Networking I

An Update Notice...November 17th, 2018

This file was created long ago(20 Mar 04) and I have started another:  Networking II   BUT I still have this one and haven't transferred all the info over yet. Not sure if I will. But you can check out the other.

Setting Up a Network

    Setting up a Network? Just what does that mean?? Hmmmm... Well, I guess the first thing to do, would be to describe, or find out what a Network is. Then, see if it will fit our needs. Now in the course of this discussion, as in others on my site, I will quote from FOLDOC and Webopedia. Two excellent places for information on computers and stuff.

 April 17th, 2013 / 4:17am   Hmmmmm... interesting date and time. Anywho, another injection. Looked this up once before and could not find 'any' reference to it in our notes. Now we want the info again and had to search everywhere... again!! So, here it is right at the 'top' of our Networking notes. What?? Obtaining the 'same IP Address' repetivly, constantly... always with DHCP. Why??? -Because-.

The 'trick' is to get into your Router and 'reserve' an, or some, address(es). For ours it is a NetGear WNDR3700. To access the settings you will use your Browser and enter the address of the Router in the address field. In our case it is This will bring up a Local Web Page for the Router. Along the Left Side of the Web Page you will see some Categories wit selections. In the 'Advanced' Category you will find 'LAN Setup'. Select/Click on that. Information concerning your LAN will be presented. At the Bottom of the Info will be a place to 'Reserve' addresses. You will need three(3) pieces of information in order to reserve and address:

  1. The IP Address you want to reserve.
  2. The name of the Device.
  3. The MAC, or HWaddr, Address of the Device.

For example; We want the address of our Windows 7 Virtual Machine to always be the same.

 May 2nd, 2016 /5:02pm    Reserving an IP Address  

.NET Framework  For lack of a better place at this this time, 09 Feb 10, and I don't want to loose this, am sticking this .NET info here. I believe this is both for the Network -and- not. Reference to its description is at: .NET Framework Now then I had a problem on a customers PC and the end result was to dump .NET, with the help of .NET Framework Cleanup Tool and reload .NET ... in the following order: (from a Microsoft Support Page)

  1. dotnetredist.exe - ver 1.0 Microsoft .NET Framework
  2. NDP1.0sp3-KB930494-X86-Ocm-Enu.exe - Microsoft .NET Framework 1.0 Service Pack 3.
  3. dotnetfx-1-1.exe - .NET Framework version 1.1 redistributable package
  4. NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe - .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack
  5. dotnetfx-2-0.exe - NET Framework version 2.0 (x86)
  6. NetFx20SP1_x86.exe - Service Pack 1 for .NET Framework 2.0
  7. dotnetfx3setup.exe - .NET Framework version 3.0
  8. dotnetfx30SP1setup.exe - Service Pack 1 for .NET Framework 3.0
  9. dotNetFx35setup.exe - NET Framework 3.5
  10. dotnetfx35setup-sp1.exe - NET Framework 3.5 service pack

Now then, NET Framework 4 is in progress and will possibly be out when you read this. So you may want to start at: Microsoft .NET

    A Network:   A group of two or more computer systems linked together. Now what does that mean, linked together??  Well, back in the old days it meant connecting them together with cables. Nowadays, we can also connect them together with radio waves. Not the same ones that you listen to but similar. For the most part, only the cable type connections will be discussed here. But ... most topics and discussions will apply to both. As we continue it will, or should, become intuitive and I will try to remember to mention the similarities.
    A network is a group of computers, printers, and other devices that are connected together with cables. Information travels over the cables, allowing network users to exchange documents & data with each other, print to the same printers, and generally share any hardware or software that is connected to the network.
Type: Domain or WorkGroup.

