Novell is now a part of Micro Focus

Full Steam Ahead: The Linux apps that can

Articles and Tips: article

Emmett Dulaney

30 Sep 2004


By now, surely all readers of novell Connection have heard of Linux and know it as an operating system of the future. Novell is playing a key role in the proliferation of Linux, the open source operating system, and the time is right to do so.

When the word Linux comes up in a conversation, all too often it is accompanied by questions about just what you can do with it. While this may have been a valid question five or more years ago, a much better question for today is, "What is there that you cannot do with it?"

As the operating system has matured, the number of offerings for it has expanded exponentially. There are word processors, HTML editors, fax applications, CD players and the list goes on and on. It is now safe to say that there are very few niches where applications are available for other operating systems and not also available for Linux.

The following compilation is a shortened version of what you can find on the Web site at www. Novell.com/connection magazine. This was created for two purposes: 1. to illustrate the vast number of possibilities that exist with the operating system, and 2. to offer enough information (contact/Web/etc.) to allow you to further research items that you think can benefit your organization. Space restrictions prevent this list from being 100 percent complete, but every attempt has been made to focus on those items of most meaning to administrators. In condensing and choosing which items to focus on, I am certain that something has fallen through the cracks and overlooked; if you know of such an application that you can't live without, please let us know and it will be included in any future updates on the Novell Connection magazine Web site. Lastly, I would be remiss in not paying a great deal of gratitude to Linux Online (linux.org) for providing a blueprint for the various categories and descriptions, including licensing models, used in this compilation.

What Type of Linux Applications are There?

The number of applications available for the Linux operating system is nothing short of staggering. For the sake of space, the applications here have been divided into five categories that may be of the most interest to system administrators: Administration, Communication, Development, Networking, and Office.

Figure 1

Within each of those five categories, I've listed only my own favorites--a much more complete list can be found in the version of this article posted on the Web site. Again, a debt of gratitude is owed to Linux.org for some of the descriptions and information on licensing; I highly suggest you make this site a regular stop in your browsing journeys.

Administration

As a system administrator, the tools that fall beneath this category can make or break you. If you have a good system backup when the server fails and can restore the data quickly, you're a hero. If you can't do that, you may find yourself trying to get those copies of your resume off of the printer before others notice them.

This provides a convenient segue into the first of five administration subcategories: that of backup applications.

BACKUP


Product
Description
License
Site

AFBackup-Manager

A Webmin module for easy administration of backup tasks.

Commercial

http://www.sourcepole.ch/ sources/software/ afbackup_manager.wbm/

AMANDA

Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver

Free to use but restricted

http://www.amanda.org/

Arkeia

Enterprise-class network backup for Linux and Unix networks.

Free for Arkeia Light or Commercial for full version

http://www.arkeia.com/

BRU

A backup solution for Linux and UNIX.

Proprietary

http://www.tolisgroup.com/ (See Figure 1.)

CDTARchive or CDTAR

Graphical Backup program for Linux

GPL

http://cdtar.sourceforge.net/

Crash Recovery Kit for Linux

A crash recovery kit for Linux

GPL

http://crashrecovery.org/

DAR - Disk Archive

Full and differential backup over several disks, compression, and other features

GPL

http://dar.linux.free.fr/

KDar - the KDE Disk archiver

Disk-based archiving and backup GUI for KDE based on libdar.

GPL

http://kdar.sourceforge.net/

NovaNET 8.5

Tape backup for single server. Upgrade to network, plus stacker available.

Commercial

http://www.novastor.com/

Oracle Backup

An easy-to-use backup and restore utility for Oracle databases.

Shareware

http://www.kiesoft.com/

SimpleBackup

A simple, flexible and very portable directory backup program.

GPL

http://migas.mine.nu// index.php?pag=en.myapps &subpag=simplebackup

Storix Backup Administrator Storix Backup Administrator

Full featured Linux backup product with complete and flexible system recovery.

Commercial

http://www.storix.com/

Figure 2

Figure 3

LOG TOOLS


Product
Description
License
Site

apachedb

Logs Apache transfers into a mysql database.

GPL

http://sourceforge.net/projects/apachedb/

AWStats

Free GNU log file analyzer for advanced web statistics.

