Linux for DTP Workgroups, Part II

Next paragraphs will cover basic setup instructions for various types of Linux-based servers.

Installation/Update Server

This server intended for storing installations and updates for Linux itself, as well as any other software you are using. Although most Linux distributions come with some kind of automatic online update tool, my experience shows that it is very useful to keep older releases of software since newer once may introduce new unwanted compatibility problems and glitches. Additionally, if you have many Linux stations, updating from local server will be much faster and convenient. PERL tool called mirror seem to be the best to maintain your installation/update server. It scans remote ftp directories, compares it to destination directory, and transfers files not presented on local mirror. Of course, you can use mirror PERL tool to automatically download updates for any software available on ftp sites, not just Linux.

Print Server

Even if you have a networked PostScript printer which is directly visible from Macs and PCs it is a good idea to route all jobs through one gate. In this case, you need to define TCP/IP forwarding queue which collects print jobs and send them to printer.

If your printer does not have built-in PostScript (or genuine PostScript option is not available at reasonable price or do not exists at all) you need to construct pre-filter queue with GhostScript (PostScript L2 clone). Although GhostScript have certain limitations, it proved to be very reliable. Also, please take into account that GhostScript running on powerful hardware may be much faster that built-in PostScript interpreter under embedded CPU and limited RAM found in many printers. However, not all printers are supported by Linux, most notable so called Windows GDI printers. Apple LaserWriter Utility may create Mac desktop printers using Linux print queues, but somehow they never worked in my case. I have configured printer access protocol daemon, so Linux printers become directly visible via Mac Chooser.

File Server

Linux supports native networking protocols for UNIX, MS Windows, MacOS and Novell Netware.


Under construction, to be continued...

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