    The following two pieces (and others) were extracted from: COX.NET
Ethernet Networking:
    Ethernet, along with its speedier counterpart Fast Ethernet, is the most popular networking standard in use today. If the computers at your workplace are running on a network, they are most likely connected with Ethernet technology.
    Ethernet networks are generally faster than the alternatives, although other technologies are closing the speed gap. Because Ethernet is so popular and simple, the essential components of Ethernet networking are easily available and surprisingly inexpensive.
Wireless Networking:
    A relatively new topology is called 802.11b, also known as Wireless. This topology connects computers together without wires. Wireless networks are currently the fastest growing type of networks in the U.S. because users can set them up without running cables between their computers. They also allow a user with a laptop the freedom to roam about his house, or in some cases, their front or backyard, and still maintain access to the Internet and the rest of his network. This solution is more elegant than Ethernet when the computers are far apart from each other or from the cable modem.
Ok. Need to update this info. Wireless is not all that new anymore. In fact it is used quite extensively now-a-days. The technology now has:
   802.11b - 11 Mbit/s,
   802.11g - 54 Mbit/s and
   802.11n - 100 Mbit/s and above.
The b & g series are good for about 125ft indoors, 460ft outdoors. The n series has the longest range of 230ft indoors and 820ft outdoors. And the usual disclaimers; these are subject to the conditions... like refrigerators, furnaces, wiring, lead walls, etc...

Reference: Wiki 802.11

    As a quick reference, this table shows the default addresses, usernames, and passwords for some common router manufacturers. (Borrowed/swiped from Microsoft at Home)
(With the last two modifid and added by me.)

Router Address Username Password
3Com admin admin
D-Link admin  
Linksys admin admin
Microsoft Broadband admin admin
Netgear RT311 Wired admin 1234
Netgear WNDR3700 Wireless admin password

18 Jan 06: Well, we learned something last evening. Now then, I work part time at Wal-mart in the electronics section. Many people have asked me about wireless connections. I, personally never had any real experience with them till these past few days. My pat response to the customers was: "You can't just buy a wireless receiver and get connected to the Internet." Well, I found out that is not entirely, true. You can't have a WebSite or an E-mail address BUT ... you can get connected to the Net. How.?.? That was my question...

    Well, two of my friends got new Notebook computers. One lives in another city an hour and a half away and the other is my next door neighbor. Both computers contained wireless LAN hardware. The ones that live in another city went to Best Buy on their own and, in my humble opinion, got taken to the cleaners. They ended up getting an HP Notebook, a DV1331, which was the best part of the whole deal. The sales people at Best Buy ended up selling them a total of $6000.00 worth of equipment, including the LapTop. They got stuff they may eventually use ... but it wasn't needed at this time. Buyers beware!! Take a knowledgeable person with you when you are purchasing a computer, especially if it is your first one. Don't buy everything at once ... UNLESS ... you really and truly need it. Prices on all this Computer equipment keep comming down and they continually are making improvements and outright changes. So wait if you can.

    At any rate, the store signed them up for AOL and the Geek Squad came out to set them up. Phone connections were not good. They ended up getting a cable connection. In this setup they also have a wireless router. One of the items that they were sold was a Bluetooth USB plugin. I assumed it was to be used with the Wireless Router. I found later after reading the labels on the computer that it already had wireless LAN hardware inside it. As a test I removed the LapTop from it's Desktop Cradle, and removed the Bluetooth USB plugin. Went into another room and could power on the Laptop and get connected to the Internet. I went outside into the street and could still get connected to the internet. Distance of about 25 yards.

    Allllrighty now. They wanted to know if they could travel around and use their Laptop. I told them that they would need to be in the vicinity of another wireless router and then maybe they could get connected. But they just couldn't go off and be connected. Well, I was correct ... more than I realized ... and that leads into my neighbor.

    As I said, I work part time in the electroncs section at a Wal-Mart Super Center. She came in to purchase a laptop to use for school. We didn't have one in her price range but another local Wal-Mart store did. She went there and bought an eMachine Laptop. When I got home from work I went next door to check it out. Not bad. Not bad at all. It is powered by an AMD Sempron, and operated very nicely. Now then, they already have an Internet connection. They have a router... a wired type... that was not hooked up. They just got their cable connection setup and it was going to one computer. So it just went from the modem to the PC.

    Now then I was going to help them setup the connections... the next day... but in the meantime I was playing with the Laptop. On a reboot, to check out the messages that she said she had gotten, I was greeted with a Wireless Lan Connection question. She had ignored and canceled it but I decided to see whta was going on. I got a "Connected" dialog box!! Ok, let's fire up IE and see what happens. We got the M$ default home page connection!! We were connecting to the Internet through a LinkSys router somewhere. We believe that it belongs to the neighbors on the corner, about 50 yards away. The connection was fast and clean. I was able to connect to my neighbors E-mail through this connection so they must have a Cox cable setup... which the other neighbors on the corner do. So sitting at the neighbors kitchen table with the only cord connected was the power cord, we were able to got out to the Net.

