How to kill time on winter weekends..

YeOldeStonecat

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For some reason got bored with PFSense, until the current Beta (2.0...or 1.3..whichever you want to call it) comes out, I figured I'd dork around and revisit some other distros.

Instead of using my usual laptop approach to a *nix router setup, I dusted off my old Asus P4C800 with a P4 h/t 3.0, 2 gigs of RAM, slapped in Smoothwall Express 3.

Almost a day later remembered why I ditched Smoothie, and I feel like checking out ClearOS....a branch of continued development of ClarkConnect. Call is sort of like..an open source version of SBS.
http://www.clearfoundation.com/

Anyways...time to download 'n burn 'n install.

***edited at last minute to correct glaring Asus model error
 
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Mandroid

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Just wanted to ask You a Question on alternative OS's..

I've got an older laptop, P4 2.66, 40 gig HD, 512 Ram,

everything works great but It's getting real slow and I thought I might try to find a Lighter OS..

Have XP Pro Sp3 installed, not from the original disk, so no bloatware, just a few of the apps that I wanted..

I regularily clean the registry, and defrag, and have Firefox as a browzer,

I'm not the most computer savy person, so don't want to go nuts trying to get it to work..

wondering if You have any sugestions..

Might give me something to do on a Cold 6* winter mourning, at least untill the Playoffs come on,,

Tia
 
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YeOldeStonecat

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There are a few questions like this in the linux forum.....for desktop OS's...
I do recommend you give Linux Mint a try. It's based on Ubuntu...which is pretty much the most popular *nix distro out there for beginners to get their feet wet with linux. However Mint packages a few more things with it, a bit more ready to do than Ubuntu.

They just released a new version, I installed it on a 12" IBM Thinkpad x40 ultra portable a few weeks ago, runs fine, the x40 is only a Pentium M 1.6 with 512 megs and a very slow 4200rpm hard drive.

My favorite distro for a laptop is OpenSUSE.

PCLinuxOS is another good option...as well as Ubuntu of course.

Check out www.distrowatch.org they have a list of the most popular downloads, and well as a rather complete list of all the offerings out there.plus a brief blurb of each and often some screenshots.
 

Mandroid

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Thanks for the Reply,

time for some downloadin,

I check in on some of the alternative's every now an then, but wasn't sure if they were a functional package yet..

even learned a new word, Distro

the specs on that thinkpad are pretty close, the HD on the laptop is also a 4200rpm, probably gonna upgrade it to a 5400, 120Gig, & 1gig pc2700

and You just gave me something to do on a Cold 6* winter mourning, at least untill the Playoffs come on,
 

Valnar

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For some reason got bored with PFSense, until the current Beta (2.0...or 1.3..whichever you want to call it) comes out, I figured I'd dork around and revisit some other distros.

My firewall at home is a ESXi box with two Intel NIC's dedicated to being a firewall. I keep a copy of several distros on there, but usually use Untangle + pfSense 1.2.3 inline with each other (with a virtual switch in the middle for the Untangle WAN --> pfSense LAN). It works great and I can add, delete or bring up an alternative firewall on demand without ever going down to my basement.
 

YeOldeStonecat

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My firewall at home is a ESXi box with two Intel NIC's dedicated to being a firewall. I keep a copy of several distros on there, but usually use Untangle + pfSense 1.2.3 inline with each other (with a virtual switch in the middle for the Untangle WAN --> pfSense LAN). It works great and I can add, delete or bring up an alternative firewall on demand without ever going down to my basement.

I may go that route today....haven't rebuilt the router yet. The Asus has a good onboard Intel NIC, I have a Netgear FA311 in there, can also slap in a 3COM and another Intel NIC...a few more hard drives, and get a permanent ESXi host setup to dork with a few things. Probably a good idea since I may want to fiddle with a few more.
 

InvisiBill

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Just wanted to ask You a Question on alternative OS's..

I've got an older laptop, P4 2.66, 40 gig HD, 512 Ram,

everything works great but It's getting real slow and I thought I might try to find a Lighter OS..

Have XP Pro Sp3 installed, not from the original disk, so no bloatware, just a few of the apps that I wanted..

If you're rebuilding anyway, try slipstreaming SP3 in and doing a fresh XP install. I'm all for trying alternatives, but the mobile P4 2.66GHz wasn't even released until almost two years after XP RTM. While it is slow compared to brand new computers, that machine should be able to handle XP decently. The listed requirements for SP3 are a 233MHz CPU and 64MB. While I wouldn't want to run XP SP3 on such a machine, your system is well above those numbers - almost 10x actually. Though they're mostly used as Citrix thin clients, we have a number of GX60's at work that are still in daily use running XP SP3 on a Celeron 900MHz with 256MB of RAM.

