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Red Hat Linux 6.X as an Internet Gateway for a Home Network: Introduction Next Previous Contents

1. Introduction

This page contains a simple cookbook for setting up Red Hat 6.X as an internet gateway for a home network or small office network. The instructions are very simplified: no special cases will be discussed, and some assumptions will be made about which network addresses are to be used. The most important assumptions are:

  • You have a fulltime Cable or ADSL connection to the Internet.
  • You can successfully install Red Hat 6.X on at least one of your computers. Note that these directions are also valid for Red Hat derivatives, such as Mandrake 6.X which is distributed by MacMillan Publishing under a variety of labels.
  • Your Linux computer has two network cards installed in it and both are compatible with Linux.
  • You have an ethernet hub if you are networking more than one computer or a cross-over cable if you are only networking one computer.
  • You know how to edit text files on your Linux machine.
  • You can log into your machine as root. You know how to install RPM packages from your Linux CDROM.

If you do not meet any of these assumptions, then this document probably isn't for you.

There is nothing special that you have to do during the installation process. Simply choose an installation which makes sense for you and go for it. This document gives directions on installing everything to do with networking from scratch, to avoid making any assumptions about what was installed or configured during installation. To ensure that things work and there is no confusion about what information goes where, all the configuration will be done by directly editing the system configuration files rather than using the GUI configuration tools provided with Red Hat. On the one hand, this might be a little harder than it has to be; on the other hand, your knowledge will be a good deal more transferable to different distributions and situations (like, what if X doesn't work, or you are setting up a headless server).

1.1 Versions

The latest version of this document should always be available at http://www.coastnet.com/~pramsey/linux/homenet.html for the HTML version and http://www.coastnet.com/~pramsey/linux/homenet.sgml for the SGML version.

  • December 21, 1999 : First version.
  • January 2, 2000 : Incorporated suggestions from John Mellor on outside networking quirks.
  • January 22, 2000 : Minor update about identical network cards and info on IP aliasing from Chris Lea.
  • March 16, 2000 : Some information on name server security and on supporting Caldera from Nelson Gibbs.
  • June 22, 1000 : Red Hat 6.2 configuration quirk documented. More PPPoE info from Kerr First.

1.2 Copyright

Copyright 2000, Paul Ramsey.

This manual may be reproduced in whole or in part, without fee, subject to the following restrictions:

  • The copyright notice above and this permission notice must be preserved complete on all complete or partial copies.
  • Any translation or derived work must be approved by the author in writing before distribution.
  • If you distribute this work in part, instructions for obtaining the complete version of this manual must be included, and a means for obtaining a complete version provided.
  • Small portions may be reproduced as illustrations for reviews or quotes in other works without this permission notice if proper citation is given.

Exceptions to these rules may be granted for academic purposes: Write to the author and ask. These restrictions are here to protect us as authors, not to restrict you as learners and educators.

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