    Sooooo.... Yes. All you have to buy is a receiver LAN card ... IF ... you live close to someone who already has an internet connection.

Which is better: Cable Modem or DSL?

It all depends on the particular providers, the particular geographic area, and your specific requirements. There is no hard and fast rule. Either one can be good, mediocre, or poor.

Which is better: Ethernet or USB or PCI?

External modems usually come with either an Ethernet or a USB interface. Another alternative is an internal modem, which usually comes with a PCI connector. Each interface has certain advantages and disadvantages:
  • Pro
    • Stable and mature technology
    • Widely supported
    • Efficient
    • Flexible
    • Host adapters are inexpensive
  • Best for: All-around use
  • Con
    • Requires an Ethernet port/adapter to connect
    • Ethernet cabling can be confusing
  • Pro
    • Standard on most modern computers
    • Low cost
  • Best for: Notebook computers
  • Con
    • Requires special drivers
    • Operation can be unreliable/problematic
    • Won't work with a SOHO router or network bridge
    • Poor efficiency, puts considerable load on the host
  • Pro
    • Low cost
    • Less clutter
  • Best for: Limited requirements
  • Con
    • Must be installed in computer in open PCI slot
    • Requires special drivers
    • Operating system support may not be available
    • Won't work with a SOHO router or network bridge

Bottom line: Ethernet is preferred unless there is a compelling reason to use some other type. USB is better suited for low-speed devices (e.g., mice) than for Cable Modem or DSL.

The above two descriptions were lifted from: DSL-Cable Please visit their site for more info... tons of info! Top

The Neighborhood

Some of you may have heard a Local Network referred to this way. Particularly, those familiar with Microsoft Windows. Well, in this particular case, I have some neighbors that are snubbing the others. So, we need to investigate, and document it, cause it has happened before and I can't remember what I did to settle the quarrel. The VMware machines are not seeing my "Main" machine - dusty-tr2. It doesn't show up in the Windows Neighborhood.

My Neighborhood should, or at least I want it to, consist of the following:

  • dusty-tr2 - Main Mama
  • trdm4 - The Laptop
  • tipper-i7 - The New i7 Machine
  • dars-pc - My Wife's Machine
  • dusty3 - The VMware Win2k
  • dusty4 - The VMware Vista
  • dusty-tr7 - The VMware Win7
  • workhorse - Whatever machine I have connected in the Hobby Room
  • PSD55465 - The Netgear Printer Server
  • windrvc - The C drive in WinXP
  • windrvd - The D drive in WinXP
  • windrvl - The L drive in WinXP
Now, needless to say, or I think it should be, some of these are not always connected. In MS Windows you have to share something on the Drive that you want to see in the Neighborhood. In Linux, I'm not sure anymore. Had this hooked up correctly, or at least for the time and versions, so I could get everything that I wanted. Now here in openSuSE 11.3 and 11.4 it isn't correct. Why?? I do believe that it has something to do with Samba, or at least it is involved.

 From MS Support:  When several Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional-based computers are configured as members of a workgroup in a peer-to-peer network environment and you click on Computers Near Me in My Network Places, the following error message may appear:

Unable to access Computers Near Me. Workgroup is not accessible. The list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available.

Even though all of my computers are NOT Windows 2000 Professional-based, because of Samba and what I am doing... they are almost. When I look in the Neighborhood while inside Win2K I see the hostname for my Win2k VMware setup and the Router. Now seeing the Router in this is promising. At least it is seeing something besides itself. Now then according to MS Support:

This behavior can occur when no computer in the workgroup is designated as the master browser, or when NetBIOS over TCP/IP is not being used.

Ok. Let's think about this and talk it over. Somewhere on this site I have my Samba smb.conf file for reference... and it is: smb.conf

Now then, if you looked at it, you will see that I have designated my Main Machine as the 'Local Master'. Now granted, as time has passed things have changed -but- besides numbers and names, my current one is the same as the one above. In fact it is a copy of the one I was just using in openSuSE 11.3. -But- that, 11.3, was not correct either. I mapped the dirves, windrvd and windrvl, inside Win2k in the 11.3 setup -but- I still could not see dusty-tr2 in the Neighborhood.

Allllrighty now!! Hmmmmmmm... got interrupted, then had to go to work... forgot what I was gona say...!

