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State of the distribution: Networking
To be published on the website
Networking is crucial not only because without it most of the
usefulness of a computer is gone but because it allows to ask for
For that reason we go to great pains in order the user being not only
able to reach the Internet but also to have a working solution for
mail and possibly news.
Indy will allow individual users to end the installation with PPP
configured. If the user does not do it at install time he will be
able to do it later thanks to the Indialer program. It was a design
requirement for Indialer to not need X in order to allow its use by
people having problems with X. Another one of its projected features
is to allow DNS autoconfiguration.
We included two relatively attractive programs for mail and news,
respectively TkRat and Peruser. Both allow off line message reading
and composing for people who live in countries where phone rates reach
For people preferring to use a mail server we included
install-sendmail and modifyed it in order to give it a graphiacal
interface while still allwing its use out of X.
Independences initscripts contain some tricks in order for daemons
notably sendmail and wwwoffle to notice the line is up and act
We included wwwoffle because its features are in our opinion
more suitable for dial users than those of squid.
We also include an ICQ client.
Samba is preconfigured in order to use LinPopUp when the user receives
a pop up message (like the print server having printed the job
submitted by the user). In some situations Samba requires you list
the IP address in the smb.conf file. That is very inconvenient for
people who are required to have a dynamic address because classic DHCP
client will not care about Samba. For that reason I decided to
include DHCPXD who (between other things configures Samba properly).
This will require modifying the initscripts for it being used instead
At Independence we don't assume the user is protected by a firewall
from the Internet or that he knows how to protect its computer from
agressions coming through the net. Even being on a temporary link
does not protect you from agressions due to the possibility of one of
the sites you connect using your address to try to scan your box
looking for security holes. In order to help the user we have include
two programs: LOKKIT makes it trivial to protect your box because it
will block any connection coming through the interface connected to
the Internet (ie your modem) unless you explicitly instruct it to do
the opposite. GFCC is a graphical program who allows more
sophisticated work like allowing connections only from soecified
addresses or masquerading a LAN with fake addresses behind a
Problems: we need a more attractive mail TkRat and Peruser development
seems stopped. I considered Mahoganny for mail but I am unconvinced
and XFmail has still the same crappy licence AFAIK. For news PAN
seems promising but it will wait nexwt edition. The mail and news
clients of KDE are too of memory hogs to our tastes.
Jean Francois Martinez
Project Independence: Linux for the Masses