GPL

http://awstats.sourceforge.net/

Cascade Historian

Real-time data storage and query.

Free for non- commercial use

http://www.cogent.ca/index.html? http://www.cogent.ca/Software/Historian.html

Cascade Textlogger

Logs real-time data as ASCII text.

Free for non- commercial use

http://www.cogent.ca/index.html? http://www.cogent.ca/ Software/TextLogger.html

FTPWebLog

An integrated WWW and FTP log reporting tool.

Freeware

http://www.nihongo.org/snowhare/ utilities/ftpweblog/

Funnel Web Analyzer Enterprise

A large-scale Web server log analysis tool.

Commercial

http://www.funnelwebcentral.com/

http-analyze

Log analyzer for Web servers

Free for non- commercial use

http://www.http-analyze.org/

Lire

Automatically generate reports from various log files.

GPL

http://www.logreport.org/

LogDog

A tool that monitors messages passing through syslogd and takes action based on key words.

GPL

http://caspian.dotconf.net/ /Software/LogDog/

logrep

A logfile extraction and reporting system.

GPL

http://logrep.sourceforge.net/

NetTracker

A Web site log file analyzer.

Proprietary

http://www.sane.com/

packet2sql

Pulls packet logs out of log files and converts them to SQL.

GPL

http://sourceforge.net/projects/packet2sql/

Squij

Squid logfile analyzer.

GPL

http://www.mnot.net/squij/

Tcpdstats

tcpd log analyzer.

Freeware

http://kaostech.com/

Visitors

A fast Web log analyzer.

GPL

http://www.hping.org/visitors/

Webalizer

Web server log analysis program.

GPL

http://www.mrunix.net/webalizer/

Weblogmon

Web server users and usage monitoring program.

GPL

http://weblogmon.sourceforge.net/

Figure 4

Figure 5

Monitoring Tools


Product
Description
License
Site

Array-util

Utility to monitor Compaq Smartarray controllers.

GPL

http://starbreeze.knoware.nl/ ~hugo/array-util/

Big Brother

Highly efficient network monitor.

Commercial

http://quest.com/bigbrother/

BrightQ

A printer monitoring and configuration frontend.

Commercial

http://www.codehost.com (See Figure 2.)

Checkservice

A service checker for multiple (remote) hosts.

GPL

http://www.linvision.com/checkservice/

Ethereal

GUI network protocol analyzer.

GPL

http://www.ethereal.com/

Event Monitor Project

Monitoring tool for heterogeneous networks and systems based on message passing.

GPL

http://www.jmcresearch.com/ projects/eventmonitor/

Fidelia Helix

Low cost fault and performance monitoring of servers, networks, applications.

Commercial

http://www.fidelia.com/helix/

Fidelia NetVigil

Scalable distributed real-time monitoring software.

Commercial

http://www.fidelia.com/products/

FileTraq

A system file monitor.

GPL

http://filetraq.xidus.net/

fprobe

A NetFlow probe.

GPL

http://fprobe.sourceforge.net/

HostGuardian

Server, port, process, router, and bandwidth monitoring.

Commercial

http://hostguardian.com/

imapbiff

New mail notifier for IMAP accounts.

GPL

http://bulldog.tzo.orgimapbiff/imapbiff.html

InfoWatcher

A system and log monitoring program.

Free for non- commercial use

http://www.protech-eng-svcs.com/

IOG

A network I/O byte grapher made to track KB/MB/GB totals for hours, days and months.

Artistic License

http://www.dynw.com/iog/

iplog

TCP, UDP and ICMP logging utilities for Linux.

GPL

http://ojnk.sourceforge.net/

ippl

IP Protocols Logger.

GPL

http://pltplp.net/ippl/

IPTraf

An ncurses-based IP LAN monitor.

GPL

http://cebu.mozcom.com/riker/iptraf/

JEXN

Allows you to receive instant exception stack traces in your email if your software crashes.

GPL

http://sijpkes.20m.com/jexn/

Linux Kernel Spinlock Metering

A kernel patch to incorporate metering of spinlock-usage.