Linux System in Windows Neighborhood
smbclient -L - machine gives you a list of all shares on a particular machine.
For Windows-based PCs to view your Linux machine, you have to configure Samba. We will manually edit the Samba configuration file. (/etc/samba/smb.conf). The KDE desktop environment has a utility called Ksamba.
On SuSE 11.3
ctaylor   Chuck Taylor   1000   video,cdrom,users,root

On SuSE 11.4 M6
ctaylor   Chuck Taylor   1000   video,users
drwxrwxr-x 52 root users /windows/L/public_html/

 # smbclient -L dusty-tr2
Enter ctaylor's password: 
Domain=[TRCOMPUTING] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.5.4-5.1.2-2426-SUSE-SL11.3]

        Sharename       Type      Comment
        ---------       ----      -------
        IPC$            IPC       IPC Service (Samba SMB server 3.4.2-
        windrvd         Disk      Directory for my Win Drive D - P4.
        windrvl         Disk      Directory for my Win Drive L - P4.
        p2zip           Disk      Zip Drive on PII.
        oldpub          Disk      Public HTML dir on my Linux Home Page.
        pubht           Disk      Public HTML dir on my Linux Home Page.
        zip             Disk      Zip Drive on P4.
        downloads       Disk      Download Directory - P4.
        ntfiles         Disk      Directory for NT files -P4.
        wrkdev          Disk      Directory for Work development - P4.
        print$          Disk      Printer Drivers
        groups          Disk      All groups
        users           Disk      All users
        profiles        Disk      Network Profiles Service
        hp              Printer   HP Color Inkjet with driver HP Color Inkjet cp1700 hpijs,
Domain=[TRCOMPUTING] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.5.4-5.1.2-2426-SUSE-SL11.3]

        Server               Comment
        ---------            -------
        DUSTY-TR2            Samba SMB server 3.4.2-

        Workgroup            Master
        ---------            -------
        TRCOMPUTING          DUSTY-TR2
        WORKGROUP            READYSHARE

Lin-Win seeing each other.

 Samba server  

Samba server provides SMB/CIFS services and NetBIOS over IP naming services to clients. For Linux, there are three daemons for Samba server: smnd for SMB/CIFS services, nmbd for naming services, and winbind for authentication.
smbd - server to provide SMB/CIFS services to clients
nmbd - NetBIOS name server to provide NetBIOS over IP naming services to clients
winbindd - Name Service Switch daemon for resolving names from NT servers
SMB - Server Message Block
CIFS - Common Internet File System

Of those three only nmbd is running on my system (now). Hmmmmm...well that's a lie. A typo in Novell Documentation. That should be smbd NOT smnd. Annnddd... smbd is running on my system. So I got two out of the three.

Ok now, in the SuSE 11.4 M6, apache2, smb and nmb are NOT starting at system startup. I did have apache2 starting manually, but now that is not working. The only one I can start is smb. So, we back-up and re-group. I do recall mentioning above that I had a similar problem in SuSE 11.3. ALSO that in 11.3 I could NOT see my Main Machine in Windows Neighborhood. So, since I have most of the 'other' stuff working in 11.3, let's get it seen in the Win Neighborhood and then pursue 11.4. By that time the Released version may be out and things will hopefully be better anyway.

So why can Win2K not see Dusty-tr2?? It appears that
      "What we have hear... is a failure to communicate!!"

It seems that nmb(Samba NetBIOS naming service over IP) will either not start, in openSuSE 11.4, or stay running in openSuSE 11.3. I really shouldn't say it won't stay running, it just doesn't get started in the first place! So, let's find out why.

Well, as usual, I am embarrassed. Either it quit -or- I got confused as to which version I was working on and forgot to start it in the first place. Thought I did ... -but- the ole brain ain't what it used to be. Oh well, it was a good learning, refreshing, re-learning experience of things that I had forgotten or didn't know in the first place. The really puzzling part was/is, I could, and did, map the D: and L: drives from my WinXP portion to the Win2K VMware portion. Oh sigh... now to see why it won't work in openSuSE 11.4 M6.

 30 Jun 11  Once again I had to trace down a lack of seeing my System, dusty-tr2, by one or more of my VMware machines. In this case it was Vista. Annnddd... once again it was cause nmbd was NOT running! I'll hve to keep an eye on this and try to Remember.

