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My friend jesse is going to college and I'm helping him set up his linux box. He hasn't gotten online yet, but I was just wondering if colleges restrict linux internet access. I'm sure there's always a way around any restrcitions they have ;) but I was just wondering if anyone has bad experiences with linux and college internet.

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Last Post by kc0arf
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My friend jesse is going to college and I'm helping him set up his linux box. He hasn't gotten online yet, but I was just wondering if colleges restrict linux internet access. I'm sure there's always a way around any restrcitions they have ;) but I was just wondering if anyone has bad experiences with linux and college internet.

Policies vary widely. If a network allows Macs, Linux should be OK, but if they are going for a uniform architecture--like a specific model of laptop issued to students, for example--it might get a bit trickier. Even anonymously asking the system administrators about policies might be a good idea. I can ask my sysadmin friends at the U of Mich what their policies are...

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If you're going for something that will integrate flawlessly with any microsoft 2000 or above server environment...go with MEPIS Linux. It is a live CD with option to install on hard disk...fantastic linux distribution. It integrated for me with no problems onto a 500 computer windows 2000 network....in fact, the difference couldn't even be told without an nmap of the machine.

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This wasn't in college, but in high school, anything on the network besides windows 98 or 2000 was not allowed. Windows XP was not even allowed! Most of this was due to licensing issues, but the school district felt that any linux or bsd was only going to be used for the purpose of "hacking." This never stopped anyone from bringing in their linux or bsd machine to school to connect to the wireless, or ethernet. The district never had any way of controlling it. They would have to run scans of every node on the network, and then if the tcp stack of one, is like that of a bsd/linux block that MAC address, which is really uneffective, cuz it isn't difficult to buy a new MAC, or alter the tcp-stack. I don't have any resources at hand, but there is lots of documentation and even some software for linux that can. (and I think bsd as well, though I think I have heard that this can be done at the kernel compile level) Colleges are much more liberal than high schools though. As far as ease of use though, set the person up with ifplugd, so that his ethernet link can automatically be detected at plug/drop to run a script. (IE: dhcpcd eth0/dhcpcd -k eth0) Definitely make sure he has samba.

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If all you're talking about is TCP/IP connectivity, it shouldn't matter. The only time most sysadmins get antsy is if you start doing odd stuff on their network, like ARP poisoning and packet sniffing. If all you're doing is surfing the Web and the like, they'll probably never care what OS you're running.

They may have a policy about what OSes they allow on their network, but it's probably more of a technical support/ Help Desk issue. Don't expect to get much help from their IS/IT staff when running Linux. At the college I just finished from, the only thing the IT staff could do to "troubleshoot" our UNIX/Linux installs was to wipe it out and re-Ghost image it. Even then they had to come in and get one of the instructors to change the IP addresses on the "fixed" boxes!

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If all you're talking about is TCP/IP connectivity, it shouldn't matter. The only time most sysadmins get antsy is if you start doing odd stuff on their network, like ARP poisoning and packet sniffing. If all you're doing is surfing the Web and the like, they'll probably never care what OS you're running.

You're absolutely correct! How often do a lot of sysadmins do anything other than read their logs? I've know countless 'armchair sysadmins' that don't venture out of the own 'virtual private network' inside their office if you know what I mean. Most of the time, especially at colleges, it is easy to do whatever you want. I mean, if not, how is that so many college kids are getting sued for illegal music? So, I'd say give linux a go until they tell you to stop. They might get the letter for you to cease and desist out a couple of years after you graduate. :cheesy:

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Hello,

Technically, there should be no problem running Linux at your college. TCP/IP is TCP/IP. An educated techie with some time on their hands might be able to detect you are running something else, but unless you are causing a problem, you should be alright.

Politically, anything could happen to you.

Helpdesk wise, I agree. If you are out of box, they might give you a flyer, or offer to let you use a public computer to look at the web and try figuring it out on your own. They might even ask you to come back and teach them on how you got things working.

Now, what should you avoid doing? In other words, things that will place you on a radar screen....

DON'T:
1) Setup a DHCP server on the network. This will mess a lot of other things up, and they will find you.
2) Setup a server and start sharing music / files / tests. A simple scan can show what you are serving. You are a user / guest on their network. They can unplug you. You might have to sign a user agreement. Read it.
3) Run your NIC in promisicous mode (sniffing). Software exists to detect them.
4) Share a printer. Pranksters might run you out of ink and paper. I have seen this happen.

I would have a firewall on it, and would not allow the computer to share easily.

Good luck,

Christian

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