While tux was the most visible server on
SkilmNET, there were other machines around the house that ran Linux. One
of those was vesta, my old Pentium 90MHz desktop. I converted it over to
Linux and it became the gateway router, external DNS server, DHCP server,
and NTP server for the network. I loved how much Linux would let me
squeeze from old hardware.
|Vesta Gateway Router
||Pentium 100MHz (199.88 bogomips)
||2 IDE HDDs (4.3 GB and 500 MB)
||3Com 905-C TX 10/100 PCI NIC
||Linksys LNE100TX 10/100 PCI NIC
||Red Hat Linux 9.0
||telnet (telnetd) - Remote Access/Control
|dhcp server (dhcpd) - Dynamic Host Configuration
|ntp server (ntpd) - Network Time Protocol
|dns server (BIND) - Name resolution (external)
|Simple Network Management Protocol (ucd-snmpd)
SkilmNET DHCP/Testing Server History
- Jan. 29, 2002 - Brought vesta online running Red Hat 6.1 (Kernel
2.2.12-20). Installed/configured Webmin and dhcpd.
- Feb. 2, 2002 - vesta's motherboard had been giving me trouble since
Y2K. Apparently, it's BIOS was affected so it thinks it's 2095. While I
was at a computer show, someone was selling old motherboards that would
fit in vesta. Naturally, I bought one. The board came with a Pentium 100
and 32 MB RAM. I got it and installed it today.
- Feb. 4, 2002 - In an effort to improve performance, I got a new kernel
for vesta (2.2.20) and compiled it to specially fit vesta. It ended up
REALLY working! My CPU speed rating went from 39.94 bogomips to 199.88
- Feb. 15, 2002 - Set up ntpd. This allows me to coordinate the time on
all my computers from a central location. I have yet to figure out all
the little nooks of the program, so it isn't quite working yet.
- Feb. 28, 2002 - I just happened to look at the NTP server on vesta
today and realized that it is now in sync with the rest of the world! I
finally have a working time server! I configured clients on all of the
network computers to update their clocks to vesta.
- Mar. 13, 2002 - We had an electrical storm tonight meaning vesta (and
the rest of the network) briefly lost power. At the time, vesta was the
holder of the all-time SkilmNET uptime record. She had remained
functional for over 37 days without a reboot.
- Mar. 20, 2002 - Installed UCD-SNMP on vesta to allow remote monitoring
of traffic and other stats.
- Mar. 28, 2002 - vesta's /usr hard disk (the 330MB one) died yesterday,
leaving most of the programs on vesta inaccesible. I couldn't even
telnet in to fix anything. I ended up swapping the bad drive for a 270MB
one I had around, shoring up other hardware issues (floppy drive acting
up a little, rearranged some LEDs, etc), I put in some more RAM I'd
discovered I had also, bringing vesta up to 40MB there, and I
reinstalled Linux, but a newer version (Redhat 6.2).
- May 23, 2002 - I installed BIND 8.2.3 so that vesta can be yet another
backup DNS server for the internal network computers.
- May 30, 2002 - Patched a security vulnerability in vesta's DHCP
server. I also ended up re-configuring the server so that the default
lease is now 14 days instead of 24 hours.
- Oct. 10, 2002 - Updated vesta's kernel to 2.2.22.
- Oct. 22, 2002 - Installed the Seti@Home
client on vesta so that it can use it's
CPU cycles to aid in the search for ET.
- Nov. 23, 2002 - Over the last few days, I've been converting the
network over to a configuration that will allow vesta to be the gateway
router instead of the old Linksys
Etherfast router that was a little limited in what I could get it
to do. Having a Linux-based router is not only more "l33t" but it will
be much more flexible.
- Feb. 16, 2003 - I recently aquired an old 2.1 GB HDD. I installed it
into vesta today. I ended up re-installing and re-configuring vesta to
take advantage of the increased hard drive space. When I shut her down,
vesta was the all-time uptime record holder for SkilmNET with nearly 85
days since her last reboot!
- Mar. 15, 2003 - After trying to do a kernel upgrade - i.e. something
that needed a reboot of the computer - my larger 2.1 GB HDD that I just
put in vesta refused to spin up. After messing with it a while, it was
clear that the drive was dead. I ended up swapping a few drives around
and adding a 4.3 GB in place of the dead drive. All my attempts at
re-installing the OS were unsuccessful though, so it'll have to wait.
- Mar. 22, 2003 - I finally got around to re-installing the OS on vesta.
I settled on RedHat 7.2. I applied several updates and got her
- May 17, 2003 - Updated the Kernel
to 2.4.20-13 to address a few security issues.
- June 11, 2003 - New Kernel
installed. vesta is now running 2.4.20-18 from RedHat.
- July 7, 2003 - Installed new version of Webmin
(1.100) remote admin utility.
- July 28, 2003 - Updated kernel
to version 2.4.20-19 to address various security issues.
- Aug. 3, 2003 - Applied several security updates. New versions of OpenSSH,
WU-FTPD, and NFS
Utilities were included.
- Sept. 6, 2003 - Cleaned off vesta completely and did a fresh install
of RedHat 9. This gave me a chance to really work out organizing the
firewall rules. Ran through the updates as is customary with a