20 Tools for Linux to share with Windows


The Setup... and Needed Equipment

Now please bear in mind that my setup is with Linux and Windows, with my Linux machine being the Master. We are using apache2 and samba.


    You will need at least one two of these. Well, it could only be one IF you have VMware -or- another piece of Virual Machine software installed. My latest PC is another HP:

Harware Description
Item Specifics - HP Pavilion Media Center TV m7480n Desktop PC
  Brand: Hewlett Packard Memory(RAM): 4 GB (Got a smokin' deal on 2GB)
  Model: Pavilion m7480n Hard Drive Capacity: (2) 300GB Drives
  Processor Type: Intel PentiumD 940 (P) Operating System(s): Windows XP Media Center / SuSE 11.3
  Processor Speed: 3.2 GHz Optical Drive: Lightscribe DVD + DVD ROM
  Video Card: GeForce 7300LE Sound/Audio: Realtek ALC 882 chipset
  Wireless Keyboard & Mouse with USB receiver/transmitter, Modem, Memory card reader, Network Integrated 10/100 Base-T, Wireless LAN 802.11 b/g, TV tuner card with FM tuner, Remote Control - USB infrared remote and receiver
  Even though it is not included in the name, the processor is Dual-Core. An "older" technology but still a Multi-Core. Does make it faster. (...yes I am proud of it.)
  Printer: HP cp1700 Router: NetGear RT311    WNDR3700
  Printer Server: NetGear PS110 Switch: NetGear FS108

As you can see in the description above, it came with Wireless LAN capability built in. Now then, this is only one PC and you can still hook it up to a Modem / Router combination and get another PC later - or not. However, going through a Router will increase your security. But that is another story over in the Virus WebPages.


     Obviously, you need a Modem, a Cable Modem -or- a Satelite Modem -or- a DSL Modem.   NOT a regular phone modem ... they are to slow for just one PC, let alone for two.

    Cable Modems

  NIC or USB

    Each PC will need either a Network Interface Card, which plugs into your mother board -or- a LAN adapter which is usually connected via a USB port. And there is the other alternative, it can be integrated into your motherboard, like my most recent machine.

    Windows and Linux OS's have included drivers for a lot of these cards and adapters. But there is usually a disc included that contains drivers specific to the card or adapter. If the defaults are not good enough then you will have to play administrator and install the dirvers from the disc.


    This is the essential part to make your "one" connection "many". This can be a type of wired -or- wireless -or- both. It will be your Local Area Network.

    Now what does he mean by ... both? Well, I am about to find out. Got a Wii for Christmas and it has Wireless capabilities buit in. Only the 'b' and 'g' levels. Now then my Network at present is ALL wired. So, I have two choices. I can run some new cable over to the TV set and use the 'Wired Adapter' I got for the Wii -or- I can hook up a Wireless Access Point (WAP) to my Network. I have, with my wife's urging, decided to do the Wireless route.

    Now then, we again have two ways of doing this. We can either get a Wireless Access Point -or- get a Wireless Router and use it as an Access Point. OR, replace my mess with the new router which will have both Wired and Wireless capabilities. I have a Modem, Router, Switch combo with a Printer Server thrown in. I think I will keep the present setup -but- get a Wireless Router with the capabilites of replacing my current one IF needed. Besides, the Wireless Access Points cost as much, if not more than the Wireless Routers.

A lot, most of, what I got here came from:    -and-   Small Net Builder
I like what they said and I don't want to loose it. I have modified, or re-worded very little.
Please visit their sites.

   Wireless Router as an Access Point

    I want to do this for the experience, if for nothing else, but I also want to keep my Hard Wired Network. It is working, fast and secure. I'm still not trusting the security of the Wireless stuff and want to work into it slowly. At this point in time, the 'only' reason I need a Wireless setup is for the Wii and my Son's and Customer's Laptops.

    Wellll... it didn't work. I have to much of a conglomeration. Some of my stuff dates back to 2001. I know, I know... that is not a really long time ago -but- it is in Computers and Electronics. I had to compromise and retire my Netgear RT311 Router, which has served me well, and replace its position with my new Netgear WNDR3700 Router. Now the Hard Wired Access Points and the Wireless Access Points are in the same place, same unit, same router. It has a nicer GUI and more stuff to do which we will eventually discuss somewhere in these pages.

