entire network, internal, external, firewall'd ports per machine, I love it.

And it's probably more of what your used to, if you dont know linux / unix, you probably dont want your entire home network relying on something your not familiar with.. you know.?