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About this site

Hello !
I don't know how you came here...
I have not so many things to publish, the aspect 'web server' is rather anecdotic. You are now connected to one of my toys.
If you wish to know more about my installation, just continue to read. Beware, it's not automatically easy to read (especially with my great English!)


History : I first begin with a Cable Internet access. this was not à high speed access, just a www.noos.fr formula (64 kb/s download, 40 kb/s upload, like an permanent ISDN access.

But I was not satisfied with NOOS: Not only was the link quality very unequal (to remain correct...), but NOOS start to practice IP port filtering. My web server was no more accessible. More serious (for me), the SMTP port (25) was also filtered. So I didn't receive mail any more !

So I have to find a new Internet Service Provider (ISP). I'm now connected via an ISP understanding and helping people who want to host their own server: http://www.nerim.net
I choose the 'pack Nerim Base' (ADSL 512/128 kb/s) which costs (December 2002) 42 € 46 including all taxes per month.
This ISP provides, without any additional costs :

July 2005: With regrets, I'm leaving NERIM and i'm starting the great adventure www.free.fr
Free gives less configuration flexibility (at least for .... customers like me :-) but :

As I am a little bit "nut's" about computers, I ran quickly in the game, and decided to put a computer running all the day in my cellar, connected every time on Internet. However, this choice is not 'risk-free' : My 'server' is the subject of at least one hacker every day. Mostly, theses hacking are not very dangerous : there's only script kiddies action. Anyway, it's not possible to connect directly on the net a computer with private and/or critical information. You need to install a kind of protection, or firewall in the words of Internet.

there are many kinds of firewalls : Now you can easily buy a small box witch is a combined ADSL Modem/router for an SOHO Lan/firewall. I choose to use a 'software' firewall (that is : a computer with some specific software to protect my network)

I began to use an old desktop : Pentium 120 Mhz, 32 Mb RAM.

This worked fine, but there was still a problem : too noisy ! I thus replaced it by a PC home made. (installed in a box not bigger than a shoes box... )
This computer is made of the following elements:

I installed on this bomb a Linux distribution especially made to be a firewall: www.e-smith.org

I'm currently using SME version 6.0
This Linux Distro (based on RedHat 7.3, therefore a kernel 2.4) provides the following functionalities:

The most interresitng part of this distro is that it is up and running in half a hour. The product is very wyse, and should easily be use as a central server in SOHO environment.
There is nothing new in SME Server, but the rel 'value added' part is the configuration interface. Everything has been made in the spirit of simplicity, and it's very easy for the sysadmin to create users, workgroups, and so on. Best of all, the security was not forgotten, and it's really easy to create differnets workgroups with differents access rights.

I want to be my own mail server, and want also have my own domain name, for fun.
So, just after my SME installation, i want to buy a domain name. I then surf to Gandi and 15 minutes later, i had a domain name (and i also was 14 € 35 poorer).

Next step : I had to populate the public DNS. Hers was another problem : i didn't own an constant IP address so i needed a kind of dynamical DNS.
I choose ZONEEdit. This service is free of charge at least for 5 years, so I had time to think about...
But ZoneEdit is not directly supported by SME Server, so i needed another small script to dynamically update the DNS : DDClient

Now, with NERIM, I have a constant IP, with reverse DNS. There no more trouble. I moved my DNS back to GANDI, witch provide this service free of additional charge.

To be honnest, even if SME is a great product, I ever want more... So I had to go deep in the system. I don't think that it's possible to use SME without any knowledges in Linux, DNS, SMTP, SAMBA. Or maybe would you need a lot of patience, help in newsgroups or web forums, and, at the end, you no more will be a newbie !

Finally, this configuration give me real satisfaction. I didn't need many changes to be happy.

Should you be interrested by the subject, you can have a look at my 'link page'.
Here you'll find some of my (very smalls) contributions to SME Server, and also a few link to some of the really most important place for SME on the Net.