GPL

http://oss.sgi.com/projects/lockmeter/

Loadmeter

System monitoring app for X11 that displays stats and information.

GPL

http://www.cactii.net/~bb/linux/

meminfo

Report memory and swap information.

GPL

http://meminfo.seva.net/

MIDAS-NMS

A Network Monitoring and intrusion detection server.

MIT

http://midas-nms.sourceforge.net/

mon

Highly configurable service monitoring daemon.

GPL

http://www.kernel.org/software/mon/

moodss

Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Spreadsheet.

GPL

http://moodss.sourceforge.net See Figure 3.)

mpstat

Helps monitoring SMP machines.

GPL

moved to http://home.earthlink. net/~joseph-ja/

Mrtg

Multi Router Traffic Grapher.

GPL

http://people.ee.ethz.ch/ ~oetiker/webtools/mrtg/mrtg.html

mtr

Network diagnostic tool.

GPL

http://www.bitwizard.nl/mtr/

NEBULA

Hot-spot polling, autodiscovery, basic PM and more.

Proprietary

http://www.linmor.com (See Figure 4.)

NetSaint

A relatively simple active network monitor.

GPL

http://www.netsaint.org (See Figure 5.)

Netwatch

Ethernet Monitor.

GPL

http://www.slctech.org/ ~mackay/netwatch.html

Network Packet Capture Facility for Java

A set of Java classes that provide an interface

Mozilla Public License (MPL)

http://jpcap.sourceforge.net/

Perro

A set of daemons that log TCP/UDP/ICMP packets.

GPL

http://www.grigna.com/diego/linux/perro/

phasi (PHP Another System Info)

Another tool for system info written in PHP.

GPL

http://www.technojuice.net/phasi/index.html

PIKT (Problem Informant/Killer Tool)

An innovative new systems administration paradigm.

GPL

http://pikt.org/

pmem

Small utility to display memory usage of programs.

GPL

http://www.pmem.net/

PolyServe Matrix HA

Data replication high-availability server clustering, failover and load-balancing software-only solution.

Commercial

http://www.polyserve.com/ products_mslinux.html

PPPStatus

Console-based PPP status monitor.

GPL

http://pppstatus.sourceforge.net/ graphic/index.html (See Figure 6.)

Printerspy

Perl/Tk tool to monitor printers via SNMP.

GPL

http://heim.ifi.uio.no/~pok/download/

ProcMeter3

System monitor with multiple graphical outputs.

GPL

http://www.gedanken.demon. co.uk/procmeter3/

RUE

Resource utilization explorer.

BSD type

http://rue.nolimits.ro (See Figure 7.)

sawdog

A Perl/Expect-based active multiserver watchdog.

GPL

http://open.digicomp.ch/gpl/sawdog/

Sensor Sweep Applet

A GNOME panel applet that monitors system health through the lm_sensors modules.

GPL

http://www.coverfire.com/ sensor_sweep_applet/

SNMP Monitor

SNMP critical values monitoring.

GPL

http://geekcorp.com/snmpmonitor/

Spong

Simple System/Network Monitoring.

GPL

http://spong.sourceforge.net/

Sysload

Monitors and correlates heterogeneous OS, DB and Apps with alerting and trend analysis.

Proprietary

http://www.nrgglobal.com/ products/sysload.php

Sysmon

High performance network monitoring tool.

Public Domain

http://www.sysmon.org/

tcp_wrappers

Monitors and controls incoming TCP connections

Freeware

ftp://ftp.porcupine.org/pub/ security/index.html

Tkload

TkPerl tool for monitoring load on remote servers using SNMP.

Artistic

http://www.systhug.com/tkload/

TkLogSpy

An easy and light program to monitor log files.

GPL

http://alfalinux.sourceforge.net/others.php3

XMSGD (X Message Daemon)

A background program which displays simple text-based messages on your X display.

GPL

http://thomas.apestaart.org/projects/Xmsgd/

Xcounter

A simple IP traffic monitoring program.

GPL

http://www.fortunecity.com/ skyscraper/romrow/935/

Xtraceroute

OpenGL traceroute.