 Equipment Change  I'm putting this here for lack of a better place at the moment. I have Windows 2000, Windows Vista and Windows 7 all setup in VMware inside my openSuSE 11.3 Linux. Now then, AFTER replacing the Netgear RT311 with the New WNDR3700 Wireless Router, I was able to fire up VMware and go right into Win2K. No problems. I have these WebPages on another drive and I edit them readily by just opening Homesite and change or create. When I fired up Win2K for the first time AFTER the Router change ... there was no problem. It was like it should be. Like nothing changed cause ALL the addresses are the same.

    How-some-ever, with Windows Vista and Windows 7, both want me to setup my Network again. And I will have to cause they can't see my other drives anymore. Another one of those flukes?? Or is this 'Normal' in the newer Systems?? We'll have to find out.

    This definition of PAM will be repeated in my SambaNotes cause it is important... annnddd... I think it is part of my current problem(s). Anyway, you need to know it.

  PAM: pluggable authentication module 
    A UNIX programming interface that enables third-party security methods to be used.
    By using PAM,  multiple authentication technologies,  such as RSA,  DCE, Kerberos,
    smart card and S/Key,  can be added  without  changing any of the  login services,
    thereby preserving existing system environments.

    Equipment:  The PCs will all be Hewlett Packard Pavilions. Four to be exact. Networking will use a Netgear router and print server. Also a Hawking Technology switch. Each computer must also have a Network Interface Card ... a NIC.

TCP/IP -  Five Layer Protocol
         Host 1 Host 2
Layer 5 Application
Layer 4 Transport - TCP / UDP
Layer 3 Communication
Layer 2 Security
Layer 1  Bit Transfer - Physical Cable 
Layer 5 Application
Layer 4 Transport - TCP / UDP
Layer 3 Communication
Layer 2 Security
Layer 1  Bit Transfer - Physical Cable 
            |____________< data transfers >_____________|

Two computers Networked together. The above is the formal academic way of looking at it.

    My main machine is an HP 9995 with a 2Ghz P4 and 1GB of memory. I run both Linux and Windows on it. Dual boot and Windows inside Linux via VMware. I have programs/tools on both that I use. Using VMware allows the use of both without having to re-boot in order to use the different system. You can also check out your Networking configuration on one single machine before going to the others. VMware is one of the best things produced for computers. Setup correctly, it is like having two computers right there in front of you. Check it out.

    So why ... why would I, or you, want to Network computers together? Well, one reason is to spy on each other.    Not really, but just remember that someone can. (In fact you can check your security by visiting the following site: Gibson Research Corporation ) But, getting back to the subject, my main reason was, and still is, for learning and for sharing. We all, in my house, share the same printer. We can also pass files back and forth electronically and avoid the Nikie net.
  • Share the speed - no more waiting for your turn to use the Internet, now one Cox High Speed Internet connection serves your entire household.
  • Save money - Pay for only one Internet connection. Eliminate the need to buy separate printers for each of your computers.
  • Protect your computers - Built-in features help guard your PCs from dangerous Internet hackers.

    The idea of passing files around also brings up another point. You can have one PC that you don't "play" with and store your data or pictures there. This way if and when you crash one or more of your other systems you can get things set back up quicker. Of course you do have to remember to put your treasured files and pictures on the "safe" computer. Which, like always you must remember to back up, back up ... back up.

    Now then, I want to setup my Main PC, the HP 9995, as a server with respect to the other PC's, in that I will be able to access my HTML pages on the Main PC from the others. In other words, I will be able to pretend that my Main machine is my site on the Internet. That way I won't have to upload the HTML files and images to my WebSite until I am satified. (And just to do it.) Now I had this set up before with previous versions of SuSE but this newest version and the one before have not let me do it. I'm sure it is cause of some configuration problem on my part OR there has been a change that I am not aware of. Either way I need to find out. Another reason for this write-up. Notes ... for future reference.

    I will be using dia in Linux to create my Network diagram. I had done this before but in all my changes and scrambles the original got lost. Shame on me. So I have to create/draw another.

  A Pic of My Network

    Well, I found the problem. Yep, it was my fault. I 'thought' that I had specified that Apache (httpd) and the name server should be started at boot time. I evidently didn't understand something, or I misinterpreted, in the installation of SuSE version 9.0. So, let this be a lesson ... even though you are an 'expert' ... make sure that everything needed is installed AND running. Don't AssUMe anything. If you do, then you may understand that spelling.