A fresh install may run much better. If so, then there was something on the previous install that was mucking things up. It could be leftovers from something you uninstalled a long time ago or a bug in a program you currently use. The OS itself doesn't change that much, so if it seems to be slowing down over time, it's probably not really related to the OS itself so much as other apps and what you do with the OS.

This sounds like a great time for you to experiment with some other software, but don't just rule out XP as suddenly being too slow on this laptop (especially since you probably thought it ran XP screamingly fast a few years ago when you got it).
 

Mandroid

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Thanks; maybe I'll try a fresh install,

I used to format and do a fresh install every 6 months with Win 98, but XP runs so reliably I’ve gotten lazy & almost forgotten how to do it, Plus usually have built a new puter before it needs it anyway's, but trying to get a few more years out of this laptop, and then step up to an i-5 or 7, plus some of the other goodies coming down the road..

I had slipstreamed SP3 into XP Pro when it first came out, I did it once thru windows in Dos I believe, but it wouldn't boot correctly, so I ended up using a program that did it for me, don't remember which 1, but it works fine..

The reason I was leaning away from XP SP3 is that I thought all the security updates, about 87 of them, [ yeah I counted them, LOL ] would make it overly large and cumbersome and slow it down..

I do run RegSupremePro on aggressive settings regularly,

If You've got Celeron 900's running XP, Then maybe I should dust off my old Abit BH6 with a P3 500mhz, & 256mb, I upgraded to that from a 300a celeron, running Win 95 LOL
 
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YeOldeStonecat

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Well, up on ClearOS running inside of ESXi 3.5

This is a darn cool distro, really is quite an open source equivalent of SBS Premium...some cool stuff in it.
 

Valnar

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Well, up on ClearOS running inside of ESXi 3.5

This is a darn cool distro, really is quite an open source equivalent of SBS Premium...some cool stuff in it.

I thought about playing with ClearOS next myself. But I love pfSense so much, and Untangle works well in transparent mode behind it.

Say, any reason you aren't using ESXi 4.0? It has a couple new features, most notable is the ability to clock down the processor with SpeedStep (or the equivalent) if all guests are below a certain threshold of CPU usage. It's great for home setups.
 

YeOldeStonecat

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I thought about playing with ClearOS next myself. But I love pfSense so much, and Untangle works well in transparent mode behind it.

Say, any reason you aren't using ESXi 4.0? It has a couple new features, most notable is the ability to clock down the processor with SpeedStep (or the equivalent) if all guests are below a certain threshold of CPU usage. It's great for home setups.

I have ESXi 4 at a few clients, but the old hardware I pulled out of my drawers full of craploads of old crap was the above Asus P4C800 with a 3.0 P4 H/T. 32 bit only I'm pretty sure.

One of these days wanna get a nice little C2D mini form factor with a 1tb drive in there..that'd make a nice box to fiddle with. Some real estate stuff has my spare pocket change tied up for a while though. :eek:

Must say..quite impressed with ClearOS as I explore it more. Seems very mature, and solid. I like the QoS features. I'll dork with VPN stuff over the next week or so. Maybe even fire up the e-mail server.
 

blk95civicex

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So I'm glad I saw this post.

My Untangle box was having some issues with the latest release and was giving me all sorts of issues. After a bit of work I'm now running ClearOS. I like it so far, but my bandwidth speed tests seem to be horrible compared to what I was getting on Untangle. I'll let it simmer for the night, see what tomorrow brings.
 

InvisiBill

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You guys have gotten me interested in ClearOS. When ClarkConnect first came out, I was using e-smith/SME at the small company where I worked. At best, ClarkConnect seemed like a sidegrade and I was already used to e-smith's mod system, so I never did much with it. I may have to check it out now.


The reason I was leaning away from XP SP3 is that I thought all the security updates, about 87 of them, [ yeah I counted them, LOL ] would make it overly large and cumbersome and slow it down..

I do run RegSupremePro on aggressive settings regularly,

The updates generally replace files. The new files are often a tiny bit larger, but they are sometimes even smaller. You're replacing broken files, not adding new ones. Most of the hard drive usage comes from the backups the patches create - it will generally save a copy of the old files that were replaced just in case you decide to uninstall the patch. You can slipstream newer patches into the install media, so it will just install with the updated files from the start and not bother with the old files at all. I got sick of trying to keep up with all the patches, so I just let Auto Update do its thing behind a NAT router once I've got an install with the latest SP slipstreamed in.