GPL

http://www.dtek.chalmers.se/ ~d3august/xt/index.html

Figure 6

Figure 7

USER MANAGEMENT


Product
Description
License
Site

IC-RADIUS

A Cistron-based RADIUS server that uses MySQL to store all of its data.

GPL

http://www.icradius.org/

Jws (Jabber Web Steward)

Allows users to submit requests for new accounts.

Artistic License

http://www.inutility.net/files/

KDirAdm

KDE LDAP Directory Administrator.

GPL

http://www.carillonis.com/kdiradm/

Linux-PAM

Linux Pluggable Authentication Modules.

GPL

http://www.us.kernel.org/pub/linux/libs/pam/

Maly Soft Directory Manager

Web-Based LDAP Contact List, UNIX/Windows User and Group Accounts, Mailing List, and Room/Office Locations

Commercial

http://www.malysoft.com/cgi-bin/getPage.pl (See Figure 8.)

Webmin Usermonitor

An interface that provides an overview of all users on the system.

GPL

http://www.gehrigal.net/ projects/webmin_usermonitor/

Other Administration

There are a great many other administrative tools available for Linux other than those listed here. In order to conserve space and create a workable list, we chose to focus only on the four categories given. The linux.org site also contains administrative listings for a handful of other categories.

Communication

Second only to administration in terms of making life for a system administrator bearable, the communication tools are necessary for users to interact effectively with one another and with the outside world. The three categories focused on here are conferencing, fax and phone applications.

CONFERENCING

Product
Description
License
Site

AndyChat

A multi-protocol curses-based console chat program.

Freely distributable

http://www.secret.com.au/progs/andychat/

GnomeMeeting

Videoconferencing application.

GPL

http://www.gnomemeeting.org/ (See Figure 9.)

Silky

An easy to use graphical SILC client.

GPL

http://silky.sourceforge.net/

Figure 8

Figure 9

FAX

Product
Description
License
Site

Fax2Send

Fax Client Server for Linux.

Proprietary

http://www.fax2send.com/ fax2send/page/home.html

LightningFAX

Enterprise Fax Server.

Proprietary

http://www.faxserver.com/ products/lightningfax/features.htm

Pyla

A multiplatform Hylafax Client.

GPL

http://www.teamsw.it/pyla/

PHONE

Product
Description
License
Site

AWAG

A simple dial and voice-put program.

File Download

http://members.aon.at/stsz/awag.tar.gz

Bluel VMail

A "semi-complete" voicemail system.

GPL

http://sourceforge.net/projects/bluelvm/

CapiSuite

Python scriptable CAPI ISDN application including multi user answering machine and fax scripts.

GPL

http://www.capisuite.de/

KAM2

K Answering Machine for ISDN lines.

GPL

http://www.kpage.de/en/index.html

KRad

KDE Phone Phreaking Utility.

GPL

http://www.div8.net/krad/

PACER Predictive Dialer

Call center phone system and predictive dialer.

Commercial

http://www.databasesystemscorp.com/ pssmartpredictive.htm

WAPMail

A completely customizable email interface for mobile phones with full access to features.

Commercial

http://netwinsite.com/wapmail/index.htm

Development

If you're like most administrators, you've discovered that it is not enough to just run over-the-counter applications; sometimes you have to create your own. There are loads of development tools available for Linux, and they have been divided into the following subcategories: HTML Editors, Languages, Libraries and Tools.

HTML EDITORS

Product
Description
License
Site

Aspire

A server side framework for developing HTML applications that access corporate data sources.

Proprietary

http://www.activeintellect.com/aspire/

Bluefish

A high quality, highly functional, HTML editor.

GPL

http://bluefish.openoffice.nl/index2.html

MML

An HTML templating preprocessor.

GPL

http://www.screem.org/

SCREEM

Site Creating& Editing Environment.

GPL

http://www.screem.org/

Figure 10

Figure 11

LANGUAGES

Product
Description
License
Site

Amzi! Prolog + Logic Server Free

Logicbase development tools/libraries for standalone and Web applications.

Proprietary

http://www.amzi.com/

ElastiC

A very-high level OO language,

Open Source

http://www.elasticworld.org/

Emu (Embeddable Utility Language)

A clean, fast, flexible programming language.

