Minutes of the BLUG Meet: June 2001

Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 17:47:10 +0530
From: Madhu M. Kurup
Subject: ILUG Bangalore June Meeting Minutes


Minutes of the Meeting of the ILUG Bangalore for June 2001

The previous LUG meet had been postponed for a bunch of reasons. The
previous meet in the year had been a bit of a damp squid, so lots of
people were looking out to this one. The meeting was held at FedTec [1],
thanks to the kind generosity of Hanish Menon, who took the trouble to
make the place and their projector available for us. Many Thanks,  Hanish!
One sad side effect of this change of venue was that we were missing
snacks, something  that became more and more evident as the evening
progressed. Also interesting to  note was that since this was being held in
Hanish's place, nearly every speaker seemed to be in 'Hanish' mode. If you
don't know what that is, well, you've missed something ;).

	The meeting began with a small intro by Biju, who then passed the mike 
to Atul. Atul began with an introductory set of slides that explained what the 
rest of the Secure Corporate Network talk was going  to be like. In addition, he
touched upon some of the aspects of the Redhat based distribution that is to be
released with next month's PCQ CD. The primary and most evident difference is
that now the install options have two new entries: Gateway and Intranet
server. He then went into some of the aspects involved in a secure
installation of a corporate network touching upon the need to seperate the
two, reasons for insecurities present at the gateway and the seperate
services that are to be made available at the gateway and the intranet
server. Having done that, he handed the mike over to Sony, who then
proceeded to freshly install a Gateway machine.

	Sony [2] then proceeded to install a machine,simply pressing enter from
time to time (and who says Unix isn't user friendly - except it chooses
it's friends with great care!). The install went off smoothly (slightly
more than 2 minutes) and he rebooted into a fully secured machine. This
machine has very few services switched on, no compiler, minimal packages -
you get the picture. Basically, this is pretty much the exact install that
an intelligent sysad would do - using the Expert option.

	Vaibhav [3] then took over to explain the configuration of this gateway
machine. He considered two main classes of connectivity - dynamic and
static IP to the Internet. The PCQ CD ships with sendmail (8.11.2-14
grumble... postfix [4] ...grumble) and he went into some detail of how to
configure it using macros to achieve various highly useful things (hold
mails, smart relay, etc). He also touched on fetchmail and how to setup the
MX record for a domain. Finally, he discussed Firewalling for this machine
using ipchains (iptables NOT being the flavor of the month!).

	Shanu [5] finished up the Secure Corporate network with discussion of how
an ideal intranet server should look like. He first discussed what it looks
like and what it serves up (auth, internal DNS, NAT, DHCP, Mail, Squid,
Samba). First touching upon NAT, he explained how to setup ipchains to
ensure a clean segregation between the gateway and the internal network
(seperate segments).  He went onto DHCP and setting up both the server and
client systems, including DNS based IP allocation ( sounds nice!).  Then he
started with Bind (v9 grumble...djbdns [6] ...grumble) and dealt with it in
depth, finally ending off with some Samba instructions as well.  He ended
with a bringing it all together section that dealt with the important but
normally forgotten physical configuration of gateway to intranet server and
intranet server to LAN configuration. He also has promised to post
configuration files to BLUG-tech. [7]

	Atul has promised to put up the slides for these talks at [8], post July.

	Deepak Shenoy [9] has volunteered for a Kylix demo to the LUG and boy
were we surprised or what! For all those old Delphi fans out there - your
dreams have come true. Deepak tooks us through a flying demo of what is
very soon going to become the de-facto RAD on Linux. Kylix is smooth, slick
and very very fast.  It uses Object Pascal as a language and uses QT as
it's toolkit. As it was pointed out to me - you can't even see the compile
- code seems to execute directly from the source. The code is cross
platform compatible, works with a whole bunch of DB's and had tools to talk
to various entities on the net ( ftp, http, etc.etc).  Yumm! While Deepak
was showing us the commerical version (retails at $199 [10] ) the free
version is expected to be available soon. While I expect the free version
to be a little less jaw dropping, trust me, you better be careful. One
interesting little detail - the free version cannot be used to write
commercial applications! This was a lovely little presentation that really
proved to me that as of now if we are to have a Desktop war starting now,
perhaps, just perhaps Linux may poke it's head ahead!

	Thanks to the fact that we had no snacks, some hungry Linux fans departed
soon after the presentations ended while others hung around to chat,
eventually wending their way home.  Till the next meet: adios.

[1] http://www.fedtec.com
[2] sony @ exocore . com
[3] vaibhav @ exocore . com
[4] http://www.postfix.org/
[5] shanu @ exocore . com
[6] http://cr.yp.to/djbdns.html
[7] Promises, promises and some more promises ;)
[8] http://www.linux-bangalore.org/meetings/20010623/slides/
[9] shenoy @ agnisoft . com


p.s. all the grumbling is mine, so kindly consider it on it's own merits alone.

p.p.s. sorry for the cross post. Biju, fwd to LIG?

 Madhu M Kurup /* Nemo Me Impune Lacessit */ madhumkurup @ yahoo . com


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