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Help Me Pick a School Project!

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March 9, 2010 1:21:02 AM

As some of you may already know I recently enrolled in a Linux Administration class. On the first day I was given my options for the final project. One thing I do know about the school that I attend is that a significant amount of students get their foot in the doors with companies and in certain cases are sought after by companies based on their projects in certain classes. I would like to base my current project and those I encounter in the future on those observations. Having said that, which one of these projects would you say shows the most potential for future business applications?

1. Dedicated Linux FTP and P2P Server providing distributed file sharing
2. Linux Cluster Servers using High Availability for Web and FTP services using a NAS such as FreeNas or OpenFiler
3. Linux Multi-user game server for 5 clients (Linux and Windows mix)
4. Linux Telephony - VoIP with full IP Soft Phone Tests from Client machines.
5. Linux Firewall and Intrusion Detection systems with client penetration tests using products like Snort, Tripwire, IPCop, Astaro, etc. in a Tri-Homed system (3 NICs) and tests from clients
6. Build simple Linux Routers similar to CISCO routers using ZEBRA or QUAGGA for RIP and/or OSPF with 3 sites with client tests.
7. Creating Your Own Linux Live CD using any distribution - such as SLAX, Fedora, Ubuntu, etc. with VMWARE Player installed as part of the live CD. Defined user should include your name. Desktop must bear Herzing University.
8. Linux software RAID-5 implementation with disk quotas from users - must be deployed on an existing server with complete tests to display concepts.
9. Network Based Linux installation Server for HTTP, FTP, and NFS options - installation must be done using each of these options to display concepts.
10. Deploying Linux on a 1GB thumb drive stripped down but functional for Office work including a VMWARE player and Open Office.

Note this is just a portion of the list I had. I chose just to write down the ones I either have experience with or understand in some way. I can also choose to pick my own topic. Please note that I am just beginning my exploration of Linux but I have had several years of learning and experimenting with computers. (Nearly 15) I would also like something relatively low on time consumption, however, my main goal is to harness skills that will be useful in business applications. Thank you all for reading this short story and for your future advice!

More about : pick school project

March 9, 2010 1:48:14 AM

I'll vote for number 7 ;) 

Why are they so obsessed with vmware?

Good luck :) 
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March 9, 2010 3:04:55 AM

My school does all our labs inside virtual machines. My teachers love it. I'm starting to take a liking to it, especially for educational purposes and experimenting. Would you care to elaborate on your decision? How would that be useful in a corporate environment? I already have a live CD of Ubuntu. Not sure how to put VMWare on it just yet.
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March 9, 2010 2:37:44 PM

VM's are cool :)  virtualbox's cheaper and more open. Xen's open source. That's why I brought it up.

Quote:

How would that be useful in a corporate environment?


There's a lot of reasons, many companies have custom made install disks, repair disks and stuff like that.

Good luck :) 
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March 9, 2010 4:43:30 PM

I'll go with 4, 5 or 6. 5 in particular will teach you a lot. I first did multi homed under NT and it was both fun and educational. Whilst I like idea 7 there is nothing to stop you doing that on your own, option 5 implies getting to play with the schools kit.
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March 9, 2010 9:32:45 PM

Audiovoodoo has a great point. Initially I was going to go with #7 but you convinced me to switch to #5. I really don't know all that much about firewalls or routers or switches yet. (Have yet to take those classes). Is there any websites you could recommend for me to start my research?
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March 10, 2010 12:44:56 AM

I've always been interested in #5. If that means anything :) 
#7 would be cool as well, I just like 5 more :) 
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March 10, 2010 12:55:06 AM

Well so far I've gone with the obvious searches. I checked out all the program's documentation. Snort seems to be packet sniffing software, IPCop seems to be the main firewall software I'll be installing. Tripwire seems to be for checking file integrity, and I wasn't quite sure what Astaros was. Most of my questions will likely come after I set up a VM and download all the software. However, I do have a couple questions now. What should I use for the OS on the VM? I would assume CentOS or Fedora as that is what we use in class. Also what would you recommend as far as specs for the VM? 512 MB or 1GB RAM and somewhere around 12GB for HDD is what I was thinking.

EDIT: One more thing.. What kind of files am I going to want to check integrity on? Core OS files, or firewall files ?
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March 10, 2010 1:10:21 AM

#5's great but it's probably one of the hardest of the whole lot ( 5 and 6 ) ;) 

If you're not an ifconfig route iptables ospf bgp expert it won't be so easy.

Good luck :) 
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March 10, 2010 1:13:43 AM

Overcklockalypse said:
Well so far I've gone with the obvious searches. I checked out all the program's documentation. Snort seems to be packet sniffing software, IPCop seems to be the main firewall software I'll be installing. Tripwire seems to be for checking file integrity, and I wasn't quite sure what Astaros was. Most of my questions will likely come after I set up a VM and download all the software. However, I do have a couple questions now. What should I use for the OS on the VM? I would assume CentOS or Fedora as that is what we use in class. Also what would you recommend as far as specs for the VM? 512 MB or 1GB RAM and somewhere around 12GB for HDD is what I was thinking.

EDIT: One more thing.. What kind of files am I going to want to check integrity on? Core OS files, or firewall files ?



You'll want to give it 1-2GB on a pc with 4GB and about 20GiB vdisk.

Config tripwire to check everything.

Try a cent os host with a fedora guest.

Good luck :) 
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March 10, 2010 2:24:44 AM

What do you mean by use Cent OS for the host and Fedora as the guest? Do you mean host in the sense that it is installed on the real computer hardware and that Fedora is installed as the VM's OS? I'm not sure I understand the way in which you use the term "guest." Although, everyone learned stuff a different way and in most cases were given different terminology as far as I've seen with computer related education.
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March 10, 2010 5:32:38 PM

linux_0 said:
#5's great but it's probably one of the hardest of the whole lot ( 5 and 6 ) ;) 

If you're not an ifconfig route iptables ospf bgp expert it won't be so easy.

Good luck :) 


Totally agree, it's the sort of project I wish I'd done at Uni, as for School it was all BBC B back in my day.

In terms of job prospects though I'd say good network security skills will always pay well and once you understand the methodology moving to other platforms is not so hard.

@Overcklockalypse - Break the task into manageable chunks, it's the only way to eat an Elephant!

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March 10, 2010 6:55:28 PM

Overcklockalypse said:
What do you mean by use Cent OS for the host and Fedora as the guest? Do you mean host in the sense that it is installed on the real computer hardware and that Fedora is installed as the VM's OS? I'm not sure I understand the way in which you use the term "guest." Although, everyone learned stuff a different way and in most cases were given different terminology as far as I've seen with computer related education.



The "host" os is the one running on the real hardware, whereas the "guest" is the one that's running on the virtualized hardware also known as the virtual machine ( VM ).

I've probably got that backwards, you should run fedora as the "host" os and virtualize cent os since fedora has much better hardware support.

In fact if you've not required to use a VM just run fedora 12 :) 

Fedora 13's coming out in a few weeks or months.

Good luck :) 
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