MIT/X Consortium License

http://emulang.sourceforge.net/

Freepascal

Free Pascal compiler.

GPL (compiler + tools) and LGPL (libraries)

http://www.freepascal.org/ (See Figure 10.)

JS/CORBA Adapter

Provides a mechanism for arbitrary JavaScript objects to interact with each other.

Mozilla Public License (MPL)

http://sourceforge.net/projects/jscorba/

Kew

A simple, embeddable, container-based, object-oriented programming language.

Lesser General Public License (LGPL)

http://dunkworks.com/projects/kew/

Onyx

A powerful stack-based, multi-threaded, interpreted, general purpose programming language.

BSD License

http://www.canonware.com/onyx/

pENC (Perl Source Code Encryptor)

As the name implies, it is used to encrypt Perl Source Code.

Commercial

http://www.p3ptools.com/ index.php?category=pENC

Perl

A high-level programming language well suited to system administration tasks.

Artistic License

http://www.perl.org/

PHP

An open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development.

The PHP License

http://www.php.net/

Regina Rexx

A Rexx interpreter that has been ported to most Unix platforms.

LGPL

http://regina-rexx.sourceforge.net/ (See Figure 11.)

Turbo Vision

A C++ library that provides a nice user interface for console applications.

GPL

http://tvision.sourceforge.net/

Figure 12

Figure 13

LIBRARIES

Product
Description
License
Site

Adevs

A C++ library for developing discrete event simulations.

LGPL

http://www.ece.arizona.edu/~nutaro/

CASElow

A library that intercepts library calls, and makes the filesystem appear to be case insensitive.

GPL

http://0x00.org/programs/CASElow/

CodeBase Database Development Tools

Fast database engine for most programming languages and operating platforms.

Commercial

http://www.sequiter.com/ (See Figure 12.)

Cogent API

An interface for Cascade and other Cogent software.

Free for non-commercial use

http://www.cogent.ca/Software/API.html

DObjectLibrary C++

A working Java-like library.

GPL

http://s-mail.org/dol.html

Flate

A template library used to deal with HTML code in CGI applications.

GPL

http://flate.dead-inside.org/

gtkmm

A powerful C++ binding for the GNOME libraries.

LGPL

http://gtkmm.sourceforge.net/

HawkNL (Hawk Network Library)

Game oriented network library for Linux/Unix and Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000.

LGPL

http://www.hawksoft.com/hawknl/

Java-GNOME

A Java binding for the GTK and GNOME libraries.

LGPL

http://java-gnome.sourceforge.net/

JNIWrapper

Bridge technology that allows calling functions from native APIs or from any native DLLs.

Commercial

http://www.jniwrapper.com/index.jsp (See Figure 13.)

Lesstif

An implementation of the OSF/Motif standard GUI toolkit for X11.

LGPL

http://www.lesstif.org/

MegaZeux

A game creation system with ASCII graphics and a scripting language.

GPL

http://megazeux.sourceforge.net/

netwib

Provides sniff, spoof, client, server and most functions needed by network programs.

LGPL

http://www.laurentconstantin.com/ en/netw/netwib/

Netxx

A modern C++ network programming library.

BSD

http://pmade.org/software/netxx/

Next Generation POSIX Threading

An M:N threading model for Linux.

LGPL

http://oss.software.ibm.com/ developerworks/opensource/pthreads/

POE (Perl Object Environment)

A Perl framework for networking and multitasking.

Perl Artistic/GPL

http://poe.perl.org/

State Threads

A library of writing fast and highly scalable Internet applications.

MPL /GPL

http://state-threads.sourceforge.net/

The pyxhtml Python XHTML document class

Can be used to generate XHTML documents.

GPL

http://sourceforge.net/projects/pyxhtml

YACLib

A data structures library written in C.

GPL

http://www.angelfire.com/linux/ docinclude/yaclib/index.html

Zipios++

A java.util.zip-like C++ library for reading and writing Zip files.

LGPL

http://zipios.sourceforge.net/

Figure 14

Figure 15

TOOLS

Product
Description
License
Site

Aegis

A transaction-based software configuration management system.

GPL

http://aegis.sourceforge.net/

Aware Reports

Multiplatform high-speed template based report generator.

