Software Considerations

When planning a server installation, consider how the server will be used. Many servers are general-purpose systems that provide a wide range of services. Those systems might need all of the system software. Other servers, however, have a dedicated purpose that requires only some of the system software. Don't install everything on these dedicated systems. Choose only the software that is needed.

Linux systems group related software packages together to simplify the selection of the appropriate software. Red Hat provides several different software groups that it calls software components.

Each Red Hat software component has a descriptive name that helps you determine whether or not it is useful for your server. Several of the components are clearly identifiable as network server packages. For example, News Server, NFS Server, Anonymous FTP Server, Web Server, and DNS Server are all software components. From the name alone, it is easy to tell what package would be required for a dedicated DNS server.

Other components provide the software packages needed for the client side of a network connection. Mail/WWW/News Tools, DOS/Windows Connectivity, Networked Workstation, Dialup Workstation, SMB (Samba) Connectivity, and IPX/NetWare™ Connectivity provide traditional Unix tools, as well as tools to connect to NetBIOS and NetWare servers.

Finally, there are many components, such as the software development components, that are not directly related to a network server but may be needed on your system for development and maintenance. In the planning phase, it is useful to think of all of the groups of software that will be required for your server to fulfill its purpose.

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