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Part of my job at a smallish (30 employees) 501c3 is maintaining the company’s computers and servers. The workstations all run Windows and MS Office ($36 a seat for a 501c3.) The server room is a mixed Windows and Linux environment.

I’ll share some solutions that have worked for us.

My philosophy is to keep things as simple as possible, both to keep costs down and to ease the way for my successor(s).

In time order.

  • Asterisk phone system. Running since 2008. Early documentation here.
  • m0n0wall FreeBSD firewall. I previously used to hand build Linux firewalls. You don’t have to be a sysadmin to (re)configure m0n0wall. Notes on a recent install. M0n0wall is dead now and I have migrated to OPNsense No regreats.
  • Workstation and server imaging with with Clonezilla.
  • Samba (3) as a WindowsNT fileserver and PDC — replaced a Windows 2003 file server, PDC and BDC (three boxes). Samba changes dramatically over time so I find that there is a learning curve with each new installation. Were are currently running Samba 3. The server has a year of uptime. I’ll have a lot to say about automatic print driver installs. We use roaming profiles. Working on the third upgrade to this server, Samba 4, now, and regretting the move from Windows at the moment.
  • Server consolidation with Linux KVM. Six Windows and Linux servers running on one box. This project is making a big difference to the work environment and cooling load in out small server room. I’ll detail how I have done this. Free (no cost) digitally signed virtio drivers are now available for Windows Server 2008.
  • FirefoxESR on our Windows workstations. Tips for a midsize install. (Short answer: we use WPAD.)
  • MediaWiki. Used as a notebook since 2012. There has been almost no use by other staff.
  • We built a new public website using WordPress and the Responsive theme. My role was sysadmin, technical support for our designers and cat herder. That site is five years old now and due for an update. Never got to blogging about it.
  • A phpBB forum has been provided for a group of ten trainees. The trainer is happy. I’ll let you know about user acceptance and explain our software selection process at the end of the course in early August ’12. The Forum was in use through the Spring of 2018. Staff and students found it too complicated.

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