Commercial

http://www.awaresw.com/

BitRock InstallBuilder

Tool to create easy to use installer for Linux applications.

Commercial

http://www.bitrock.com/ (See Figure 14.)

Bugzero Bug Tracking System

Feature complete, platform and database system independent.

Free but restricted

http://www.websina.com/bugzero/

Builder Xcessory PRO.

A user interface builder for Motif.

Commercial

http://www.ics.com/?cont=nix

CLIP

Clipper/XBase compatible compiler.

GPL

http://www.itk.ru/english/index.shtml

DBAConnect

Fast, Secure Remote Administration of your Database.

Commercial

http://www.datasparc.com/ (See Figure 15.)

Dynamic Probes (Dprobes)

A generic and pervasive system debugging facility.

GPL

http://www-124.ibm.com/developerworks/ oss/linux/projects/dprobes/

Easy View (Ezvu)

Converts the given set of C files into HTML files.

GPL

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ezvu/

Ektron eMPower for ColdFusion

A full-featured, easy-to-use Web content management system.

Commercial

http://www.ektron.com/

Genscreen

C/C++ Code Generator that generates ncurses screens.

Proprietary

http://www.linuxledgers.com/

HuC

A PC Engine C compiler.

Proprietary

http://www.zeograd.com/ parse.php?src=hucf

JavaReadline

Adds readline support to java console applications.

LGPL

http://java-readline.sourceforge.net/

Jess

A rule engine and scripting environment written entirely in Java.

Proprietary

http://herzberg.ca.sandia.gov/jess/

KlassModeler

An UML-like tool for creating class diagrams.

GPL

http://www.jameswells.net/KlassModeler/

Kylix

Radical Application Development Environment for Linux.

Proprietary

http://www.borland.com/kylix/

MagicDraw

UML modeling tool for object-oriented software development.

Commercial

http://www.magicdraw.com/ (See Figure 16.)

MIB Smithy

Visual SNMP MIB Designer/Compiler/Editor Tools.

Commercial

http://www.muonics.com/ Products/MIBSmithy/

Omnis Studio

A powerful RAD tool for Windows, Linux, Solaris, and MacOS.

Commercial

http://www.omnis.net/

OSE

Provides a framework for building event driven systems, Web-based services etc.

QT Public License (QPL)

http://ose.sourceforge.net/

Ozibug

A platform-independent, web-based bug tracking system implemented as a Java servlet.

Free but restricted (Community Edition)

http://www.ozibug.com/

QuickBugs Linux

Help Authoring For Linux Applications.

Commercial

http://www.excelsoftware.com/ quickbugslinux.html

QuickCRC Linux

Object-Oriented Software Design Using CRC Cards.

Commercial

http://www.excelsoftware.com/ quickcrclinux.html

QuickHelp Linux

Help Authoring For Linux Applications.

Commercial

http://www.excelsoftware.com/ quickhelplinux.html

QuickUML Linux

UML "made easy".

Commercial

http://www.excelsoftware.com/ quickumllinux.html

Revolution

A fully featured cross-platform development environment.

Commercial

http://www.runrev.com/

Stream Analyzer (Stan)

A console application to generate statistical information about a stream.

BSD License

http://www.roqe.org/stan/

Stunnix Perl-Obfus

An advanced and reliable obfuscator (scrambler/mangler) for Perl source code.

Commercial

http://www.stunnix.com/prod/ po/overview.shtml

The HT Editor

A file editor/viewer/analyzer for executables.

GPL

http://hte.sourceforge.net/

Visual SlickEdit

A multilanguage integrated development environment and advanced code editor.

Commercial

http://www.slickedit.com (See Figure 17.)

WxDesigner

A dialog editor and RAD tool for the wxWindows C++ library.

Proprietary

http://www.roebling.de/

Figure 16

Figure 17

Hopefully, if nothing else was accomplished, this list convinced you that there is an enormous wealth of applications available for Linux.

