Network de la Sanders

Bwana asked about my network configuration, and I figure it's complicated enough to warrant a post instead of cramming into a comment. There's an argument that I'm revealing some security info here - but I doubt it matters.

There are basically 6 PC's about the house at the moment, at various levels of use - 3 desktop machines that hook up to a monitor/keyboard/mouse switch, Karin's old PC laptop, my laptop, and Karin's Mac Powerbook that she got from school.

Karin's Mac runs OS X (10.3).

One of those three desktop machines is my "main" PC - it runs Windows XP and is used for game playing, web surfing, coding, etc.

The second machine is running Linux. At the moment it runs Red Hat 7.3 - it would be running Fedora Core 2 by now if the CD-ROM drive had worked properly. This machine is my primary file server, and also runs the services that look like "" to the outside world. This baby runs the web server, the mail agent, etc. In an ideal world I'd probably separate the public service functions from the file server functions - next hand-me-down computer will serve that role. It runs Samba - so it can create Windows Networking shares. Karin's Mac sees it as a Windows box and loads the file shares that way.

The third "desktop" is my router PC. It's running Fedora Core 2, and it has two network adapters - one talks to my DSL modem, and and the other talks to my LAN. It uses linux's built-in in iptables to do the routing functions. It also is my DHCP server for the LAN and has a caching DNS server. The main reason for the DNS server is that internally the addresses route differently. (If you look up an ip address for you'll actually get the IP address of my DSL modem. Internally it has to translate to PC2 listed above. So for instance my laptop accesses mail from "" - but that's a different address inside my LAN from outside.

Karin uses the Windows box for Windowzy things and sometimes for email and web stuff - bigger screens than the Mac.

Karin's old PC laptop isn't really used for much - it's a bit old and creaky. It's primary function these days is that I found some software to turn a networked PC into a monitor. So my Windows PC has three monitors - the big 20" (run through the KVM switch), my old 17" monitor on the 2nd head of the graphics card, and the old laptop running the Maxivista software. I usually run iTunes on this screen, and then I can use the main monitor for Magic or SlickEdit, and the alternate monitor for web browsers.