    Now then, the above diagram doesn't do a thing for you unless I tell you what is needed where. Right? Issallight. Soooo, let's start at the beginning ... here in the middle. In order to Network you need two or more computers. Here we have four. One of them should be set up as a server. Why? Well, you need a central point, a master controller, a main source of information. Also a central point for printing. This server will contain apache, DNS, and a few other items that I can't think of right at the moment, but we will get to them.

Segmentation and Bridging is a neat write up on connecting and expanding multiple computers.

How Stuff Works - Bridging.
How Stuff Works - Routers.
How Stuff Works - Switches.
How Stuff Works - Token Ring.
Categories of Cables.

    So where do we start?? How's about we start with two PCs? One called Dusty-tr and the other called Workhorse. Both of these machines are dual-bootable. What does that mean, you ask? It means that I can boot Dusty-tr as a Linux machine or a WinXP machine. For Workhorse I can boot it as a Win98 PC or a Win2k PC. Is this required or do you need that??    No.    It just so happens to be the setup I have and it shows some interesting cases. Which is one of the main reasons I am documenting this. I can't remember all that I did the last time to get this working.

    HP 9995 - Dusty-tr:
  As stated before, this will be the Main Moma. I have Apache2 and DNS installed and running. Now then, as I said, this is a dual bootable machine. I want to be able to access and edit my WebPage stuff in both Linux and WinXP. So, I need a common area. Since I have a large HD, I partitioned it with Partition Magic and made one of the partitions a FAT32 one. This is referred to as VFAT in Linux. NTFS partitions can be read but not written to from Linux .. at this time anyway. For you up-to-date purists - I am also still using ext2 partitions for Linux. These combinations have worked for me in my multiple system Networking so I haven't changed. (Don't like changes ... remember?)

    So I have my WinXP drive E, on Dusty-tr, as my FAT32 common area. When in Linux this is referred to as windrve (/windows/E). I had this mounted automatically in my fstab but that was a bad idea. This made root the owner and group. So I made it user mountable and then when I mount it, it will have my ctaylor and users IDs. I had intended to create my public_html on windrve so that I could access it from either WinXP or Linux. Couldn't get the permissions correct for a linked public_html. Kept complaining about not having permissions to execute /~ctaylor on the server. I suspect a problem with it not being in my home dir and on another drive. I will investigate that further... later. BULL! Need to know now! Take the time and find the answers.

    From the Apache Docs:
Authentication is any process by which you verify that someone is who they claim they are.
Authorization is any process by which someone is allowed to be where they want to go, or to have information that they want to have.

    Apache on SuSE Linux:
mod_userdir.conf - This is where the User directory is controlled. The name must be public_html because that is the way it is compiled into apache.

        <Directory /home/*/public_html> 
		AllowOverride FileInfo AuthConfig Limit Indexes 
		Options MultiViews Indexes SymLinksIfOwnerMatch IncludesNoExec 
			Order allow,deny 
			Allow from all 
			Order deny,allow 
			Deny from all 

    The following is extracted from the httpd.conf file.

        # forbid access to the entire filesystem by default 
        <Directory /> 
            Options None 
            AllowOverride None 
            Order deny,allow 
            Deny from all 
        # use .htaccess files for overriding, 
        AccessFileName .htaccess 
        # and never show them 
        <Files ~ "^\.ht"> 
            Order allow,deny 
            Deny from all 
        # List of resources to look for when the client requests a directory 
        DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.html.var index.jsp index.asp 

The above items seem to dictate where the index files will be found. Also referred to as your home page. However, notice the access directives. In the first group it is allowing access to /home/*/public_html. The * is translated into your user name, in this case ctaylor. Now then, the next set of directives show that all access is denied. But, we can still have specific places that we are allowed to go determined by the .htaccess file.

 A table of my problems/experiences.

