Testing the Enterprise Linux Load

By Tom Henderson, Network World |  Operating Systems

Caldera OpenLinux eServer 2.3

Caldera has a get-down-to-business attitude in this release that we found refreshing. Caldera eServer 2.3 is designed specifically for server installations. It has similar installation options and flexibilities to Red Hat Deluxe 6.2 -- and slightly better hardware and environmental network detection in our test servers. Caldera eServer 2.3 discovered where it lived on the network, including its gateway, Domain Name System (DNS)/Name server, and the name of the domain behind our firewall by querying our firewall. Although doing this saves just a few keystrokes, we found that Caldera's network configuration detection was highly evolved, matched closely only by TurboLinux.

Caldera eServer's installation application, Lizard, lets you choose four flavors of installation type: Web server, file/print server, network server or a minimum server. It is a stripped-down installation where application servers such as Web, database, mail, proxy/firewall or other shared services can be built. We installed each server type and found that all are well designed for the respective tasks, and offered us configuration choices respective to its function. X Window/KDE installation is only performed in a fifth customized option.

The Caldera eServer footprint is comparatively small, as nonserver software isn't offered on the single installation CD.

Caldera, an ally of network operating system maker Novell, has strong support for installation in Novell NetWare networks, although the support it offers isn't exclusive. Configuring the NetWare connectivity and proxy authentication into Novell's Directory Services/eDirectory is explicit and we found it easiest to use in conjunction with the lab's NetWare 5.1 server.

File and print services are easy to configure for either NetWare or NetBIOS use -- although such as other editions, Windows 2000 Active Directory proxy authentication is unavailable from Caldera.

As for applications that could be valuable in an enterprise network, Caldera ships with File and Print for Linux, Unix and Microsoft and a mail server that supports Post Office Protocol 3 and Internet Message Access Protocol 4. Additionally, Caldera supplies an FTP server, a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server, a DNS server, a Network News Transfer Protocol server, a mailing list server, a Point to Point Protocol dial-in server and a squid cache/proxy server. Caldera's Webmin does DNS, Samba, Network File System (NFS), local/remote file systems; Pluggable Authentication Modules, MySQL Database, a cron-based jobs manager, a Java-based file manager, OpenLDAP support and an SNMP management tool. EServer certainly is ready for business as a server.

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