I rarely run those optimization tools. If there's a problem, I like to understand it and fix it manually if possible. My next choice is a specialized util to fix a specific problem. The generic utils have a history of basing their optimizations on faulty information and not handling non-standard situations well
 

Mandroid

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I have to Thank all You guy's for the great info,

You all are really up on Your stuff,

I didn't know that the new files were replacing old files, I thought they were in addition,

after I posted that I came up with the thought that if I did a fresh install, then windows update would probably have a cumulative update instead of 87 seperate 1's.

can updates be downloaded in a format that would allow slipstreaming.. ?

What I think I'm going to do is install some of these alternative OS's on a spare computer, and then see how they work out..

didn't get very far yesterday, I only have 768 down, and forgot how long it takes to download a Gig,

It would be nice to be able to get away from microsoft, can't afford to upgrade 3 or 4 computers to W7,
 

YeOldeStonecat

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To follow the derail, if you don't want to slipstream, you can install from virgin media, download the network install versions (full) of the service packs...get right up to service pack 3, and then run the rest of your accumulated updates. This will have less reboots and less accumulated updates.

Over the years, yes the updates to replace prior versions of some files, but they also do add some files.

A P4 2.66 is by no means too slow for XP, esp for just a web surfing rig. If you want to breath some life into that rig with minimal investment, the part that gets the most wear is what slows down computers that are years old...your hard drive. Just like a car that has 150,000 miles on it...it doesn't perform like it used to. Replace it with a new one. RAM is cheap, find another 512 megs to bring her up to a gig. New HD, more RAM, both for well under 100 bucks = machine with renewed vigor.
 

Mandroid

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New HD, more RAM, both for well under 100 bucks = machine with renewed vigor.

I've been asking that question at several forums for awhile now, and get allot of answers, but I think I'm going to try it..

ordering a hard drive right now,

WD Scorpio Blue WD1200BEVE 120GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache 2.5" ATA-6, thanks NewEgg..

I'm still researching the ram..

to get 1 gig, I can't just buy 1 stick of 512mb ram, both slots are full with 256mb sticks.. I guess I could do 768, but that seems lame.. and from what I've read it has to be toshiba specific, because of compatability issues..

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1482931

{ in the real world, would boosting the ram to 1024 and upgrading the hard drive make that much of a difference,

I know that is actually doubling the ram, but by present standards 1 gig of ram is considered minimal,

and the new HD would be slightly faster, 4200rpm vs 5400rpm, larger cache, and probably have better seek times,

just wondering if the difference would be noticable or would it be just the same old puter with 150 bucks of new parts in it }
 
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blk95civicex

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I've seen this mentioned a couple times on the Untangle forums, but I'm running fine. What kind of issues?

Booting into Windows 7 on my main PC would give me a ring on my network icon (not spinning though, just frozen). Some services would be able to connect to the Internet as Windows Updates would show up, but nothing outside of that really. I could still browse the LAN however. Then my new laptop started to have similar problems. When logged onto the console of the UT box, I would be working OK for a while, and then the screen would crap out and spit up a bunch of errors. I was also unable to login to the web console from another machine on the LAN. I ended up doing a clean install of UT and then restoring my config; worked for about 10-15 minutes, but ended up with the same problems.
 

Valnar

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Booting into Windows 7 on my main PC would give me a ring on my network icon (not spinning though, just frozen). Some services would be able to connect to the Internet as Windows Updates would show up, but nothing outside of that really. I could still browse the LAN however. Then my new laptop started to have similar problems. When logged onto the console of the UT box, I would be working OK for a while, and then the screen would crap out and spit up a bunch of errors. I was also unable to login to the web console from another machine on the LAN. I ended up doing a clean install of UT and then restoring my config; worked for about 10-15 minutes, but ended up with the same problems.

Wow... I guess I'm lucky. But I'm running it in a VM and everything is compatible with an old i440BX "board". In fact, I saw on the UT boards that they don't recommend using the parent/child racks in Policy Manager, but its working fine for me.
 

blk95civicex

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Yeah, I've had nothing but great performance with Untangle for about 2 years now. Just started having these problems recently.
 

blk95civicex

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What NICs? I know it's sensitive to using good NICs.