    From the Samba file:

       workgroup = TRCOMPUTING 
       netbios name = dusty-tr 
       server string = Samba SMB server 2.2.8a 
       os level = 33 
       local master = yes 
       preferred master = yes 
       socket options = TCP_NODELAY 
       browseable = yes 
       writeable = yes 
       hosts allow = 192.168.0. 127. 
       log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m 
       max log size = 50 
       password server = dusty-tr 
       encrypt passwords = yes 
       smb passwd file = /etc/samba/smbpasswd 
       unix password sync = yes 
       passwd program = /usr/bin/passwd 

       user = ctaylor, administrator 
       security = share 

       add user script =  
       domain master = false 
       domain logons = no 


    Well it appears that all my problems with accessing, except one, were because of playing with the passwords... encrypted or not. Way back in the beggining (Ver 7.0 and before) I had similar problems. At that time I set all the passwords to PlainText. Evidently I changed them back to encrypted and forgot to tell myself! So in this present fiasco I apparently had a mixture. My correction, or at least it appears to be, was to set all the passwords back to encrypted.

    Now I had also played around with the lines, in red above, in the smb.conf file. The ones concerning the password were commented out. The last three concerning user and domain were added by the utilities somhow. I also experimented with them commented out.

     So the result is ... I can access files on all of the machines by providing a password only or a user id and a password.

     But I still didn't come up with a valid explaination for a linked public_html. I had the same problem in later versions of SuSE. Further disucussion and explanations can be found in:
New SuSE 9.2 LAN_link

    BUT I still have a problem with the Hobby Room Win2k. I can access the files but I can not access the WebPages on my Server. Can from all the other machines and even that one, if I am in Win98 mode.(remember Hobby Room PC is dual bootable) Hmmmmm... just hate it when this happens.

     Well, I found the problem. It's a dual boot machine. Has multiple partitions. When in Win98 mode, C: is the main drive. However, when in Win2k mode, the drive referred to as C: is NOT the main drive. The I: drive is!! It contains all the Win2k files. I have been making changes to the wrong files even though they were the correct files (for Win98). Changes I was making worked ... in Win98 ... even though I was accidently making them in Win2k thinking I was in Win2k files. I out-foxed myself, so to speak.

Mixing USB and EtherNet

     This is well covered on However, I am making my own notes here cause my equipment is a little different. I went to our local Fry's Electronics and purchased a SanMax Data Link USB cable. This cable is designed to connect two PCs together. The connectors on both ends are of type "A" and there is a hub in the middle.

    Got new drivers. contains the drivers and a Software Router. The router is only needed on the system which has both an EtherNet and this USB Net. The driver software goes in \\Program Files\\Genesys Logic\\Gensys Drivers\\. On re-boot you will get the detected new hardware dialog. USB Host to Host Bridge. Click on NEXT and you will get two choices. One is for Windows to look for a new driver and the other is for you to select from a list. Choose the second option, "Select from a List", and then click on next. From the list presented select "Universal Serial Bus Controller" and click on NEXT. Now you are presented with a Manufactures selection and of course we will pick "Generic USB Hub" from the list.

    Well, "Houston, we have a problem". Says that the software was not written for the device and may not work! This was during the attempt to install the Software on my known good Win98 machine and not the customer's WinME box.

Got New USB Cable

    Well, enough of the previous garbage. The "Plug and Play" turned into "Plug and Pray" and even that didn't work. Using their software, following instructions, obtaining Updated Software and it still didn't work. I have experienced this to many times. I returned the SanMax DataLink cable to the store and got my money back.

    Fry's Electronics did not have a USB DataLink cable from another Vendor in stock. So, I went where I probably should have went in the first place... CompUSA. The CompUSA package was not only packaged better but it also cost less. So for, $26.94 versus $32.42, I got a reusable package, a printed User's Guide and a CD with Software that worked!! (I hate shrink wrap!!) By the way, the first one didn't even have a User's Guide on the CD, let alone not having one in print.

    After installing the Software, smoothly as it should be, I was able to move files between the two machines. I never got a warning or error message that something didn't work. The process even went smooth on the WinME machine.
The Prolific USB Controller Which is contained in the little bubble in the middle of the cable.
Note: You must have the PC-Linq program running on both machines at the same time in order to see one on the other. If you have the program installed on both but only running on one, you won't see the other machine.

    Before leaving this subject I need to say that the first cable package promised a bridge between the USB network and an existing network. I wasn't really looking for this feature but I thought it would be nice. However, since the whole mess didn't work in the first place I guess it is a mute point. The second USB cable only promised PC to PC transfers with no interference to your existing network... which is all I really wanted in the first place.

So, if you get a "Plug and Play" device, make sure it has Software included AND a printed Manual.



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