Networking

No one reading this issue of Novell Connection magazine is of the belief that the future lies in standalone computers. You must have a network in this day and age even if you are only a two-person company. Within Linux, there is a superdaemon known as init which is responsible for bringing up the services required at specific runlevels and maintaining the integrity of the system. The init daemon will start and stop other daemons such as the system logger (syslogd), the swapper (kswapd) and so on. One of the daemons it starts is a superdaemon over networking services: inetd. This superdaemon can start any networking service and offer those that any network would expect and need:

  • DNS is a Domain Name Service/Server which allows hosts to access a server that performs name resolution for them. First introduced in 1984, it allows the host names to reside in a database that can be distributed among multiple servers. The distribution decreases the load on any one server and allows for more than one point of administration. It also allows the database size to be virtually unlimited because more servers can be added to handle additional parts of the database. More information can be found at: www.linux.org/docs/ldp/howto/DNS-HOWTO.html.

  • Sendmail is a service--daemon--that allows for the transfer of electronic mail between hosts using the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Because SMTP is the protocol involved, and any number of programs can communicate with it (sendmail being but one), Sendmail is said to be an agent of SMTP--a mail transfer agent to be exact. This is important because Sendmail is not--and was never intended to be--what the user interacts with. The user interacts with an e-mail program (such as mail), and Sendmail is merely a service running in the background that sends completed e-mail from one location to another. The latest version of Sendmail can be downloaded from www.sendmail.net.

  • Apache is a World Wide Web server to Linux in the same way that Internet Information Server is a WWW server for Windows NT/2000. You can devote years to learning the intricacies of this service. Apache is included with most Linux implementations, but if you do not have it, you can get it from www.apache.org.

Figure 18

Office Applications

Having a solid operating system is but one link in the chain to wrest control of the network. In order for the operating system to work its way onto the desktop, it has to be able to offer the services that the user needs. When it comes to the user's daily environment, that can be summed up with the functions that appear in most officetype applications: word processors, databases, spreadsheets, etc. The following packages offer the functionality on Linux that you expect and need in an office environment:

OFFICE PRODUCTIVITY SUITES

Product
Description
License
Site

Abacus

Spreadsheet for Linux/XWindows written in Tcl/Tk and C/C++.

Free to use but restricted

http://www-cad.eecs.berkeley.edu/ HomePages/aml/abacus/abacus.html

BrowserCRM

Web-native CRM, E-mail, Collaboration and Invoicing application.

Commercial

http://www.browsercrm.com/welcome.php

EIOffice (Evermore Integrated Office)

Full-featured, integrated Office suite

Commercial

http://www.evermoresw.com/weben/index.jsp

GroupWise 6.5

Premier communication and collaboration tool

Commercial

http://www.novell.com/products/groupwise (See Figure 18.)

OmniChex

Manage info with hyperlinked checklists securely on the Web using your Web browser.

Commercial

http://www.omnichex.com/

OpenOffice.org

The open source release of Sun's StarOffice

LGPL

http://www.openoffice.org/

Slidemaker

Create a Powerpoint-like slide show in pdf for conference presentations.

GPL

http://slidemaker.sourceforge.net/

SqlDESKTOP

Office productivity software for Linux desktops.

Commercial

http://www.sqldesktop.com/

StarOffice

The most well-known Linux office package.

SUN Binary Code License

http://wwws.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/

The Future

Hopefully, if nothing else was accomplished, this list convinced you that there is an enormous wealth of applications available for Linux. Due to space constraints, only seven categories were even addressed and we were unable to include such categories as security, 3D modeling, CAD or a plethora of others. As time goes on, and as Linux continues to work its way into the network, onto the desktop, onto laptops and PDAs, it is safe to say that this list will only grow at an exponential rate.

For more information or to download an eval copy of GroupWise for Linux visit www.novell.com/products/groupwise/

When is it time for you to consider migrating your environment to Linux? At what point in the future will the operating system be stable enough for you to give it serious thought? That future moment--that magic time is now! red

--Emmett Dulaney is the author of several books on Linux, Unix and certification. He is a former partner in Mercury Technical Solutions.

Linux Integration

As an administrator, your primary concern is with getting data where it needs to be when it needs to be there. The fact that users are using Windows or Linux or Macs is of little relevance on a daily basis as long as everyone can do the job they need to do. Your headaches come when the interaction that should be there isn't.