I'd have to check, but I'm pretty sure the on-board is probably a broadcom and I know the PCI NIC is a 3Com. Like I said, I've had no problems with this box running my UT for the last 2 years or so.

On a side note...I caused ClearOS to kernel panic two times last night just surfing the web. May be moving to Pf tonight.
 

YeOldeStonecat

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ClearOS also on the broadcom?
I hated those NICs with Windows Server, I've read plenty of peeps with UT having issues with them too. Some of the broadcom NICs are very...."software driven"...sorta like the Winmodem of NICs.

I hammered ClearOS quite a bit last night and early this morning, so far rock stable. I'm picky about my options with QoS...so far PFSense had been my favorite...but I think ClearOS will give me even more options. May be a keeper for me. Ran PFSense for years...love it...just got bored with it.
 

Mandroid

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Try to get a 7,200rpm if you can...HUGE difference.
I get most of my lappy drives from www.drivesolutions.com
A nice Samsung Spinrite or Seagate Momentus.

I'm gonna cheap out and get the WD Scorpio Blue WD1200BEVE 64$,

and for memory so far I've found this for 26.99$ a stick

http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=78D7A350A5CA7304

what do you think, I think crucial is a decent brand, and that's about as cheap as it goes..

that makes it about 120$ for the upgrade,
 

Mandroid

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Good to know about the Crucial,

Thanks for all Your Help,

now all I need to do is sell some of my old stuff, so I can build an i7 based PC..

know anyone interested in a couple of Abit IC7 Max 2, with 2.8 [ 1 prescott & 1 Northwood ]
 

calvinj

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just got bored with it.

Amen. Wish they would get in gear and get 2.0 going. I want group auth and cisco drop in replacement. Think it would get alot of these places a run for their money. especially if you want take esxi and turn up something like this back to back with untangle. I can finally have the best of both worlds all thought i need an esxi box to mess with.

Can someone tell me if they have pfsense and untangle back to back in workstation?
 

BootSector

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Was just looking through the documentation for ClearOS. Looks very interesting, might have to give it a try.
 

YeOldeStonecat

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Ye... How's ClearOS compare to Untangle (my current personal perference).

It's a different animal, like comparing apples to oranges, ClearOS is more of a poor mans open source version of SBS Premium (the firewall features would replace ISA). LDAP, file and print sharing, NAS, web server, FTP server, various VPN options. And some UTM features.

It will not be replacing my usage of Untangle for many of my clients, I will continue to use UT. But for home use I'll enjoy dorking around with this, and I may set it up for one or two very small budget clients.

Untangle is pure UTM appliance..firewall with VPN options only. And IMO better at UTM features than ClearOS (spyware blocker module for 1).
 

YeOldeStonecat

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From what I can tell by a quick gander there's no "transparent" mode on ClearOS.

During the install it does ask if you're running behind another router....single NIC mode...so I'd have to assume it can. I know the proxy service runs transparently.
 

calvinj

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have clear os in vmware workstation this is pretty good stuff here. Really want to get this into somewhere. This looks like good stuff.
 

Valnar

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I like Untangle, but I played with their firewall module for a total of 5 minutes before removing it. It's pretty basic.
 

pwrusr

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Ye, does Clear do any logging like untangle does? things like who visited what site when?
 

YeOldeStonecat

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Ye, does Clear do any logging like untangle does? things like who visited what site when?

Yes if the web proxy is enabled...I don't have it enabled, but I'll flip it on for a day or two to see what it generates. But here's a cut and paste from the "Reports" tab of the web admin.

* Dashboard
* Overview
* Network
* Network Report
* Network Status
* Gateway
* Intrusion Detection Report
* Intrusion Prevention Report
* Protocol Filter Report
* Web Proxy Report
* Server
* Mail Report
* Web Reports
* System
* Logs
* Hardware Report
* Resource Report
 

Mandroid

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In case anyone is interested, I'm posting an update on my Laptop,

Installed XP Pro SP3, on the new 120 gig HD,
[ SP3 is Slipstreamed into the original XP ]

haven't spent much time with it, but it's definetly running & starting faster,

but even with a fresh install of XP Pro SP3, there's still 58 updates from windows update,,

to be fair when I counted them the first time, I counted them on my Desktop and not the Laptop, and XP installs differently on each machine,

I thought that microsoft would use a cumulative update that would incorporate the previous updates, like a bios update, but I guess not..

and I apologise for derailing this thread, when I saw Clear OS, I didn't know it was a server specific OS..

I plead ignorance
 
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