Thankfully, in today's networking environment integration is mostly a matter of understanding the options and knowing what can be done. There are four ways to establish integration with Linux. The first is to do everything you can to sidestep the issue and get the results you need without committing all the way. The second is to integrate the Linux hosts with the world of Windows, and the third is to integrate with NetWare. For those who don't fall into either category, the fourth approach is to integrate Linux with Macs.

A number of solutions exist to provide interaction, but not necessarily integration. One such solution is VMware from VMware, Inc. This software is available in both a workstation and server version. Essentially, what it does is allow you to run virtual sessions of multiple operating systems at the same time on the same machine(s). In so doing, you can run Windows at the same time you are running Linux and access the files that each need in order to be able to work within separate environments. Information on VMware can be found at www.vmware.com, with the features for workstation at www.vmware.com/products/desktop/ws_features.html and the specifications (detailing what operating systems it can run) at: www.vmware.com/products/desktop/ws_specs.html. The advantage to this solution is that it allows you to run many different operating systems and it can be a solution when migrating to Linux. An alternative to this is Win4Lin from NeTraverse (www.netraverse.com/).

One of the most common heterogeneous network environments currently in existence is that of Linux/Unix and Windows. The "Windows" can be in the form of workstations (9x, NT, XP, etc.) or servers (NT/2000/2003). Regardless of the type of Windows used, the needs are the same (file sharing and printing) and the solutions are essentially the same: Samba or Services for Unix. Samba allows a Linux host to act as a file and print server for the Windows (and OS/2) world. It is made freely available under the GNU General Public License and can be found at: www.samba.org/.

Services for Unix is Microsoft's answer to Samba. Originally available for a fee, it became free recently with the release of version 3.5. More information, as well as download links can be found at www.microsoft.com/windows/sfu/default.asp.

Older NetWare implementations (those that you are likely to have around only for legacy purposes) below version 4.0 used a bindery as their primary file system. Integration with these servers is possible with MARSnwe--the MARS NetWare emulator. This allows the Linux host to act as an IPX router and run most utilities. There are a large number of solutions for integration between newer versions of NetWare and Linux. Go to www.novell.com/linux/ for up-to-the-minute information on migrating to Linux, and using Nterprise Linux Services for integration. Downloads of available solutions can be found at www.novell.com/linux/download_linux.html.

The solution needed to communicate between MacOS clients and Linux is Netatalk. This software suite allows the Linux host to act as a file/print server for AppleTalk clients. It accomplishes this by running three daemons: atalkd (the network manager), afpd (the filing protocol), and papd (the printing protocol). Like Samba, Netatalk is free, and released under the GNU General Public License. It can be found and downloaded from http://netatalk.sourceforge.net.

Linux Certifications

One of the best ways to verify your skills in the IT realm is by having a third party authenticate your knowledge. It is this approach that has led to the highly successful CNE certification from Novell, and dozens of other examples. It is also the raison d'tre behind numerous Linux exams.

Within the Linux world, certifications tend to fall within one of three categories, based on skill level: beginning administrator, intermediate and advanced. For beginning administrators is the Linux+ exam from CompTIA (pass one multiple-choice exam and you are certified for life) and the LPIC Level 1 certification from the Linux Professional Institute (two exams that are multiple choice as well as fill in the blank). More information on these two certifications can be found at www.comptia.org/certification/linux/default.asp and www.lpi.org/en/lpic.html, respectively.

Intermediate certifications are available from LPI (LPIC Level 2), and SUSE (SCLP -- SUSE Certified Linux Professional). The latter requires you to first be LPI Level 1 certified, then builds on it by testing only SUSEbased knowledge. More information on the LPI offering can be found at www.lpi.org/en/lpic.html, while information on SCLP can be found at www.suse.com/us/business/services/training/certification/sclp.html.

When it comes to advanced certifications, the CLE (Certified Linux Engineer) from Novell requires passing a performance-based exam and focuses on the application of higher skills more than other entries. Information on this certification can be found at http://www.novell.com/training/certinfo/cle/.

* Originally published in Novell Connection Magazine


Disclaimer

The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

© Copyright Micro Focus or one of its affiliates